UK-based startup OpenBrand recently launched their design delivery service for freelance designers, making it simple for designers to send their work to clients with all their source files and specifications intact. The cloud-based platform provides designers with creative asset management tools, allowing agencies and freelance designers to store their work and make it available to clients. The company launched in late 2011, and today’s new delivery service for designers is an effort to help designers give context to the files they send to clients.
“We’ve been doing this smart space for creative assets or creative data and what we saw was an interest from companies who are using this to organize logos, business cards, and designs of any sorts. OpenBrand provides the structure, we tell you what not to forget to include when sending something to a client, we suggest file sources, usually when designers send something, they only send just one file. What we tell people is they should provide some technical details, some description, the context around the artwork,” founding director Mirek Burkon said in an interview. “This is of course useful for the client who receives the full package with all the information necessary for use of the artwork that’s included, and useful for the designer.”
For brands, the platform provides storage for all their creative assets, and support services that provide guidelines and instructions when using specific files like their logo and letterhead. For designers and agencies the value-add is having the ability to create and access past design guidelines, such as logos, color palettes, images, and past designs which can then be managed, recycled, and shared with clients with context and instructions for usage. The core of the service is what OpenBrand refers to organic brand asset management, where designers can access past brand design work and create proposals with a better idea of where the client is coming from, and for clients the ability to have access to their files anytime.
OpenBrand offers a free account that lets users upload up to 15 designs like prints, ads, and business cards, and then offers monthly subscriptions ranging from $19-189 depending on the number of designs a brand needs stored. The delivery service for designers is free of cost to them, which then allows them to expose the platform and service to their client to see the benefits of having a hub to manage their brands.
There’s no shortage of cloud storage services that let users upload files, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box, and there are popular project management tools like Basebamp that let designers work with clients. Where Burkon believes they stand apart is the extra layer around the stored files that provide the context and instruction around deliverables. There are other competitors like GraphEffect, whose launch BetaKit covered in August, who are more focused on providing a social network for marketers that is more geared towards managing internal workflow on the agency side. OpenBrand is positioned more towards being a creative asset storage space for the organization with enhanced delivery features for designers and agencies.
“The core feature of OpenBrand is this really smart storage that is composed out of blueprints that guide you, that give you examples, that tell what you really need to think about if you just have a logo design, and that’s something you won’t ever get from Dropbox, for example,” Burkon added. “We’re more of a broader ecosystem and we want to position ourselves as the storage in the center of this creative world and we want to integrate specific functionality that provides something specific and organize data and knowledge around this creative data.”
OpenBrand’s next focus will be on providing integration with other services designers and their clients might be using, including Dropbox, ProofHq, 99designs and other design-specific tools. The company is hoping to become an industry standard for how clients and designers come together for effective brand management, but with other solutions available, from email to collaboration tools to cloud storage platforms, the company will need to convince brands it’s a better hub for their brand assets.