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Protecting Your Brand Assets: 7 Common Mistakes

If you have a brand, you need to protect its visual assets.

That sounds simple, right? But we see the same mistakes over and over again.

That’s why we decided to break down the most common mistakes we encounter when it comes to brand assets so you can avoid slipping on similar banana skins yourself.

This might not be the most scintillating blog post we’ve ever written, but it’ll be one of the most valuable you’ll read this year. So, listen up!


MISTAKE 1: Losing original design files

We frequently work with clients who don’t have access to the original design files for their logos, wordmarks, and other key assets.

This is annoying. For everyone.

Make sure you keep the InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator files from the initial design process as well as high quality exports of each design asset – and keep plenty of backups, too!


MISTAKE 2: Losing high resolution image files

It really is a good idea to retain image files in their original formats and in the highest resolution or file size possible.

Because we can guarantee you’ll be asked for them at some stage.

This is true for photography as well. Be sure to keep the highest resolution image (sometimes referred to as the ‘raw’ file), even if you need to resize and save smaller versions of an image.


MISTAKE 3: Accidentally altering original design files

What if, one day in the future, you decide to revive an old logo or wordmark? Sprinkle it with your brand’s new design language, maybe? Or revise the font choice, perhaps?

To ensure you can do this, be sure to duplicate any original design file you receive and save a new version and version control it with a numbering/date system.

Otherwise, you could end up permanently altering one of your most valuable assets. Not a good idea – trust us.


MISTAKE 4: Forgetting to keep EPS versions of large print assets

The term ‘EPS’ stands for Encapsulated PostScript, and it is a vector graphic of your design.

These are small, scalable, and editable images made up of geometric shapes that can be printed in high resolution and on any scale of your choosing. They’re invaluable, and you really don’t want to lose them.

If you don’t keep EPS versions of large print pieces, you may not be able to print a sharp, clear image on a large scale, and that could seriously hamper your marketing projects.


MISTAKE 5: Using the wrong file format (PNG v. JPG!)

The term ‘PNG’ stands for Portable Graphics Format and relates to a raster-graphics format that supports lossless data compression. You can make the background of PNG images transparent, which is useful for a huge number of scenarios including social media graphics and video work.

The term ‘JPG’ relates to a form of compression used on digital images to reduce their file size. You’ll come across JPG images most frequently in photography.

Whenever possible, save your design files and images as PNG and also as JPG. It’s great to have both to hand.


MISTAKE 6: Using colours that are almost your brand colours… but not quite

To retain your original brand colours, you’ll need to store notes about the exact Pantone, CMYK, HEX, or RGB breakdowns used.

When you pull those colours into design projects, the Pantone, CMYK, HEX, or RGB breakdowns will be essential, and every single designer on the planet will ask for them.

Make sure you know these breakdowns! Guesswork is never okay and will lead to inaccuracies and inconsistencies.


MISTAKE 7: Being totally disorganised with file storage

If all of these files are so important, where should they be kept?

Choose a location where every member of your team can access them, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If your company or team is very small and only a couple of people require access, keep the original files with a senior owner. Your designer should certainly have copies, but the designer should not be the only one who has the files.

Oh, and always keep a backup in a separate location, and then backup the backup. You cannot have too many backups.

Make sure your files are easy to access too. Work from the same design in the same place each time and keep track of versions. Maintaining this way of working is the only way to ensure consistency in design across your brand’s assets.


Need branding help? Get in touch with the Be Smart team, today!

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