Written by Samantha Bamaca
Director of Strategy

Ongoing Graphic Design Support | Tractor Supply Company

Nashville graphic design agency, Nice Branding Agency, works with Tractor Supply Company’s creative services department to create marketing materials that support their in-house efforts. TSC is a long-time client of NBA, and we’ve always loved being able both crank out design work, as well as consult on larger design strategy for the organization.

Although they have an existing brand in place, they can’t turn over projects to just any Nashville graphic design agency. At Nice Branding Agency, we’re branding experts. This means that we are pros at developing brands from scratch. It also means that we’re pretty picky about keeping existing brands intact. Now, that doesn’t mean that if you have an existing brand, we won’t bring ideas for improvement to the table. What we will do though, is schedule strategy sessions with you to discuss opportunities for a brand refresh.

However, while we’re working under the existing brand guidelines, we won’t let the train come off the tracks.

Our Tractor Supply Company Projects

For Tractor Supply Company, our Nashville graphic design agency works on a myriad of projects. Most of these consist of in-store materials, bag-stuffers, coupons, circulars, promotional materials, signage, billboard design, and projects that are similar in scope.

One of our favorite projects to date with Tractor Supply Company has been the creation and design of a custom suite of holiday season gift cards. Gift card design is crucial in a retail environment, and the design of the cards and a custom stand were paramount for the holiday sales season.

In short, we love what we do for TSC, but the processes and scope of work are significantly different for us than when we work on a branding project soup to nuts.

Here’s how we are committed to working with clients who have their own in-house creative services department or graphic designers.

On Brand. No Exceptions.

As mentioned above, when we work under the guidelines of an existing brand, there can be temptation. Temptation to tweak or augment the brand, to swap out the colors for a hue we might think would work better, or to select imagery that we feel would better represent the brand. And that’s not all. There are also instances where we are averse to the font pairings allowed under the brand. Or the backgrounds and textures regularly used are a big no-no in our book.

However, we are 100% committed to keeping the work on-brand. There are always improvements that can be made to the execution of the design. And where leeway is allowable under the brand, we will take the opportunity to improve. However, you certainly won’t see us putting up a blue and green billboard on behalf of Tractor Supply Company.

Similarly, the imagery, fonts, and copy will all always be in line with brand guidelines. Keeping it cohesive is just one of the ways we seek to serve without dismantling the brand.

Sidenote: Many companies are afraid to hire an agency to handle their graphic design needs. And for good reason. There are some freelance designers, or even agencies, that tend to go rogue with the brand. And little by little, you’ll have a mess on your hands. Files here, there and everywhere and designs that are diluting the brand are just a couple of the hazards of hiring out the work.

File Management As a Nashville Graphic Design Agency

With Tractor Supply Company, we are diligent in managing the files necessary to execute their graphic design projects. Now, this is no easy feat. When you’re working with an organization, it’s imperative that coordination and communication is seamless. We’ve set up internal systems for file management that ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

As with our other clients, we integrate with their project management system to further align when it comes to proof approvals, revision sharing, and the management of final art files.

Respect for Workflows

A big part of the process when it comes to our Nashville graphic design agency seamlessly integrating with an internal creative service or marketing department revolves around workflows and processes. It’s not fun for our clients or our team to be blindsided with bundles of projects that are due like, yesterday. It’s also not ideal for you if our team is sitting idly while your in-house team is spinning wheels.

So, naturally, we’re proactive about getting down to the nitty gritty with our clients regarding expectations. For Tractor Supply Company, we understand the typical timeline for turnaround on graphic design projects.

We also spent some time at the outset, outlining the process for approvals, so that we could minimize the number of steps it would take for a project to come to completion. And finally, we took some time to learn the project management system utilized by the in-house team. This way, we could efficiently upload proofs for approval, and manage revisions ourselves to an extent.

Turnaround Times

When working as an extension of an in-house team, our role shifts a bit. Instead of directing project schedules and determining scope, we are often taking direction and working our processes and timelines into larger overall campaign goals that are being managed by the client’s team.

As an example, let’s say that we are designing a billboard, window graphics, a bag-stuffer, and in-store signage for a new store opening. The opening date is shifting based on construction completion, and the marketing for the new store is being handled largely in house. Instead of us dictating the due date for the billboard and the expiration date for the coupon and working backward from the store opening date, we are taking direction from the creative services department, and trusting them to provide us with the information we need, when we need it.

Clear Expectations

For our Nashville graphic design agency, this isn’t always easy. We are the kind of girls who like to plan and schedule and strategize, so working without knowing all there is to know about everything there is going on, can be a challenge.

For this reason, we partner with organizations that we trust and that trust us. A good partnership means that we have an overall idea of the goals of the business, a solid point of contact, and expectations communicated up front. That’s not to say that some aspects of the aforementioned might change along the way. But having a nice framework for working together tends to breed success on both ends.

Nashville Graphic Design Agency | Getting in the Expert Seat

As we mentioned, our Nashville graphic design agency works in the role of creative services support. However, we are branding experts at heart. We handle the development of new brands from start to finish, and we refresh brands for existing organizations. We also do all of our own graphic design work, web design and development, social media advertising, organic social media design, and more.

So, there are times when we need to pump the breaks and jump in the driver’s seat. What I’m talking about here is the strategy.

When our team of strategists, designers, and copywriters identifies an opportunity for improvement, we won’t sit on that knowledge. Instead, we’ll string some thoughts together and present you with our ideas.

Often, this will lead to separate one-off projects that are designed to elevate the brand. For clients with an in-house department, this is especially essential. We know that after working on a brand for so long, it can be difficult to see the gaps. So, for this reason, our clients rely on us to bring forth ideas for innovation. And we’re more than happy to do so.

Overall, our relationship with Tractor Supply Company has been successful. This can be attributed to our attention to budgets, workflows, timelines, and brand guidelines, as well as our clients’ ability to trust us with the work and communicate clearly with our team.

If your organization is looking for a Nashville graphic design agency to take on overflow work or special projects, we would love to chat.


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