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  • Branded Business Collateral

    Everyone that I do business with is always so pleased with how professional all of my collateral items they receive are. So I thought I would post up a few for critique and review. Perhaps one or two will spark an idea in your head.

    Feel free to critique as needed. I tried to give a quick blurb as to why a specific item SHOULD be branded with your identity on it.

    1)
    Business Card, Envelope and Letterhead:
    No designer should ever be without a set, nor should you ever leave the house with at least your business cards. I always mail out my bills and letters in my branded envelopes, you never know who will look at it. You know how you wrap a check in a plain sheet of paper before you send it out (we all do it). Wrap it up in your letterhead; you don't know who is going to open it.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...ionery-kit.jpg



    2)
    Resume:
    Another item that no designer should be without, a resume. Make it a habit to review it and update it every 6 months. You never know when you will be required to use it. Perhaps you are unexpectedly let go from work, heaven forbid. Or someone sees your work online and offers you a job (it has happened)! Be prepared and up to date with it.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...son-resume.jpg


    3)
    Project Agreement / "Your Contract":
    If you don't have a contract, go get one now! It not only protects you from your clients, but protects your clients from you. It makes sure both parties are in the know of the terms agreed upon and what needs to be delivered.

    Having a well-branded contract not only looks nice to your clients. But it is also easier for them to quickly reference if needed (you have to remind them of something they agreed too). If your contract is just printed out of your word processing program with no branding on it, imagine how many other plain looking papers your clients might have floating around on their desk. Chances you will get lost, quickly.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...-agreement.jpg



    4)
    Project Proposal:

    So your client has agreed to your quote, you've reviewed the project details with them and they signed your contract. AWESOME! Now when you send out concepts and ideas, brand it! Don't just send a random image attached in an email to them. Chances are your client will email the image around to friends, family and colleagues so why not have your contact information on it? Perhaps they need work, or know of someone who needs work done. Also tag the files with important job information such as job name, job number, and the date you sent it out. Then when your client comes back in 2 years and says "I need this brochure reprinted, see attached image" You can quickly reference and find the files.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...t-proposal.jpg



    5)
    Project Invoice:

    So the client has approved the project and is ready to pay their tab. Send them a nice email with your invoice in it. Break each section down for them to see what their money was spent on (research, concepts, design, printing, shipping, stock fonts and/or images etc). Don't stop by their office and write the total on the back of your business card and toss it on their desk.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...on-invoice.jpg



    6)
    Time Sheets:

    If you have done any kind of hourly work for client's chances are you have been requested to keep a log of your hours. There are many programs out there to help you do this if you are into doing it digitally. For me, pen and paper works best. Mine is nothing more then a sheet of paper with lines on it (on the right). Time In, Lunch Out, Lunch In, Time Out, Hours Logged are typed out across the top. When requested by the client, copy and send off. If you have ever sub contracted work out, you will want a log of the individuals hours as well. I have a more in depth form for them. Their hours, job number, job name, dates worked, etc. are all on this form for my records.

    http://thomasmaxson.com/wp-content/u...timesheets.jpg


    Of course the list goes on and on for things you can brand... folders, your portfolio, promotional cards/items, CD cases and labels with the final files for your client. Being well branded not only makes your clients pleased to see they aren't doing business with Timmy-the-high-schooler, but it helps your feel and project a more business oriented attitude.

    Full Article: http://thomasmaxson.com/branded-collateral/
    Last edited by garricks; 01-16-2012, 06:54 AM. Reason: To fix broken links
    Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

  • #2
    *Drool*
    I like that idea of branding the project proposal

    (steals great idea)
    sigpic
    The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity
    ~Rollo May

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    • #3
      This REALLY should be a sticky. I'm crying over the #10's with the full bleed flap. I just loved every minute I spent reading this post This REALLY should be a sticky. Hmmmm, did I say that outloud? Thanks Ckret!

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent post CKret. This truly demonstrates that branding is so much more than a glitzy filterized logo. Great job.

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        • #5
          Yeah really good example! Branding yourself like this will only make you look more professional, therefore attracting a different type of clientel, the kind you WANT to attract. If you can successfully demonstrate it within yourself, they have more confidence in using your services.
          "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

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          • #6
            Thanks for the kind words everyone.
            Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Bingo! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why one hires a professional graphic designer. You gets what you pays for!

              Ckret, good job!!

              Part of good branding is making sure everyone in your organization is familiar with your graphic standards, so write them down! Create a graphic standards manual that has usage examples, and also what NOT to do.
              Last edited by garricks; 01-31-2009, 09:51 AM.
              This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
              "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by garricks View Post
                Part of good branding is making sure everyone in your organization is familiar with your graphic standards, so write them down! Create a graphic standards manual that has usage examples, and also what NOT to do.
                Ahem...

                Logo Color Breakdown

                EVERY client of mine that 'orders' a logo from me receives this file with their final logo files. This way they are in the know as to what color is what in their logo. There are no more excuses that someone doesn't know what blue color their logo is.


                Identity Manual

                I really need to rework this piece, but I do have an Identity Manual for those looking to use my logo. I have yet to 'sell' an Identity Manual to a client, but that doesn't mean I don't try! haha
                Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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                • #9
                  Beautimous! That way there's no confusion. (And I didn't mean to imply that you didn't do this, btw )

                  Our identity pieces also have a disc that includes the logos, along with templates for posters, flyers and Powerpoint slides. Anything that we can think of to make things more foolproof.
                  This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                  "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i like it all looks really good i wana make one now
                    "The Chosen One"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great thread.

                      And all your pieces are very well executed.
                      http://www.rojorevolution.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sir I take my hat off to you (if I wore one)

                        That was enlightening. I am not in the business, I am but a lowly padawan to all your Jedi masters. But I see what branding can do. This truely shows that a professional does professional work.

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                        • #13
                          You're thorough, i'll give you that.

                          If i had a criticism, (and know i'll be jumped on by all and sundry for it) it would be with the way your name is stacked together. I find myself looking at the white space more than the name. You've got the tightly leaded name taking the eyes one way and those huge gaps pulling them another.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the kind words everyone!

                            str8edg, Thank you very much. If I had a hat I would take it off and send it to you, along with a space heater. You need both more than me!
                            Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great examples! Thanks! I'll probably be returning to review this often. My work location is changing our name and logo. I've been wanting to make an identity/logo standards book even before the change. Hopefully it'll be something I can incorporate as we make the changes.

                              Not to mention, I need something for myself.
                              "It's not that I don't want to trust people. It's that they give me reasons not to." ~ Me

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