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I use the term from time to time and i just cant get my head around it why is it called branding 'collateral' - in my mind collateral is something you put up as a security, usually in conjunction to a loan ect.

Is there something ive missed here ?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Branding collateral could also be written (with the same meaning) - Collateral to branding. This is everything that supports the brand. Things like stationery, web-banners, posters, flyers etc.

Collateral is officially defined as:

Situated or running side by side; parallel

So, to this, you can assume that branding collateral is something that runs alongside the branding.

Basically, anything that supports the brand, that isn't the logo itself is considered Collateral.

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Collateral design and branding design are two different things. Collateral design usually refers to a form of promotional design that supports marketing or maybe the introduction of a brand. Collateral design can be focused on print, but a great deal of it use to border on package design. A good example would be if a sports cable tv network wanted to pitch advertisers or ad agencies on the Superbowl they might do a package design that includes a football. So you can think of it as direct marketing aimed at a high end audience.

Collateral design use to be much popular a few decades ago when design studios would be mostly doing print work for high end clients. But these days with the net it has sort of gone out of style. Although on the low end you can see it when you go to a trade show and they have give aways of branded swag like t-shirts or buttons, but this is a far cry from the golden age of the Mad Men era when designers would do what would amount to a custom package design.

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