July 07, 2017

A deeper look into creating a brand system.

The “easy way” – launch with a package design, or similar, without a brand system in place.

  • Sometimes you don’t have the insight to plan ahead for a design system
  • It can be less expensive to just get a logo and say a package design done
  • You might be in a rush to open doors or get a new beer out

Downfalls of not having a brand system in place over time

  • No guidelines to fall back to for consistency
  • it can be easy to not have planned for certain situations, like long beer names, use of colors for other beer labels, etc.
  • If you need to hire a new designer or brewery team member to help manage products, it can take longer and be less consistent to start again.
  • Your products over time can become varied and possibly fall out of the original concept of your brewery’s design or basic branding.
  • Creating new products like merchandise or point of sale items can be more difficult

Making the time to create a new brand system

  • Budget for a designer to analyze your current design elements and assets
  • Make sure a brewery team member can take time to help work with a designer on this.

Great, what goes into a brand system design from an existing package and/or basic brewery design work?

How should you go about creating a brand system?

1. Take stock of all your existing design elements and products, website, labels, etc.

Design assets

What unique elements are being used across all your designs?

  • Textures or imagery
  • Colors
  • Fonts and use of typography
  • Icons or various supporting graphics
  • Logos – variations that are in use

Packaging, marketing collateral, website, etc

How are all these visuals looking together?

  • Can be helpful to put snapshots of all these products together in one document where you can compare them all together in one look.
  • How consistent are they, any noticeable big variations?
  • Are you using design assets or graphics in the same way across multiple items? Any similarities?
  • How are you using fonts and typography across these items? Any similarities?
  • Is the logo being implemented in the same fashion across these items?

2. Break apart all your designs into your pervious inventory

  • Take all the common and uncommon design elements and list them out as individual items.
  • List out the colors used, fonts, textures or imagery, logo usage, etc
  • Document this all to assist in creating a brand system for the next steps.

3. Create a brand system and guidelines for how to use them.

* Keep in mind during this step that you will want guidelines in this document to reference design files and assets moving forward.

  • Figure out what elements worked from previous research. If these elements worked and were implemented in a consistent way, you could create a new guideline on how to use these on new designs.
  • Did anything not work? You can create guidelines of what NOT to do on future designs
  • List out all the various fonts and use of for your brewery or beer brands
  • List out all the various logos and how they should be used.
  • If imagery is being used, what style is it in? This is ideally consistent and should be implemented in the same fashion on visuals.

Maybe you need to do a redesign of your branding if it is not strong? If you do, you can take successful elements from your previous work and use them in new designs and in a new brand system.

Organize your files!!

In creating your new brand system and guidelines, create references to actual design asset files to make it easier to use in the future.

Having organized design assets will make life much easier moving forward and can save you a lot of time AND consistency.

  • Don’t have to spend time looking for files.
  • Oh, that logo is on my home computer, NOPE
  • I don’t have that specific font available for you, use something close, NOPE.

If any of your team or designers need to do work for you, these assets will be easy to pick up and start using.

While you’re at it, you can create a list of vendors that provide production for your products. This can help if you ever need to maintain consistency or if you ever need to roll out a full brand redesign or refresh. Go back to episode 4 with Jason Roberson to hear more about doing this.

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