How to Use Your Brand Assets

If you’ve worked with a brand designer or branding agency, it is likely that at the end of the project they sent you an organized folder with many, many files inside—your “brand assets.” But how do you begin to use these files appropriately and implement your new visual branding? This article gives an overview of typical brand assets and some guidelines for using them effectively.

What are brand assets?

Brand assets, in a design context, are crucial elements that together define an entity’s visual identity. They work together to ensure that a company or organization’s marketing materials, online presence, and physical spaces are all cohesive, professional, and authentic. Visual brand assets refers to a brand’s logo files, color palette, fonts, and other graphics such as illustrations, icons, patterns, and brand guidelines document. Visual brand assets can also include stationery, presentation templates, social templates, and packaging.

Why are brand assets important?

Having well designed and well implemented visual branding helps attract customers, retain clients, and effectively communicate the value of a certain brand. Companies with strong brands bring in more revenue on average than companies with weak brands, because customers can better perceive them as high quality and are therefore more willing to pay premium prices.

How to use your brand assets

So, how do you use your brand assets? First of all, it’s important to understand that having brand assets does not eliminate the need to work with a graphic designer. Once you’ve invested in a strong visual brand, a graphic designer will be able to follow your brand guidelines and create marketing materials that are on-brand. 

However, there are many aspects of marketing and design that can be understood and implemented by members of your company who are not graphic designers. This guide will help empower you to use your brand assets effectively, regardless of your role and background. Just remember that there will be many projects that can be completed at a much higher quality and faster speed if you outsource them to a graphic designer, rather than trying to do it yourself if design is not your area of expertise.

how to use logo files

Your brand designer will provide you with high quality images and vector files of all your logo variations. Here's an overview of how to use some common logo file types.

EPS and AI — These are types of vector graphics files. They can be opened by professional graphic software. You can provide these file types to your graphic designer.

PDF — This stands for Portable Document Format and allows you to view a vector-based high-resolution image of your logo. You can often use a PDF when printing your logo or ordering custom products featuring your logo. You can also provide these files to a graphic designer, who can open them in professional graphic software to access the vector file.

PNG — PNG files are commonly used for web graphics, presentations, and applications with transparent backgrounds. PNG files should generally not be used for print. You can use PNG files in social graphics, on your website, and profile pictures.

SVG — This stands for Scalable Vector Graphic, and is great for use on the web. You can upload this file to your website or provide this file type to your graphic designer or web developer.

JPG — JPG is a common image file, but isn't very useful for logo files because they are raster-based files with white backgrounds. This means they cannot be scaled up and cannot be used on colored backgrounds.

how to use Brand Fonts

Brand fonts are building blocks for consistent typography across brand applications. In order to use your brand fonts you will need to purchase a license (unless it’s a free font), then download and install the fonts to your computer. The type of license you need will depend on who made the font, the number of users, and the ways you intend to use the font. Once your brand fonts are installed, you will be able to use them in programs on your computer. You can also add your brand fonts to online tools like Canva or Flodesk.

• How to install fonts on a Mac
• How to install fonts on a PC

how to use a brand Color Palette

Your brand guidelines should provide codes for each of your brand colors. These allow for consistent colors across both print and digital mediums. There are various types of color codes, including CMYK, RGB, and HEX.

CMYK — CMYK is color mode used for digital and offset printing. The letters correspond with the 4 ink colors of digital and offset printers, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). Use the CMYK values in your brand guide when creating something that will be printed using CMYK inks.

RGB — RGB is a color mode used for screens. The letters stand for Red, Green, and Blue. Use RGB values or a HEX code when creating something that will be viewed on screens.

HEX — A HEX code is a combination of 6 letters and/or numbers that identify a specific color on screens. HEX codes are  easy to copy and paste into a web platform, software, or digital template to bring up your exact brand color.

brand guidelines and other brand assets

Every business and brand is unique, and different brands will have different types of visual brand assets. Beyond logos, colors, and fonts, your brand may include branded patterns, illustrations, icons, photography, photo treatments, templates, and more. Your brand guidelines document will provide an overview of all these assets, so that a graphic designer can reference the document and ensure anything they design with your brand assets is reflective of your visual brand.

Need a branding expert or graphic designer?

Caitlin Hottinger Design specializes in brand identity creation and graphic design. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation about your branding or design needs.

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