I’ve been using my (rare) quiet moments to plan some exciting things for the blog in the coming months. Nothing makes you reflect on your branding more than considering brand extensions, so this post was born in rapid fire during one of my brainstorm sessions!
When I was planning and launching the Ember & March brand, I was fortunate enough to be able to have maximum control over what was created. I knew I wanted to design everything myself, and plan to add even more personal touches to the blog in the future.
It’s important that you’re able to see yourself in your brand; that you get to leave your fingerprints and traces of your identity throughout your space. I know my mark is here, and hope it’s felt. But I also understand that other bloggers and creatives who don’t have design skills, or even fully understand branding, sometimes feel limited in their control over the final product.
When working with a designer, in order to get the best result, don’t be afraid to speak up and express, as best you can, what you want. If something doesn’t look or feel right or as you envisioned it, be sure to say something! When deciding to work with a designer on your brand, be sure to review designers carefully. Does that designer have other project similar to the one you want executed? Does their style match your vision?
Spend some time talking with the designer about his or her process. Would you be able to have phone chats or video calls to express things that email just can’t capture? What about meeting in person –maybe a local designer would be more up your alley.
The moral of the story is this: your brand is one of the most precious things you’ll share online. It’s encompasses your values, personality, ambitions and likely your business, as well. Don’t settle for an ‘almost-there’ version of your vision. Launch something that you’re proud of, and that you identify with!
Now, I’m not a designer myself, so I thought it would be nice to gather some advice from the experts! Thanks to these ladies for responding to my rapid-fire request for their expertise! I definitely recommend checking out their blogs (and services, if you’re in the market).
I asked: What’s your #1 tip for relaying your brand vision to a designer, even if you have no design experience or deep understanding of branding?
Alyssa Barnes (@lyssbarnes) / Blog: My #1 tip would be to use Pinterest and create a board with images, screenshots, etc. that match your vision. It’s so much easier to show someone your vision instead of trying to tell them, especially if you don’t have a handle on branding and everything it entails.
Jennifer Coyle (@jnnfrcyl) / Blog: When working with a designer, give her 3 concept words that evoke the mood and feeling you’re aiming at for your brand. Some examples are “airy”, “professional”, “serene”, or “quirky”. A trained designer will know exactly what to do with these concept words and will be able to build your brand from the ground up. Color, imagery and font selections will come easily once the concept words are chosen.
Bethany Grow (@LoveGrowsDesign) / Blog: As a designer, I love putting visuals together to create a unique look for my clients. Together we gather photos, patterns, words, fonts, and prints that represent the mood and feel that the design needs to relay. Then we put it all together and slowly whittle down all the visuals to create a clear and concise collage that perfectly displays what that blog or business is all about. It’s all about finding the images that speak to you and make you feel the way you want your audience to feel when they encounter your brand.
Holly Marie (@hollymlasee) / Blog: My one quick tip for creating your brand with a designer is nail down the mood or aesthetic you hope to achieve with the finished piece. Something as simple as message + mood can really go a long ways and help pave the path of where you begin with your branding.
Kory Woodard (@korymae) / Blog: Look at other designs that you like and really consider what you like about them. Is it the colors? The fonts? The way it’s laid out? Really think about why you like it. That’ll help with your own designs.
I hope this nuggets of branding wisdom help you as you go out to create and strengthen your own brands!