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Nailing Brand Consistency in Event Design

There’s no question that one of the most creative ways to capture attention and engage audiences with your event marketing pieces is through the effective use of elements like graphic design.  Yet, as eye-catching, creative, and colorful graphic designs are, they must also maintain brand consistency for your organization, since your event marketing pieces are ultimately a part of a larger brand story. As such, each marketing piece created for your organization’s events should always be cohesive with your brand. But how do you ensure that happens? Here are four ways to help keep brand consistency top-of-mind for the graphic designers you work with:

  1. Establish and Maintain Set Brand Guidelines – Before you engage a graphic designer, make sure your organization has developed a set of parameters that convey how your organization wishes to be portrayed. This document itemizes essential elements that are the bedrock of your organization’s ethos and should be consistent across marketing pieces. These elements include font styles, logos, color schemes, and placement. These guidelines should be provided to graphic designers before the start of any new design projects. 
  2. Convey the Event Theme(s) – Gather as much information as you can about the event’s theme to share with the designer. Some of the elements you collect may include photos from previous events, samples of past collateral pieces for other events, reasons for the milestone occasion or any specific elements of the celebration, or other marketing pieces that can be used as inspiration for the design.
  3. Set a Design Kickoff Meeting – Schedule a meeting with your selected designer to provide a list of the elements you’d like created for the events as well as information on timelines for deliverables and a communication plan for the review and editing process. This meeting is a good opportunity to get a sense of the designer’s values and vision and review examples of work they’ve created for other events. Keep in mind that having a designer who listens, accepts creative guidance, and understands your brand’s image will be critical to ultimately getting deliverables that capture both your brand style and the event vision.
  4. Review a Collateral Checklist – Develop an itemized list of materials needed for the event and have it ready to discuss with your graphic designer. Typical event collateral may include:
  • `Sponsorship Materials – A detailed list of sponsorship levels, benefits, and ticket prices as well as prospective ad specifications.
  • Pre-Event Graphics – Items such as a “save the date”, invitations, letterhead, and social media graphics are other options to consider for this list.
  • Website Banner – If you’re designing a microsite or custom landing page for the event, have the contents of this page ready to discuss with the designer.  (Make sure to have the appropriate dimensions on hand for these online graphics).  Other web elements could include digital banners/posters or pop-up ads.
  • “Day of” or “Night of” Event Materials – Don’t forget – the most captivating elements will be those featured at the event. This design package should include: a slide deck template for on-screen recognition, themed centerpieces, wayfinding signage, branded nametags, Instagram frames or Snapchat filters, the event program, and possible thank you notes for post-event. 

The devil in the details

Being specific and prescriptive at the outset of the project is the best way to ensure that your creative vision for your event is aligned with your organization. Setting expectations up front will go a long way toward ensuring that timelines are met and you exceed your marketing goals. 

Finding the right designer to handle your event marketing pieces can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be. TME can recommend a wide variety of talented artists to help you choose the best fit for you and your event.

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