Sometimes as designers and marketers, we don’t get to create the brands we work on. Instead, we inherit them from other creatives whole cloth.
Logos, fonts, color palates and existing marketing assets are often handed down from the client for us to work with. Other times, it’s little more than an existing logo and a smile. Regardless, it’s an existing brand and, suddenly, your task as a designer and as a firm is a slightly different one.
Brand maintenance and brand management are shades of the same idea. When you are given the reigns of an existing brand, it’s a responsibility to shepherd it properly along an already laid path. As with any task where the human ego is involved, there’s an immediate desire to tear the existing work down and redefine it based on one’s own preferences. But there’s great danger in that: one runs the risk of damaging the brand.
In particular, an established brand design… a logo or other defining visual element… comes with existing brand recognition. Goodwill built up over time is never something a designer or marketer should casually toss aside because their ego tells them they can do it better. Brand recognition is a tremendously valuable asset that should instead be nurtured.
When we become the steward of an existing design, it’s our job to understand that brand. To learn why it is the way it is and tailor new designs for marketing assets in line with the “flavor” of that brand. As the shepherds of a brand, we exist to serve that brand, not the other way around.
Written by Blog Contributor: Dee Fish