part 4

brand checklist

check off and print this list as a reference for how your brand is doing, or use it as a to-do list if you’re just getting started.



• Type: symbolic, descriptive, portmanteau, acronym
• Tagline: is your name descriptive enough to stand alone?


• Vertical: color, grayscale, 1-color, black, reversed
• Horizontal: color, grayscale, 1-color, black, reversed
• File Formats: .eps, .png, .svg, .jpg, .tif

• Type: text-only, text+symbol
• Sub-brands or product lines: extension of primary logo? different logo?
• Case: all caps, title caps, lowercase

Color Palette

• Define CMYK, HEX, and RGB values
• Primary: limit to 3-5 colors max
• Secondary palette: additional supporting colors/highlights?

• Contrast: one light and one dark color, one bright and one dull color
• Feel: cool, warm, bright, pastels, regional, related to name,


• Scope: limit to 2 fonts max, either very similar or very opposite styles

• Look and feel: modern, old fashioned, regional/cultural, handwriting
• Applications: can it cover both print and digital?
• Style guide: define size and case to use in titles, headers, sub-headers, body text, captions, pullquotes, lists

Style of Imagery

• Type: photography, illustration, text-only
• Source: self-made, stock, custom
• Style: portraits, candid, details, surroundings; build a library of wide angles and close-up details for contrast

Text Content (Copy)

• Source: self-written, in-house, hire copywriter
• Style: consider making a style guide to define voice; casual, formal, fun, weird, technical
• Multilingual options

Brand Standards Guide

• This acts as a manual to ensure consistency across the brand. It can be as simple as a one-page document designating color and fonts to an intricate book defining everything from minimum space around the logo to whether or not to add a space before and after an em dash.

print applications

Printed business collateral is becoming less and less common every day, but if you have a product business you are almost sure to need packaging and some supporting materials. Consider investing in template design. It will cost more up front, but if there are many iterations of a piece it will save on costs every time.

            Business Card

• Printing: standard size, custom size, matte finish, gloss finish, matte+gloss finish
• Content: which forms of communication are you comfortable with? email, work phone, cell phone, address, website, Skype; include logo; include QR code to vCard or website?

Product Packaging
            Primary packaging
            Secondary packaging

• Container type: based on content; box, bag, bottle
• Material: based on content; glass, metal, paper, plastic
• Opacity: opaque, translucent, clear; if not opaque, the inside content of the package becomes an element of the design
• Finish: glossy, matte, soft touch or special
• Design: print directly on container, add label(s)
• Label substrate: white paper, craft paper, white plastic, clear plastic, metallic plastic
• Printing: number of colors, special effects like foil stamp, embossing

Business Collateral
            Point of Purchase Materials
            Sell Sheet(s)/Brochure(s)
            Reports/White Papers
            Interior Design
            Apparel (Retail/Employees)
            Promotional Swag

• Printing: type of paper, thickness of paper, quantity, number of colors, special effects like foil stamp, embossing
• Ease of use: can anything be converted to digital to enhance customer experience?

digital applications

Make sure you carry over everything from your essentials (fonts, colors, etc.) to these applications.


• Type: “brochure”/basic website, e-commerce site, web-based service site

• At minimum include sections for your story, product or service information, contact info
• Content Management System: DIY web service, buy hosting and install WordPress, Drupal, etc.
• Maintenance: self-update, hire someone to update
• Compatibility: responsive design for computer, tablet, phone
• Advanced features: primary animations, secondary element animations, web-based client/customer tools (forms, accounts, etc.)

Presentation Template

• Viewing environment: dark background, light background

• Template: title slide, text slide, image slide, mixed content slide

Social Media

• Applications: profile image, header image, posts; consider creating templates for posts with design or a guide to style of imagery to remain consistent
• Accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.
• Accounts (physical location): FourSquare, Yelp, Google Maps
• Username: try to secure the same username across all platforms; may have to consider something other than simply your business name if one is taken


the best branding has a return on your investment and creates customer loyalty. if you sell your company, your brand assets can be monetized and sold with it.

brand recognition increases the perception of quality and commands a premium price

use techniques like symbolism, balance, contrast, color theory, typography, order, uniformity, and data hierarchy to draw attention, clarify data, and communicate complex ideas.