Re-branding? Be smart about it!

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We love to make money, but hate to see people waste it. If you have decided that the industry buzzword “rebrand” describes something you’re going to do, please make sure that you or the person you’ve hired to do it are not making expensive mistakes. Here are three I’ve seen in the last few days, and how they might have been avoided.

  • Designer not understanding printing. This one is increasingly common as a whole crop of talented designers who make websites look beautiful take on branding projects for businesses. A friend and client hired someone to redesign their entire “package.” Logo, business cards, letterhead and stationary. The logo was very well executed. Heck… probably award-winning. And the usage on the rest of the elements was equally attractive. The problem? What it will cost to produce. The logo, though not garish requires full color printing. That means a four-color printing press must be used, which rules out most quick printers. And while there are cheap on-line full-color printers, they typically do not have the choice in paper that a local print provider can offer.  Both the letterhead and the envelope featured a “full-bleed,” i.e printing that extend beyond the borders of the page. That’s not a particularly big deal on the letterhead (though will add to production time because the paper must dry completely before it can be cut). But on the envelope, it requires “converting” — the process of printing the envelopes as a flat sheet and then die cutting, gluing and assembly. Top quality 2-color envelopes without bleed in the quantity this client needs might cost $200. As presented to us it’s $1800. The bad news continues. The envelope, though “cool,” has a stripe at the bottom in a spot where the post-office frequently needs to print barcodes… so these beautiful envelopes will also lead to slower (or possibly missed) delivery. And when it is time to put the logo on a sports-bottle or ball-cap…. same sort of problems. The lesson: Make sure your designer either understands printing or has talked to a printer before the design process starts.
  • Being your own designer. You will NOT save money by making your own letterhead with an-online tool/website. We at Reno Type have seen a lot of money go into the toilet when small business owners tried to save a buck. A major medical practice who shall remain anonymous contacted us to  have their letterhead reprinted. The managing partner really has a solid design sense and had a solid idea of what he wanted, so he hound a cheap place online to execute his concept. Execute is right! The finished pieces were completely worthless. Bad printing. Bad paper choice. The letterhead wasn’t even standard size, so no office printer could use it. The lesson: If you want to design it yourself and thereby save the expense of a designer, it is even more important that you team up with a printer you know and trust.
  • Musical Brands. One entity. Same name for 35+years… but now with the third logo and identity since 2008. Each time they buy thousands of dollars of collateral material… and then throw much of it away when the next identity is conceived. In none of these cases was the printer consulted, and in none of these cases was a true professional designer involved. Not only is there huge waste in printing, the brand is suffering mightily. The lesson: If you keep trying to do it yourself and keep realizing that it isn’t working… fer goshsake at least TALK to a pro the next time. A real designer will not charge you for a consultation. And a designer who knows the world of print AS WELL AS the world of design will almost certainly save you money, even after their fee is accounted for.

We at Reno Type are not designers. We are more than happy to talk to you or your designer at any stage in the process (the earlier the better though). As many of our clients are among the most experienced and skilled designers in the area, we are able to recommend exactly the right person for your budget and need. We love expensive print jobs, and have in fact won international awards for the quality of our work. But we’d rather see our clients succeed than have another trophy!

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