For years I was doing my own branding and graphic design. I have a working knowledge of Photoshop, Canva, and Wix plus I know what I like. For a while now I knew I wanted to step it up in that department. To look and feel like a powerhouse interiors studio with consistent and professional branding across the boards. Finding the right graphic designer who was open to helping me create a set of tools I could implement on my own (versus redesigning my website along with the branding) and whose aesthetic I clicked with proved to be a little more challenging. Luckily. I connected with Ashley Combs of Smash & Co and fell smitten with her work.
We have been working on my brand's style guide since October. Four months later, its ready for the reveal and I hope to not feel the drive to do it for another 10 years. Evergreen vs. trendy is my goal. I wanted to share the process in case you were curious about it for yourself.
After sending my deposit, I answered a thorough questionnaire to give her a sense of who I am and my brand's identity to create a mood board to work off of. This consisted of words and adjectives to describe my brand, companies I align with, strengths and weaknesses, clientele and goals, colors I like, important places to me. Quite interesting and telling! She came up with two versions of a moodboard based on my initial input. I truly liked them equally. They both felt like different facets of me. Ashely also developed two directions for the logo sketches connected to each moodboard.
My initial thoughts - Moodboard 2 feels more like me, or the direction I want my studio to feel, but I didn't connect to the early logos from Moodboard 2 at all. I really liked the hand sketched cheekiness of the stacked vertical logo. Then maybe the secondary elements would be from Moodboard 2.
Then we spent a lot if time refining the logo. Going through different iterations where the differences were barely discernable. The end result is both architectural (Bauhaus blocky curves, classic arches) and casual (evoking the California lifestyle and my hands-on approach).
I signed off on the version you see now on my site and she was able to give me a few options to use along with a colorway and assigned fonts for my client facing documents, website, and any packaging or signage I may want to do later. A set of rules and tools that will give my brand a consistent identity as long as I stick to it.
Did you realize so much nuanced effort went into a brand identity package? I did and I didn't until mine was completed. It feels good to have a completed new brand identity. What do you think? Incidentally, it turns out I'm not the only one going through this process. Read this timely Business of Home article.