What’s an Identity System?

 

You may have heard us say it before… but your logo is not brand. Your identity system (or brand identity), is not your brand either.

But it is one of the lynchpins that make up your brand, which includes all the sensory elements that your customers experience when they encounter you:

  • Your logo (😏)
  • Your colour scheme
  • Your type and font
  • Brand extensions (icons, thumbnails, photography…)
  • Your language and tone of voice

All of these elements work as one cohesive system that communicates who you are to your customers, and why you’re different from others in your industry.

Your identity system marks and defines every possible asset you put out there: presentation slides, restaurant menus, bus posters, business cards, and every single post you create on LinkedIn or Tiktok.

Your identity system gives visibility to your purpose, vision, and values. It communicates to your clients why they should choose you.

What do I get in my Brand Identity package?

We offer two tiers of Brand Identity and Logo Packages, very creatively titled ‘Basic’ and ‘Plus’ 🙃. For both packages, you need to already have a clear Brand Strategy – this may be something you’ve already done with us or with another strategist. If this is a missing for you, take a look at ‘Your Brand Journey’ for some information on how (and why) you can get started.

Take a look below for more detail, and if you’re still not sure, feel free to send us an email or book a call.

For an example document of our ‘basic’ brand guide, click the button below 👇🏽.

Basic Package

We find that most start-ups and solopreneurs do well with the basic package – we call it basic but it’s pretty comprehensive. Once the business grows and the need for the ‘plus’ deliverables emerges, we’ll still be here and we can take care of that when the time comes ✨.

However, if you’re an established small-medium business looking to refresh your brand, and you have an in-house design team who will be producing assets, consider getting the more comprehensive ‘plus’ package.

Basic Package

Responsive Logo Package

We provide your logo design in the following formats. Having these different versions is important to account for the different ways you may need to use your logo. This includes variations in size, social media platform, digital and print specifications etc.

  • Stacked and Horizontal
  • Full Colour (Print and Digital)
  • Flat Colour (Print and Digital)
  • Black and White (Dark and Light Backgrounds)
  • Submarks and Logotype
  • Provided in all filetypes (PNG, SVG, PDF)

See an example of a responsive logo package here.

Basic Package

Basic Brand Guide

Along with your logo files, we provide you with a PDF document that details all the various elements of your identity system, how it aligns with your brand strategy, and how to apply it to any assets (internal and external) associated with your brand.

  • Brand Colours – #HEX Codes, RGB, CMYK and Pantone Values (don’t worry – you won’t need to know what these are until a printer asks you – then you’ll know where to look!)
  • Primary Type – The font that you’ll use for all brand assets as much as possible.
  • Alternative Type – A free alternative font that can be installed on any device, should the primary type not be available.
  • Basic Application Guide – We will show a basic example of how your identity system can be applied to a common asset such as a poster or a landing page.
  • Basic Tone of Voice – A short guide on how to use language that represents your brand’s purpose, vision, and values. If you worked on a Brand Strategy with us, you would already have this.

See an example of a basic identity guide here.

Plus Package ++

The Plus Package has everything in Basic, with the following key extras. These are primarily designed to ensure that your brand is being represented correctly with each asset when you have a team of people creating content for your business. The bigger your team, the more essential this is. 

Plus Package

Stylescapes

If you’re looking to take your brand to a whole new different direction, and want to refresh all aspects of your brand identity, then this is an important first step before even considering your logo.

Stylescapes allow you to get an experiential feel of what your overall brand can look like without committing to a particular direction right at the start.

We will present you with three style options (all of which will be aligned with your key values, purpose and vision), allowing plenty of time and space for dialogue and seeing what works and doesn’t work.

You can download some examples of stylescapes here.

