The design elements that are integrated throughout your logo and visual brand identity should be selected with intention and strategy. They should point back to the heart of your business. Font choices, design elements, and color palettes should never be chosen just because they look pretty, or because they’re your favorites.
Yes, your personality should shine through your brand, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that determines your choices either. They should be based on your brand values, ideal client, and overall mission.
You put so much heart into your business and you deserve a brand identity that not only reflects your heart but also speaks to your ideal client. You have a unique message and your visual brand identity should be reflective of that vision and that message. A branding designer helps you translate that message into visual form. But if you don’t know what that message is, you need a brand strategist.
An effective brand strategist will help you with the most important piece you need before you approach a designer: clarity.
I have worked with a lot of business owners who are passionate about what they do but have no clear idea of what their unique message is. They don’t know how to give a clear design direction because they don’t know what direction they want. It is frustrating for both the client and the designer if that happens. Clarity helps you achieve your website’s core message and your brand’s core identity, even before a designer translates it into visual form.
Maybe you have a lot of ideas and don’t know how to sift through them. Maybe you have a vague idea of what you want, but you’re not sure how to express it. You need a sounding board – someone to bounce ideas off of and someone to brainstorm with. If you have friends who can be objective enough to tell you if some of those ideas will or will not work, that’s fantastic! Ask them for help.
If not (and if you need someone who knows what will work and what will not), you need to hire a brand strategist. Even your designer benefits from having a third person in the discussions. Everyone has their own expertise and background, and they bring those onto the table.
KEEPING YOU FOCUSED AND ON TARGET
I work with a lot of business owners (most of them solopreneurs), and all of them are busy! They are very passionate about running their business and pour their heart and soul into it. I know what that’s like! It helps to have help, to put it simply. And that’s what a strategist also does. In all my projects where a brand strategist is involved (namely, Ginny!), I really appreciate how she follows up on clients who may be too busy to answer and even answers some of my questions for them if the client is unable to.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
A lot of people are scared to invest in coaching and strategy, thinking it’s a waste of money. Actually, it will save you time and money in the end. For example, I’ve had clients who changed their mind about their design several times over, incurring additional charges in the process and delaying project completion, all because they did not know what they wanted. A one-month project can stretch on for an entire year! You can avoid that nightmare scenario if you know what your message is.
In contrast, I’ve worked with some fabulous clients who knew exactly what they wanted and knew how to communicate it. Those projects were every designer’s dream. My record for fastest project ever? Two days for logo and web design, from the time the design questionnaires were submitted. It should come as no surprise that the project was for a brand strategist.
I have worked with hundreds of clients, and by now I know what works and what doesn’t. When I partner with Ginny for a project, the process and the result is so different. Clients truly benefit from our collaboration in that they get the website design or brand identity design that truly reflects their vision and personality, minus the hassle and the heartache.
Brand identity design isn’t just putting together pretty fonts with pretty graphics. It takes a lot of careful thought and strategy to design a logo that tells your story, embodies your mission, and helps you reach your ideal client.
This blog post is part two of the Impactful Brand Series – an eleven-part series to help you build an impactful brand in 2018. If you don’t want to miss out on this series, be sure you are on my email list to be notified each week when a new piece in the series is released.
Next up in the series: How You Can Use Video to Impact Your Brand (written by a graphic designer and video consultant).
If you’re ready to build an impactful brand in 2018, get in touch with me and let’s make some magic happen!
The post was written by Patricia Alix, a branding and web designer and the creative director at Fancy Girl Design Studio, where she creates visual brand stories for web and print design for clients all over the world. She lives in sunny Singapore with her supportive husband and two wonderful sons. You can see more from Patricia on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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