Helping a company come up with a branding strategy can be exciting and intimidating, all at once. It gives a designer the opportunity to make a great visual impact with a brand, but requires skills in logo, print and digital design.
If you’ve been hesitating to join a 99designs Brand Identity Pack contest, here are a collection of tips to help you get started. Work together with your next client to come up with a logo, business card, letterhead, envelope and Facebook cover design.
Coordinated, versatile, strategic, and the perfect jumping off point for an extended and fruitful designer/client relationship.
The logo design is your conceptual basis for the entire brand identity, so you’ve got to make sure that you take into consideration each context it will be used in. Whether you work with an image-based symbol, a logotype or a combination of the two – the logo needs to work on different materials, in different layouts, and in multiple formats. If you’ve got your logo in various colors, make sure that it can be translated into black and white. It should be adaptable, scalable, and simple.
CogitoDesigns does this in spades with this illustrated logo for an upscale restaurant (above). It’s an organic and relevant olive branch in simple black and white, paired with an elegant and legible font. It translates well across all collateral – anything from a menu to a business card to the brand’s packaging. The use of neutral colors allows the brighter tones of the food itself to make a statement, providing a blank slate for the cuisine to shine.
- JPG or PNG
- Vector PDF
- Adobe Illustrator
- How professionals approach the logo design process
- How to create and deliver the correct logo files to your client
- 3 bulletproof techniques for creating memorable logo designs
2. Business Card
Business cards are a fun challenge because their format creates boundaries for you to work within. They almost always have to be a certain size and to include a specific set of information, while still uniquely representing the brand in question. Use these restraints to your advantage.
Think about the use of color, shape, whitespace and a unity with the logo. Think about readability and hierarchy — what can you add to the card to catch someone’s eye on without detracting from the main point of communicating a person’s contact information?
Eastwood Studio’s quirky logo is all the designer needs to create a stand-out business card (pictured in the top left corner of his mockup). One side of the card features the a small and complete version of the logo, paired with the relevant business details. The other provides a close-up into the details of the illustration that’s meant to catch your eye. Literally, with a monocle.
- Editable PDF
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign
- Outlined fonts
- 7 steps for designing print-ready business cards
- 4 tips to get you started in business card design
- Toward a better business card: 5 unconventional tips
3. Letterhead and envelope
Donut Byte Labs: KidDotCo
Similar to a business card, letterhead and envelopes —the principle print elements in any good brand identity, have a specific size, shape, and use. But because they come in several components meant to work together, you have a lot of room to play with different concepts.
Think about what kind of components pair well together to make a match — similar colors, shapes, and patterns even in different sizes and proportions can enforce a sense of unity. Just make sure you keep the purpose in mind, being creative but still leaving clear whitespace for legible notes and addresses.
Like the example by KidDotCo above, consider using a pattern. In this case, the coloring and style of illustration comes off as childlike and fun, but the technique could just as easily work for a serious, natural, whimsical, or any other sort of brand. It all depends on the shapes and colors used.
Another common technique is to create a faded greyscale version of the logo spread across the entire paper. If you’re going to experiment with this classic, be sure that this doesn’t detract from the larger purpose and balance of the design.
- Editable PDF
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Indesign
- Outlined Fonts
- The 99designs guide to print-ready bleeds
- How to create a basic brand style guide
- 8 common print file mistakes and how to avoid them
4. Facebook cover
VoCo Fresh Farms branding: Project 4
Your Facebook design is going to simultaneously be the icing on the cake for a print-based brand identity, while also acting as the first foray into a larger online strategy. It’s the key piece to bringing together print and digital components to your strategy, so make sure that whatever you come up with keeps that unity that we keep talking about.
Project 4 does this in a straightforward way with a vibrant photograph that illustrates key imagery in the branding strategy. It’s that beautiful basil leaf that compliments the circular abstraction of a juicy red tomato in the logo. He then uses the brand’s signature deep red to contrast with the green of the photograph, executing a striking dual-toned idea.
- JPG or PNG
- Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator file
- Your ultimate cheat sheet to Facebook design
- 8 standout ways to create a Facebook cover design
- 9 tips for create a social media page design