Plus Package

Complete Brand Guide

In addition to everything in the Basic Package, you will also get:

  • Master Logo File – If you have an in-house design team, having an editable file can come in handy in case they want to pull certain elements for any creative assets that they’re producing.
  • Full Application Guide – We would also provide detailed guidelines on how to use the logo, right down to how much white space should be left around it, the minimum and maximum size it should be and how to pair it with other elements like taglines.

It gets pretty pedantic (🙊), but this is to ensure that your brand assets remain consistent, even when you have a full team of people who may be working on different assets.

Plus packagE

Tone of Voice Guide

In the Plus Package, we will also provide you with a full Tone of Voice Guide that details everything to do with language and writing copy:

  • Narrative style, e.g. are you always telling a story to engage your reader, or do you get to the point and give them what they need efficiently?
  • Use of verbs, nouns, and adjectives to simplify, or to elaborate and add colour.
  • Creating a visual flow that matches your overall identity system through formatting.
  • Use of language customs to align with your target audience.
  • Defining your relationship with readers through voice, vocabulary, and other language features.

All of the above (and more) create your tone of voice. It’s important that this is integrated into your identity system and aligned with your brand strategy – especially if there will be many people who will be writing on behalf of your brand.

What’s the process?

We have a very collaborative approach, and we will have check-in calls at every stage until completion. We want to make sure that we stay aligned, that there are no surprises for anyone, and that your brand purpose, vision, and values stay front and centre.

See below for what a typical experience would look like. Of course, each journey has its nuances. We’re not married to a script and we will do what there is to be done to navigate your unique set of challenges.

1. Exploration Call

If you did your Brand Strategy with us, the exploration call will be integrated into the final session. That’s the point where we will decide if you need a the ‘basic’ or ‘plus’ package, and we would also have a clear sense of how your purpose, vision and values will translate to a visual system.

If you’re coming to use with an existing Brand Strategy, we will take a look at that and have a 1-hour exploration call with you in which we will determine which package is right for you, and get a sense of the visual direction that you want to take.

2. Stylescapes ++

One key advantages of the ‘plus’ package is that you get to really explore far and wide through style scapes. If your business is in a highly saturated market (e.g. skincare, food or fitness) and one of your business goals is to have a clearly and visually distinguish your brand, this would be a really beneficial step for you.

If your business is already established in your market and you are at the stage of growth, you will still need to distinguish your brand. However, you may choose to focus your resources on maintaining consistency across all customer touch points, and therefore honing in on a strong responsive logo and a brand guide that your team can follow.

3. Logo Presentation

We will create some initial designs for you, taking into account everything from your Brand Strategy, and the chosen visual direction from the Stylescapes (on ‘plus’ package). We will present these initial designs to you on a video call so that we can tell the story of your brand. This is also gives you the opportunity to provide immediate ‘gut feeling feedback’ and engage in dialogue so we adjust and redirect the concept as needed.

4. Adjustments and Dialogue

Once everyone is aligned on the design, we will make the final adjustments and revisions to the logo. There may be a second round of presentations, to make sure that every detail communicates your brand and values just right.

One thing to note about our process is all exchanges regarding the logo and brand design is done via video call in in person, rather than by email. This allows us to work though any uncertainties in real time, and capture nuances that simply can’t be communicated by text or email. This does entail an extra investment of time for both of us. But, in our experiences, this is definitely worth our while.

5. Logo Package and Brand Guide

Once all designs are finalised, you will receive your Logo Package and Brand Guide. This will include:

  • All versions of your responsive logo, in various file formats (SVG, PNG, PDF) that you can use across all your platforms (website, social media, print collateral, packaging…)
  • A brand guide that detail your brand colours, font, imagery, tone of voice and an application guide.

The level of detail will depend on whether you have the ‘basic’ package or the ‘plus’ package.

Click here to download an example of a basic package logo and brand guide.

6. Tone of Voice ++

With a basic package, you will receive a short tone of voice guide that tells you the overarching message of the brand. This is derived from your Brand Strategy. The ‘plus’ package gives you a much more thorough guide that details exactly what linguistic styles and rich text formatting to use.

