Good morning everyone! You are certainly in for a treat today!
I am pleased to introduce you to Ashley, the mastermind and creative genius behind Fancy Designs...yes the same one that design my spiffy new logo and who I consulted in rebranding Sweet Stella's just prior to the holidays. She has a wealth of knowledge in branding and logo design, and I strongly encourage you to take a read...and contact her should you be needing her services or contemplating a rebranding!Hey y'all! I'm Ashley, an almost 23 year old graphic designer from Louisiana. I own Fancy Designs, an online shop specializing in invitations, stationery, business cards, and custom gifts. Before Fancy Designs I worked for an advertising agency, working specifically on logo design. I was recently pulled back into the logo design field by my dear friend Stephanie from Bleue Moon Web Design. As a business owner myself, I've learned the importance of branding and seen plenty of mistakes, and I'd like to share a little of what I've learned along the way with you guys :)
As a designer, it's in my blood to check out branding. I check out branding like other girls shop for shoes. It's not uncommon to see me purchase things based solely on the brand and packaging. Some people just REALLY know how to sell it with their branding, and that's what ANYONE building a brand should want to do. Whether you're looking to build your own company, a small online shop, or just want to build up a blog and have people see your badge/logo and recognize you, branding is important! All great businesses have a strong brand that supports their products, services, or message.
Building your brand is a lot like starting a very complex puzzle. The brand you put together is like putting together those corner pieces. It sets you up for all the pieces to come. A lot of people are under the assumption that fancy text and clipart is all it takes to put together a brand. Sure, that's the meat of the brand, but the "brand" goes so much deeper. Your brand should speak to your clients/viewers. It should send out your message clearly. A good brand doesn't have to be complex and it doesn't have to be over the top. If anything, we've learned that even the simplest logos can be the most memorable (Golden Arches anyone?) The whole idea is that you want people to see your logo and REMEMBER it. I know we all live in the over the top, Lady Gaga, world but sometimes less is more. That's not to say that there aren't some pretty spiffy, wild logos out there! If you've got an idea that seems a little wild and out there, sometimes you just have to go for it.
Plenty of people completely skip the branding process of their business. In my opinion, this is a risky step, a step even myself took. My eyes were opened when a client I worked with a few months back told me she couldn't remember which designer I was but she remembered my cards had a chevron pattern. Did I want to be remembered as "the chevron designer?" As much as I love those fancy chevron patterns, I want Fancy Designs to stand alone, in a simplistic way. It was the final straw. I already had the building blocks together, I just had to put it all together and stop changing it, and I put it together within a few seconds. If you know anything about me or my work, you know that these 3 elements, 2 fonts, and a little bird have shown up as my "logo" more times than I can count, but never put together so well. It took me 3 seconds to go from "chevron designer" back to FANCY DESIGNS. Branding really is important, you don't want to be forgotten.
Of course, skipping branding altogether probably seems like the biggest offense, I think it pales in comparison to BAD BRANDING. I've had people ask me to "make me a brand like hers." That has to be the biggest mistake. Building YOUR brand based off someone else's. Just because their brand is successful for them, does not guarantee it is going to be the same for you. It works for them because it's THEIRS. I think the second thing would be BUTTERFLIES. I must get 3 logos a month where their only concern is, "Can there be a butterfly." I have no idea what happened or how butterflies became the butter on the bread of a logo, but butterflies have got to go. (If you have a butterfly logo, I'm not trying to be a bully, I'm sure it's lovely, I'm 3 parts serious to my every 10 parts full of the sillies.) Colors are also an issue for a lot of people. I either get a lot of, "I don't know, you pick." or "Can it be red, green, orange, purple, and black? And make it pretty." I think sticking with simple but eye catching colors is a good way to go whether you are clueless as to what color you want or you just can't pick and want to use them all. You can always look at ideas to how you plan to package/sell your goods, services, etc. and choose colors accordingly. If you sell a lot of colorful fabric, then a lot of colors will fit you. If you're selling a lot of neutral toned products, less is more.
Want to get 15% off your graphic design needs? Mention that you found Fancy Designs through Sweet Stella's and get a friendly face discount!
Email Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org