As a graphic designer I have an unusual love of brands. I love looking at well designed brands, I love reading about brands, I love working out why another designer created a brand the way they did and most of all I love designing brands. What I don’t love is working with brands that haven’t been loved enough to have their finished art completed correctly.

The value of a brand is in its consistent usage so it astounds me when I come across one which is considered completed when it still has fonts and strokes which haven’t been outlined, white boxes overlaying images or clipping masks. Unless the brand can exist as an outline it is not complete.

For most people this may seem irrelevant, surely if the brand looks good in the PDF proof you’ve been sent it’s going to look good everywhere? Wrong! The reality is when an end user opens your brand in a vector editing software program such as Adobe Illustrator, Freehand or even most Signwriting software, an unfinished brand can dramatically change depending on the preferred settings of the user. Strokes can become unusually large or small when the brand is scaled and fonts won’t display correctly unless they are installed on the user’s machine. If the user is not on the ball you may end up with quite a different looking brand.

At Jack in the box while we are working on a brand it will often be in a rough format with live fonts and white boxes covering up areas we want to hide. However as soon as we are happy with the design, and the client has approved it we create a final art version, with outlined fonts and strokes and all overlaying areas properly cut through. We make sure there is no chance that once the brand is passed onto one of our printers or suppliers that it will morph into something different.

A good designer will also create your brand in several formats so that it can easily be used on the web, in 2 and 4 colour print, press, embroidery, signwriting etc. By doing this the chance of error is minimised and brand consistency can be maintained.

One format whose value cannot be understated is the mono version. I have always been taught that if a brand does not work in solid black it doesn’t work at all. So it always surprises me when I come across a brand where no mono version has been created. Often it is because it is impossible to make a mono version of the brand, other times it is because the designer hasn’t been bothered or has forgotten. Although a mono brand won’t be used as often as colour versions it is important to have one, particularly for applications such as screen printing and branding of promotional items and especially so that no one other than your designer will try and create one.

The best solution is to use a quality designer in the first place who understands the different applications where the brand will potentially be used, and will provide you with what you are likely to need. You may pay a little more but the value of what you pay for will be far greater. If you need a brand created or your brand is in need of some attention speak to us here at Jack in the box. We’ll love your brand as much as you do.