Website designers are often expected to work with inherited assets when they take over a web design project. This may make things hard if the previous designer did a subpar job. In some cases, the logos do not look great, the color scheme does not flow, the images look grainy, and more. Unfortunately, designers can’t always throw in the towel and say that they can’t work with the existing brand assets. There are times when one does not have a choice and clients may even refuse to redo their branding. So, what should you do if you have been given poor brand assets?
Legacy UI Assets
While this rarely happens, some clients may have leftover UI (user interface) assets that they really love. For example, it may be client’s very first Web 2.0 button that was designed decades ago and they insist on using it. Perhaps they may even have a basic-looking graph (not the ones you see in modern infographics) that showcases how their business works. If you have landed in a situation like this, consider incorporating photorealistic picture frames into these design elements. For example, you may turn their old button into a skeuomorphic one. This means that the web button will mimic its real-world counterpart when pressed.
Low Resolution Images
Received a zip folder consisting of low-res images? Don’t worry; you can consider making the size of these images intentional. To make the small images the center of attention, one can use large, blurry backgrounds. This technique would work well if you are dealing with macro and/or landscape photography. Company or team portraits, however, do not work as well for background material. It is best that the idea is dropped. If you are familiar with social media filters, it is possible to use them to turn old photos into “art.” For example, one can insert some harsh, spotty lighting; desaturate the photos, or even add a layer of film grain.
Strange Color Schemes
“I would like your design team to follow my company’s brand guide closely.” said the client. When you browsed through the guide, your design instincts warned that the color combinations will hardly spark any interest among today’s discerning users. The problem is that you still have to follow the brand guide. What should you do?
In this case, utilize the colors as sparingly as possible and add some white space between the elements. Many colors tend to leave a stale taste when they are in close proximity to each other. So, keep them apart and only use the client’s colors for emphasis. What if the client DEMANDS that you fill the entire background with bright green? You can salvage the situation by using a gradient to mitigate negative responses.
Your sixth sense tells you that the client is going to be pissed if his or her logo is not used in the main design. If it is really bad, you may have no choice but to ignore it. Leave it at its designated spot. Designers can buy some time to make his or her point on the poor logo design if the client requests to enlarge it. For example, you can make the rest of the site appear significantly better than the logo. Chances are, the client may consider redoing it.
There you go, these are a few techniques you can use when dealing with a difficult client’s poor brand assets. Hope that they help!