Developing a custom mobile app that accurately represents your brand requires careful preparation of branding assets to provide to the design team. Your branding elements set the visual tone and user experience, so you’ll want to ensure they are production-ready before the app design process begins. This prevents delays, confusion, and extra costs down the line.
Follow this best practice guide on assembling a comprehensive brand guide and assets package to seamlessly hand off to your chosen mobile app design company.
Audit All Current Branding:
Start by performing an audit of all existing brand elements you currently use across platforms. This includes:
- Logos: full color and single color versions, with and without taglines
- Fonts: primary and secondary fonts used in marketing materials with license info
- Color Palettes: primary and secondary colors with hex codes and usage guidelines
- Image Style: example images that represent your current photo style
- Tone and Voice: overview of brand messaging style and personality
Document everything clearly and denote which assets are up-to-date, needing refresh or redesign, and suitable for digital use.
Create New Assets If Needed:
Your audit may reveal branding elements that must be updated or created for app design purposes.
- Assess if logo files should be remade as vector files at higher resolutions. Rasterized JPG logos can appear pixelated in mobile apps.
- Expand your brand color palette to have sufficient colors if the app will have many screens. Light and dark mode colors may be needed too.
- Design a simplified icon set representing your brand’s visual identity for small icons in the app UI.
- Craft messaging specifically around your brand’s tone of voice for the app if it differs from your overall brand messaging.
Document Standards in a Brand Guide:
Consolidate the definitive brand assets and rules for use into a brand style guide document you can share with the app design company. Clearly specify:
- Official logo files and usage – spacing/size, color variations, backgrounds, etc.
- Font standard for headings vs. body text – both digital use license and styling info like caps, italics etc.
- Exact hex codes for all approved brand colors and their appropriate use cases
- Photo style guidelines on filters, effects, compositions, subjects, or other specs
- Rationale behind logo, fonts, colors etc. to guide design intuition
- Writing style/tone standards tailored to app content
- Any special UI/icon style requirements
Also share inconvenient or outdated assets that likely need a refresh. This allows the design team to potentially tackle those brand asset updates for better experience.
Provide Supporting Marketing Assets:
In addition to the definitive brand guide, any past marketing assets showcasing your branding visually also helps set direction. Share things like:
- Past website designs, ads, tradeshow booths, store decor, sales collateral etc.
- Recorded brand vision presentations from leadership
- Competitor app tear sheets for UX/functionality guidance
- User personas and customer journey maps
While the brand guide sets strict rules for usage, these supplemental materials provide helpful context for UI concepts.
Confirm Brand Asset Ownership:
Before transferring files, clarify any third party permissions needed to utilize branding assets provided. For example:
- If fonts are owned by other entities, confirm license grants digital embedding rights
- Check if photographed models signed releases allowing appearance in apps
- For any logos designed externally, request confirmation you hold rights for digital products
Owning proper rights prevents licensing issues down the road if questioned.
Frequently asked Questions:
You’ll want high resolution vector files (EPS, AI, SVG) and high-res raster files (PNG) with transparent backgrounds.
Experts recommend having at least 5 core branded colors, but allowing flexibility for up to 12 colors including shades and tints to provide enough options.
Be upfront about what assets need redesign and discuss the option of the app design company handling the refresh. This allows for better experience.
Yes, we find it most efficient to have the discrete digital asset files readily available. But please still provide the existing brand guide too.
Set Realistic Time Expectations:
App design and development spans months. From initial calls to launch takes discipline, attention, iterations and patience working closely as partners with your chosen mobile app design company. Setting realistic expectations upfront makes the process smoother for operationalizing your brand on a new platform.
Follow these best practices for assembling a turnkey brand guide and assets package for your app design partner. Invest time on the front end being ultra clear with standards and expectations. The payoff comes later with aligned visions for digital experiences authentically on brand.
At Codewave, we help companies big and small bring ideas to life as elegant mobile apps rooted in branding and user-centric design. Schedule a call to start the conversation!