Planning Ahead For Visual Consistency

While we recommend that you contract with the same designer or design team while creating your brand identity materials as possible, we know that this scenario is not always possible.

Whenever you work with a designer other than the original who created your logo, stationery and marketing materials, we suggest a few practices that will prove invaluable for ensuring a consistent look and feel across all of your marketing communications.

At a minimum, make sure that you have information on:

  • The Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors used in the designs. These will come in the form of a number. For example, PMS #280 is a deep blue color.
  • Fonts. Ask your designer what font is used in your logo, and what secondary and tertiary fonts are used in your stationery and other marketing materials. Having this information will save a future designer many font matching headaches.
  • The type of paper on which your materials are printed. In order to duplicate and keep consistent with the look and feel of your materials in future print runs, you’ll always want to have your items printed on the same type of paper.
  • The printer who printed your materials. Knowing whether your materials were printed by a digital printer or a press printer can help to ensure that they are reproduced at the same quality in the future. In the case of press printing, this can save you money on additional films as well.

To make for an even smoother transition, negotiate for the original files for your designs. This can be a delicate matter, as some graphic designers do not sell the rights in the original files to their clients. If you cannot get the entire assembled files, we recommend that you negotiate for a minimum of the following pieces:

  • An original file of your logo. This is typically known as a vector graphic version, which means that, if the appropriate software is available (Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand are the most common), you can scale the image up and down without losing image quality. If your logo was not created as a vector graphic (i.e., if it was created in Photoshop), then you need the largest, highest resolution file available. See our article on Logo File Formats for more information on which type of formats of your logo you should have on-hand.
  • A file containing any specialized secondary graphic brand elements. Some designers will give you files containing special headers, backgrounds, illustrations, etc., so they are available for any future projects. Loss or lack of these elements keeps a new designer from knowing what original effects were used to create the design.

This information will ensure that your materials have graphics that are consistent across the board, and will save time on future projects.

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