The First Step to a Custom Brand
In this Journal we will take a peek inside my logo and brand design process. This may not be the prettiest post, and does not contain ethereal calligraphy pictures galore, but I do plan to drop some serious branding content. So, here is a look at what goes into a hand lettered logo, and why a thorough process is essential to create, not only a beautiful brand, but one that works for your business and goals.
As you know, I am excited to get out my Calligraphy pens, or paint a super special watercolor logo for your business, however, there are some really important steps to take before creating your hand drawn logo. This is where the design process begins. You will receive a comprehensive questionnaire to use as homework before our consultation. The point of this homework is for you to think about your brand, your aesthetic preferences, and your ideal clients. This is not meant to be difficult, but rather is meant to fuel your creativity and focus your attention on where you want to take your brand in the future. I will not be sharing the full questionnaire here(I have to keep some secrets to myself), however, we will discuss a couple of key factors to solidify the back bone of your brand before any design work can begin.
Who is your ideal client?
Whether you are selling your service, a product, or cupcakes, this is a very important question. Your logo and branding need to represent your business, true. However, it also needs to speak to the audience you wish to reach. You have likely put much time and effort into honing your craft and building the skill set which has gotten you to where you are now. You have an amazing product, you have a business you have made personal sacrifices for, or you are working nights and weekends to take your side hustle full time. Whatever the case, you have spent time and money to make your business work, and here is where a cohesive brand identity comes in to play. When a potential client lands on your Instagram feed or website, they will make decisions about your business in a few quick seconds. If your branding is designed for them, they will instantly feel a connection with you. They will clearly understand what you do and how it helps them. And they will want to work with you, buy from you, and maybe even be your friend!
Have you ever found an account that you instantly felt a connection with? Maybe you immediately felt like you know the person behind the account, that you had so much in common with them. Or it was a shop full of products you suddenly realized you could not live without. For me, that shop is Saint Signora. Just saying... I want to write on all the paper and have all the things. It feels like home. I feel like it was designed just for me. That is powerful branding. It creates a strong emotional response, and speaks directly to a specific group of people.
There is a fairly common quote, and I don't know who to attribute it to. It goes something like this:
If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one
You need to niche down. Don't try to appeal to everyone. You don't want a million followers who are females between 18-35. You want clients, customers, collaborations and a successful business. So here are some questions to think about. Who is your perfect client? Who would you want to work with again and again? Who do you want to sell to? Who needs what you are providing? How much money are they willing to invest? What level of service do they want? Where do they shop? What accounts do they follow? What do they dislike? If they were a coffee, would they be a Starbucks peppermint white chocolate mocha frappuccino or a double shot of espresso from a local micro roaster? Ok, so that question is not on the questionnaire, but I do want my clients to think long and hard about their own clients in this way.
Pro Tip: Get out three pieces of paper, each for a different ideal client. Write down their names at the top. Then create a complete profile for them (like you are filling out a virtual Facebook about page). How old are are they? Male or Female? Where do live live? What type of education do they have? What do they do for work? What do they like to do for fun? How much money do they make per year? What blogs do they subscribe to? What businesses do they follow on instagram? Would they rather splurge on an Anthropology necklace or a Kate Spade hand bag?
Once you do your homework, we will set up an appointment for a FaceTime call. I prefer talking with clients face to face. It gives me a chance to meet you and see which parts of your business really light you up. We will use the questionnaire as an outline for our discussion. These consultations usually last about an hour. We will discuss your ideal client, your goals, your aesthetic preferences, color pallet and inspiration images, if applicable. You may already have a Pinterest board to share, or logos you love. We will discuss the structure of your business, and where your logo will be seen. I will want to know who your biggest competitors are as well as what your business goals are. We will both walk away from this meeting with a clear idea of who you are, what you do, who it is for, and where you are going.
Now on the the artsy business. My favorite part!
This is the first in a series of brand building journal articles. If you don't want to miss a thing, join the newsletter mailing list! I promise I won't spam you! I will just send some blog post notifications and a workshop announcement here and there.