Under Australian Law the IP and native or source files (i.e. the program that the file was originally built in, and is editable) of all design work belongs to the designer or creative agency that created that work. If you wish to own the native files because you know you want to modify these files in the future this point can be discussed and negotiated at the time of signing your quote. The fee charged for releasing these files are dependant on a number of factors one being how these files will be used in the future and but a general rule of thumb is that a 50% additional charge applies based on the original fee. The common exception to this rule is for matters of brand identity, such as logo design, (the IP and source files will be released on payment) or websites, which by nature must be updated frequently.
The truth is your logo is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your brand identity. True your logo is the foundation of your brand and will contain all the elements that make up your brand assets like colour palette, typography, iconography etc that will set the creative tone and messaging but there is so much more to branding.
Your brand is made up of many different channels and elements, all consistent and all reinforcing your product or service’s positioning statement and messaging. The strongest, boldest and most memorable logo is useless if all the other elements of your brand aren’t carried through properly. You and your business will need to employ multiple avenues to get your message out there, these platforms can range from; your business cards, website, social media presence, digital campaigns, printed publications through to media advertising. You and your staff will also be a walking, talking, living, breathing expression and representation of your brand! You should be employing every relevant medium and platform you can to build your brand presence and strength out there in the marketplace.
A style guide will cover many of the do’s and dont’s that your brand assets need to follow. Your brand assets are made up of the unique elements that make up your brand including but not limited to; your mission statement, colour palette, type face family and usage, colour systems, treatment of imagery (photography, custom graphics, icons) etc. Some areas we cover for our clients in these guides once we have outlined the overarching brand assets is their general usage (positioning, clear space, colour options). Then there is usually a section that outlines these rules in situ, with sample applications i.e. stationery including business cards, letterheads, memo, fax, email signatures, report document, website etc.
When it comes to branding its very important to have a well considered, strategic logo, however if these brand assets aren’t consistently and coherently rolled out onto all of your printed and online marketing collateral then you have missed your opportunity to maximise your branding and strengthen your image and profile in the marketplace. In some cases we have clients who come to us for logo design then use their in-house employee to roll out all their marketing pieces. That’s where style guides come in. If you are going to use in-house resources make sure you have a coherent style guide for your in-house team to follow so that everyone is across and on board with how your brand assets are rolled out for consistency and professionalism across all marketing material.
Fresco has a strict process we follow to ensure that all the branding and logos created in our studio satisfies a thorough design brief. Having a strong brief is a fail safe means of ensuring that clients will end up with a relevant and strategic logo that they will be happy with, not just from a subjective standpoint but from a strategic standpoint in that it fulfills and supports their business objectives.
We have a proven track record of delivering strong brand solutions for our clients, this is all thanks to the following process.
- Meet with the client to create a design brief. This is followed by research and analysis to ascertain the positioning of the company which will drive the design ideas behind the design.
- The creation of 2 or 3 unique logo concepts for the brand/logo. The different designs all approach the brief from a different perspective to cover all bases, we explore the brand’s colour palette, icon and typography and designs come with a comprehensive outline behind the strategy behind these components.
- The client chooses one concept that he/she feels best represents their company or business. This chosen concept is allowed 3 sets of amends to further develop the initial ideas, these amends are based on our client’s feedback and input so we are all working collaboratively towards the same goal.
This whole process can take between 2-4 weeks. If after this process the client still feels the logo needs more work, we then start to charge an hourly rate (in addition to the initial fees quoted) to keep exploring the chosen concept to get it to the point our clients will be happy with it. Its important to note that rarely does it get to this point if we are provided with a thorough brief and follow the above process.
Its important to understand that all our design work is approached from an objective strategic perspective rather than a subjective “I just like the look of it”. Therefore the above process ensures a positive out come for our clients. As we are providing a service as opposed to a product (much like an architect, lawyer or doctor), we need to charge for our head hours regardless of whether our clients decide to go ahead with our concepts and design ideas, so a charge will be applied to cover this advice, time and IP.
When you start working with a design agency you might hear a few different file format names being bandied around; Rasta, Jpeg, Vector, PNG, etc etc. Its enough to make your head spin and if you are confused over the difference between these many file types you are not alone. One of the first questions you are likely to be asked is if you have a vector file of your logo. A vector file is essential if you want your brand properly represented and isn’t something you can just “pull off your website”, here’s why.
Vector images (unlike Rasta) are constructed using mathematical formulas rather than individual coloured blocks and are therefore the perfect file to use when creating graphics and marketing material. Vector files allow for flexibility in resizing which means your Vector logo can be used for small output onto business cards and letterheads but also can be used for large output jobs like on the side of your company jet! Rasta files can be used but only if the file is supplied in the exact dimensions it meeds to be outputted to. Otherwise the result will be a low resolution pixellated logo.