“I am a visual and a creative.
I love designing logos, graphics, and websites but I believe these are the end results of branding… not where you start!”
You and your business are unique, your brand should be too! Why settle for mediocre branding and template logo designs when you can get a bespoke design created by a designer who is passionate about creating brand identities that will help you exceed your objectives and get the attention of your ideal audience.
REMEMBERPeople usually don't recall the details, but they will remember how they felt!
Show the world Who you are, What you Do & How you can help them!
Branding is much more than a logo and marketing material. It goes much deeper than that.
Yes, you can have outstanding design elements and an eye-catching logo… great colours that grab people’s attention but that isn’t branding.
To me, the visual aspect is the end result of a well-developed brand plan.
Branding Starts Before The Design
It’s your Story, your Mission and your Message.
What do you do (or sell) that makes you different from other businesses?
How are you going to do things differently?
Visually it’s represented through your logo and typography (fonts), colour palette and all the graphic elements such as textures, design elements, photograph styles – and keeping all of these consistent throughout your website, social media, email marketing and even on signs and stationary.
It’s just as important to make sure the tone of your message is consistent as well.From the way you write the copy (text) on your website to the thoughts you share on Social Media to your email marketing.
The following is an overview of how I develop that process:
The most common mistake people make when they are starting out is focusing on finding a logo designer and then a website.
There is so much more to your brand than just ‘what it looks like’.
Understanding exactly why you are doing what you do, developing how you are going to do it and who you are going to help makes it easy to tell your story.
I work with clients to help them dig deep and discover why they’ve decided create their business, what really drives their passion and I help them fine-tune their goals in order to discover who their ‘Ideal Client’ is, develop a memorable brand story and once the foundation is built, we can set to work on making the visual brand worthy and beautiful!
1) Your Own Original Story:
Authentic branding begins with figuring out what makes you (or your business) unique.
Owning your unique story
– What gave you the inspiration to create your business?
- Why did you get started?
- Who are you passionate about helping and why?
- What motivates you every day?
Clarify your the Foundation of Your Business
– Defining the basics of your business and what specific values you provide
Declaring Your Beliefs and Values
- Identifying the true principals that guide your business. This is an integral part of creating your mission and your message.
Turning your ‘story’ into a strong and concise brand.
Developing your Brand Blueprint
– Creating your ‘Elevator Answer’: In other words, that quick and easy answer to “what do you do?”. Answering these 5 questions in an easy to understand sentence or two.
- What type of business do you have?
- Who do you serve?
- How do you serve them?
- What do ‘they’ get from working with you?
- Why do you do it?
Creating your Visual Story
Brand Mission: This is the long answer to the question WHY do you do what you do.
– Ideal Client: Discovering your Client Avatar will help you endlessly when it comes to marketing your business. You’ll know exactly who you are talking to on your website and your social media.
– Discover your Differentiators: What is it that will help you to stand out in the crowd?
– Key Beliefs: Clarifying your Message and Brand Values. Honing in on your Business Bio & Message through Taglines and Snippets.
– Defining the tone of your Messaging. What words and vocabulary will be the most authentic to you and your business.
Establishing the Tone of your Words: How do you want the words on your website to come across? What words will you use to connect and appeal to your audience and still sound like you?
Visual Style: Making that connection between Emotion and Design, Colour and Texture. Developing it through discovery… what speaks to you, what makes you connect with your blossoming brand.
Concept Board Design: Your Brand Concept Board will be the place where you will start to see everything come together. It will hold your Ideas, your words, your message together with Colours and Textures. It will comprise of a visual and verbal representation of an idea for your business, product or service, outlining its attributes and benefits. Your 1st vision board.
Implementing your new brand system into all aspects of your presence… your website, your social media pages, your signage and even your business cards stationary.
This is where we get to be really creative! I’ll use all the information you and I gather from discovery sessions to create the perfect visual brand.
Topography: We will investigate Topography and how it should be used in your brand. What font styles appeal to you and why… and do they really work for your brand?
We will look at the differences between Serif, Sans-Serif, Slab-Serif, Script & Handwritten styles and what personalities they all have and how to pair them. What fonts are more masculine, which are feminine and then the more neutral fonts. What works best in a logo and what will work best on your website and in print. (hint, all this goes back to your story and your messaging)
-> Colour: Choosing your Colour palette. We look at what colours you are drawn to and the reason why, and then discuss the emotions those colours emote as well as whether they are harmonious (do they work well together).
How many colours should you have in your logo and how many others in your branding. Whether you should use bold primary colours, a subtle palette or maybe quite neutral.
Then we’ll look at if these colours really make sense with the feeling you want with your site. We will look a the psychology of colour as well. Can your clients and potential clients relate to these colours, how will it make them feel? What are the most important ‘feelings’ they should have. Trust? Zen? Energized? Uplifted? Understood?
Graphic Elements: What types of elements will you have in your branding and on your website? We will look at Icons, Shapes, Illustrations, Separators, Buttons and Borders and whether or not you will want to use any of them.
-> Logos: Creating the right logo is key to all of your branding. It certainly isn’t all of your branding, but it’s the culmination of this whole section. Being able to figure out the graphic elements, colour and typography will really help bring the logo together. Your logo will stand as the visual reminder to all who come across your business. It will represent you everywhere. We will look at symbols and icons and where you’d use them. We will also look at why you may not need an icon (although, with your brand I definitely think you should have one).
We will look at different types of logos.
