For most companies, a corporate identity package starts with the basics: business card, letterhead, envelopes. But you might want to add other materials, from stickie notes to magnetic signs for your car. Here’s a checklist of items you might want to consider:
Before you do anything else with your corporate identity, you’ll need to get your logo designed. If you don’t want to spend what an ad agency or design firm would charge, look for a freelance designer. Can’t afford that? Find a designer willing to trade out a logo for something you can provide. Just make sure you have a logo designed professionally by someone with real talent. Once you choose a design, ask the designer to show how it would work in both color and black and white, and in horizontal and stacked format.
Do not go to the copy center on the corner and get a cheap black and white business card. That will immediately brand you as a shoestring startup, and not one destined for sweeping success. If you’re on a tight budget, you can have your business cards printed digitally, which will limit your choice of paper but will be much cheaper than regular printing. Choose a card stock that feels substantial; you don’t want your card to be too flimsy. Make sure you include all your contact information on your business card, from physical address to email address, phone to fax.
This piece of stationery typically includes your company logo (and company name, if that’s not part of your logo) and physical address. If the company is you and you alone, you might add your name and your email address. Some people include their phone number or website. If you don’t plan on sending out a lot of correspondence by snail mail, you might consider just having an electronic version of your letterhead and not printing it at all. If you ever need a hard copy, you can print it out on a color laser printer. If you do want your letterhead printed, you’ll generally save a good bit with digital printing. A useful rule of thumb is that quantities under 1,000 sheets are usually cheaper to print digitally than offset.
This page generally includes only the logo and company name, with no additional information. If you plan to write long letters, or contracts, this second page can be useful, but some people never use it at all.
This item is about to become archaic, if it isn’t already. If you’re not a faxer, just skip it.
Commonly referred to as a Number Ten, this is the envelope that fits your letterhead. If you work with a designer who comes up with some fabulous envelope design with special flap or a color printed on the inside, that envelope will be a good bit more expensive to print because it will have to be specially constructed. You might want to stick with a stock envelope that already exists and let your gorgeous logo be the creative part.
Do you see yourself dashing off a lot of handwritten notes to clients and contacts? Handwritten notes seem to be making a comeback, as a backlash to all our electronic communication. You might want a small quantity of note sized paper and envelopes with your logo and contact info.
You might use a label more often than an envelope. If you anticipate sending more packages or flat mailers than regular business letters, then you’ll want a nice label. If you don’t want to invest in having them printed, use blank labels from the office supply store and get your designer to set up a template so that you can print a sheet of labels on your color printer.
Pads of stickie notes with your logo can be very useful. On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend the money, nobody’s going to subtract points because you use a basic yellow Post-It instead.
Will you need signage for your store? The lobby wall of your office? The sides of your trucks? If so, make sure it looks as professional as the rest of your materials.
Do you want everyone in your landscaping company to wear the same shirt with your logo? Would you like to give away company baseball caps to your clients? Do you like the idea of a necktie with your logo on it? You can find just about anything you want online or at a promotional items company in your area.
Coffee mugs, pens, clocks, memory sticks, beach towels, you name it. You can put your logo on just about anything that doesn’t move, and probably some that do.