December 16, 2020
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, the end of the year is typically a time to wind down and reflect on the year that has passed. Whether you’re coming off a busy holiday sales season or you’re a service-based business trying to wrap up client work before taking a break, now is the perfect time to think about your business as a whole (instead of all the work you do inside it).
Normally, this includes end-of-year billing, project offboarding, income and expense reports, goal and KPI reviews… all that “fun stuff.” But there’s something that we at the Design Lab see get overlooked often in this wrap-up-and-review season: your design and branding!
The truth is: Your design and branding elements will change, even over the course of a year. As you create different marketing initiatives or lean more into a certain type of content, like podcasts, Instagram posts, etc., you may realize that your design process needs a little love.
One of the things that comes up most for our clients is realizing they want a fresh graphic template for the New Year, one that pulls out certain elements of their brand that have become more pronounced over the year. Or maybe they want a better process to help cut down on the time they spend creating new graphics for Instagram or sales page mockups. They want to stop spending a million hours on design because they’re unhappy with their templates, or they have to search for the right logo or color or pattern every time they get started.
To make sure that your design and branding are working for you, we don’t recommend that you just address them piece by piece. Instead, we recommend completing a full audit of all your design elements and all of the places your brand is reflected.
This will ensure that your design process — and all the facets that require design inside your business — can be strengthened just in time for the New Year!
Before you get ahead of yourself, here’s a list of what you’ll need to start your design audit:
You’ll also want to pull up accounts or assets like:
Now that your computer’s browser and hard drive are working over time, it’s time to get started on your audit!
Of course, all of this can take time, especially if you need to implement any changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need an “audit accountability buddy,” we have just the thing!
Everything we listed above is a fantastic place to start when it comes to completing your design audit. But if you want to make sure that you didn’t miss anything — and also see the processes we follow here at the Design Lab when doing an audit — we’ve got a free resource for ya.
We cover things like how to make sure your logo is on point, how to ensure that your audience can easily read your graphics, checking for a streamlined process that helps you execute on your design… the (check)list goes on!
This checklist will also help you cut down on design hours and frustration by helping you identify, define, or even fix the parts of your process that have been causing friction. Plus, you’ll be able to create a record of what you use consistently so you can cut down on your design time and start liking your design again. Wouldn’t that be nice?
So, if you want to really ensure that your design + brand are on point for the New Year, you can download this Brand Audit Checklist here!