– Wordmark/topographic – Wordmark + Symbol/Icon – Symbol/Icon only
Where ever possible I create the logo in 3 different style formats. Primary Logo : Long (one-line), Secondary Logo : Square (two or three lines – depending on the name) and then a Sub-mark Logo: Round (stamp style)
Always remember: Keep It Simple! Visually messy graphics and logos are difficult to remember, they don’t size well and they don’t print well. Your logo could (and should) eventually end up on something the size of a postage stamp or as large as a sign on the wall!
-> Photography: Whether it’s the photos of you, (never cheap out, get professional photos done and be consistent with the look you want to convey) or photos used to represent thoughts and ideas. Alway refer back to your blueprint.
- Consistency is key. Photos reinforce your brand tone. Keep to one style (what ever works for your story)… whether it’s playful, professional, healthy, edgy… keep it consistent.
- Cohesion: Keep your visual voice the same on your website as well as Instagram, Pinterest or any other form of Social Media.
- Keep it Professional: Use consistently high-quality photos (unless your brand is based on DYI or playful, down-to-earth style. You’ll know how to do this if you stick with your brand story.
-> Brand Board: Simply, your brand board (or sometimes known as a mood board) is the vision board for your business. It will include your colours, your textures, stye elements, topography, graphic elements and logos. It keeps all this hard work in one place. Your brand board is your baby.
Think of this as your Pinterest page. It’s your private view of your brand before it’s published…
4) The launch!
Your WordPress Website:
- We will look at different designs and what will work for you.
- Website structure
- What pages you need (Welcome, About, Contact, Blog, Services… etc)
- Page layouts (keep it consistent)
- Branding your Welcome and Landing pages
Branding your Social Media Presence
Launching your Brand-New Brand!
-> Before we are completely done you will get one more thing:
Brand Guide: Similar to your brand board, this will be the home to ALL the elements to your beautiful new brand. It will not only help you, but it will be a guide for everyone who works for you. It will be a PDF of all the elements you and your associates will need to keep your messaging consistent.
Such as your Mission Statement, Your Story, your Business Beliefs as well as all the visual elements to your brand. At times share this with people who join your team, with your marketing associates and your social media manager. It can be used to help when writing articles, publishing your story, and speak with the press.
Your Brand Guide is your Brand Bible, so to speak.
What you get:
- Visual ‘Mood’ Board + Brand Guide to help keep your branding on track
- Primary Logo Design – 3 totally unique concepts
- Secondary Logo Design
- Sub-mark (Stamp-Style) Logo Design (Can also be used for website Favicon)
- Selection of Typography + a Guide to best use practices
- Custom color palette
- Customized Textures
- 5 Customized Graphics
- Double-Sided Business Card design in print-ready format
- One each “cover” design for a Facebook Business Page/Group, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram
- Your Personalized Brand Guide Blueprint *
* Your guide will be your record of all the work we did together. This is invaluable document will be your go-to reference from fonts & colour codes, to marketing references & future plans.
I will work with you to define and create:
Your Mission and Message, Brand Definition and Beliefs and Values.
Basically what I do is:
- I use market research to establish your brand’s needs
- Target audience identification
- Help you establish your mission, message and voice
- Provide a signature brand discovery
- Design for your natural aesthetic
- Use design psychology to create the right feeling
- Translate your feedback into revised visuals
- Identify your brand collateral needs
When Website Design is Included…
What Else You Need To Know
Step One – Research:
You and I need to thoroughly understand your business, your business goals, your clients and their expectations and behaviour, and how your website factors into all of it.
I will look at the competitive landscape to establish context and benchmarks for how your site should function and then improve on that.
This stage will give us the foundation for moving forward with the right recommendations for the design and development of your new responsive website.
Step Two – Design:
Once we have finished our research, I will pull together some layout ideas, including the landing page(s), home page, about page, contact page, the blog and any additional templates needed.
We will have a video call to go over the initial design together in order to make sure we are on track.
I will provide two rounds of revisions on the design.
Step Three – Development
Once the design is approved, I will start building the responsive WordPress website that you will be very proud of.
Your live site will have a ‘coming soon’ page with an email option form so that you can start collecting email addresses for your mailing list, and any other relative information (for example what you do… enticing them to come back another day). It will also include your logo. Once this page is up you’ll be able to hint to people your tribe that your website is coming soon… but you’d be pleased to have them visit and leave their email.
Once that page is up, we will begin to develop your new WordPress website on one of my test domains. I will test the site across different browsers (Firefox, Chrome and Safari) and devices (iPhone 6+, iPad). All links will tested and any bugs that arise from this testing will be fixed prior to launch.
Step Four – The Launch
Once your site is ready to go, I will move it to your domain. Once again I will go through the entire site making sure all copy, images and links are as they should be.
You and I will go through your new site and I will give you a tour of the back-end (dashboard), so that you can become familiar with it. As a bonus, I will embed a series of instructional videos so that you can learn how to make changes, do updates on your own and post your own blog entries and many others.
Finally… all we have to do is launch and let people know!!
I’d be happy to work with you on your project and beside you as you develop this new phase in your personal and professional life. I believe we can showcase your unique perspective and offering and create a brand you can be extremely proud of!
“I also love designing personal brands. One of my greatest strengths is to be able to help women create their stand-out brand. This isn’t just a colour palette or a memorable icon in your logo.”
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Although I am currently located in the Eastern Time Zone, I work with clients around the world. I’d love to hear from you.
Let me know what services you are interested in and we can schedule time to connect via telephone, chat or video call.