First think of some of the iconic brands and logos of our time, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Apple all have a similar trait, simple and clean. All these logos are easily reproduced on many items and in one color. Designers often create amazing logos and then hand them to the client or vendor to be printed with no consideration on the print process. How will the number of colors, reverses, bleeds etc. impact my print budget? Can the logo be reproduced accurately by 4 color process (CMYK).
Recently we were brought in at the 11th hour (after the redesign was done) and helped a new client print their corporate stationery. The agency which did the redesign created a comprehensive style guide complete with correct PMS colors all designated to be on coated stock. Come to find out the decision maker didn’t like anything printed on coated paper. To add further issues the logo is 3 PMS colors and black. The client was under the assumption the logo could simple be printed using 4 color process. The PMS colors called for don’t reproduce accurately utilizing the 4 color process. Long story short regardless of client or vendor side of the equation, ask questions!
Next step is considering items beyond stationery and brochures. Your organizations logo/brand is your lifeblood; everywhere it appears it should be the same. There are so many options for clothing, uniforms and other promotional items. If you have a multi-colored logo how will it reproduce in one color (black or white) many times these decisions are budget driven. Will you reverse a portion of the logo to have a shirt color replace part of the logo? The best way to tackle this exercise is to look at what you have historically ordered and plan accordingly. Some companies take their style guide one step further and address one color usage, reverses and placement on promotional items for their core items.
Best of luck on your future designs.