This guide comes in a fully designed PDF booklet, complete with you own brand identity. See here for an example of a Tone of Voice Guide.

If you get the ‘basic’ package and later on decide that you need a more detailed Tone of Voice guide, we can offer this as a separate deliverable as well. Similarly, if you already have a strong Brand Strategy and Identity System but need to create consistency with your copy, you can also have this as a separate service.

A few more questions…

Go ahead!👂🏽…

We have put together some FAQs below, but if we haven’t answered your questions feel free to shoot us an email. 

Do I get to choose from different logo options?

As a general rule, we provide you with one initial logo draft, with one or two slight variations. If the brand strategy is strong and we have a clear sense of your purpose, vision, values, voice and target audience, the visual direction tends to be quite clear as well.

In our experience, providing too many options at this stage creates confusion and is somewhat redundant as the direction is already aligned. If we felt that there are still choices to make regarding the style direction, we may recommend that you get the ‘plus’ package to explore a range of different stylescapes before beginning the logo design process.

However, this initial draft is a draft – we will work with you to revise and fine tune it until everything feels solid and aligned with your brand strategy.

What if I change my mind about the logo design?

We are here to dialogue at every step of the design process. The stylescaping step is handy because it’s a ‘drawing board’ that we can go back to if we feel we need to change the stylistic direction of your brand identity. So, we may recommend this as an additional service if you are unsure.

Depending on the package you’ve purchased and how far into the process we are, big overhauls and revisions may come under a new scope of work and therefore a new quote.

How long will it be until I have my logo?

Once the final logo presentations are complete and approved by you, you will receive your responsive logo files and brand guide within 5-10 working days. 

I don't have a brand strategy, but I need a logo now.

It’s very rare that we would take on a logo project without a clear brand strategy. However, this can depend on the reason you need a logo immediately, and the size of your business. 

The best thing to do is to send us an email. If we’re not able to help you ourselves, we can connect you with one of our contacts who may be a better fit for you. 

 

How do I make sure my team uses the identity system properly?

If you have a very large marketing team with multiple designers working on different assets, we recommend getting the ‘plus’ package which will give you a more comprehensive brand guide, that details how to apply an use the identity system. 

If you have a more agile team with key members engaging in different parts of the business, we can also schedule a short training workshop as a separate service. 

You may also want to consider using digital templates that incorporates your brand for assets that you use repeatedly – pitch decks, event posters etc. 

What's the investment?

It depends. We know, 🙄… but it really does depend on many factors such as the size of your business, the price point of the product you offer, the project revenue increase as a result of our work with you, the project’s timeline… 

We have 3 different pricing structures:

  • Fixed Fee Projects – Perfect for deliverables that you’ll only need once like your brand strategy or identity system. 
  • Loyalty Club – Our retainer model in which you can pay a monthly subscription of ‘credits’, that can be rolled over to the next month (up to 6 months). This allows you to spread the cost of long-term projects such as content creation, and website maintenance without having to over-pay for quiet months. 
  • VIP Days – These are designed to give you our 100% focused attention over short period of time. This is perfect for projects that have a very tight turn around such as a product or event launch. 

The best thing to do is book a call, and we’ll be happy to create a bespoke quote for you. 

Are you ready to get started?

👇🏽
👇🏽

Let’s do it. When can we speak?

Yay! 🕺🏼 

All there is to do is book a call! Please leave a note to tell us what you’d like to enquire about, and we’ll make sure we’re ready for you. 😉 

I need something else.

Can we help? 👋🏼

If you don’t yet have a Brand Strategy, take a look at ‘Your Brand Journey’ and see if this is the path for you. 

If you’re looking for a different deliverable, see our capabilities. Or ping us an email and we’ll see if we can hook you up with the right person. 

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Sign up with your best email to receive the latest blogs and content from RCM Creative. We promise not to send you junk, ever.