Most new companies start with shiny new logos and a clear corporate identity that is consistent throughout all print and graphics. (That’s the goal anyway.)
As companies grow, they often lose control of that standard corporate image. It takes discipline to keep consistency while opening new locations, adding more employees, switching creative vendors and constantly creating new marketing campaign materials and sales tools and literature.
After a few years, branding can easily be represented by different color shades, inconsistent fonts and variations of paper weight, logo size and image quality.
If you’re in this position, don’t beat yourself up! It’s a natural time to conduct a company-wide corporate identity audit and get back on track. If you’re a new company, do yourself a favor and install the creative quality management procedures outlined at the end of this article.
As you conduct your audit, identify and evaluate each item that represents your company brand. Consider whether the item is present (do you even have it?), consistent with your brand (does it match colors, font, and quality?) and worth keeping (like paper letterhead for some companies).
After you’ve reviewed–and repaired–your logo, business cards and images, put a few quality management steps in place to ensure consistency and quality moving forward.
1. Create a “logo cop.” If no one is responsible for it, anyone may adopt it. Add “branding/logo quality control” to someone’s job description. Require that she approve anything that contains the company logo. Yes, someone will dub her the “logo cop,” but it will save you hassle later.
2. Create a style guide. Have your logo cop create a style guide explaining which images can be used where and in what variations. Include EXACT design descriptions, and include all color formulas for print and screen (HEX, RGB and Pantone).
3. Consider using a marketing digital asset management service. Big companies can save tens of thousands (or hundreds!) and ensure consistent quality with a web-based solution like the One System by Ad Giants.
You probably won’t save hundreds of thousands, but your consistent image will leave a better impression with the market, and you should save over the long haul.
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