SO YOU’VE DONE IT.
You’ve finally decided that you’re ready to take that plunge with your new, baby brand and start the process of it’s visual representation. By no means are you playing around – you want a unique, one of a kind symbol that’s going to be a timeless representation of your brand for years to come. Canva is not going to cut it, and neither are your “I learned Photoshop in 8th grade” skills. You need a professional, and you’re ready to hire one.
Here are ShawnaPoliz Design’s top 5 things to consider prior to the John Hancocking of the Contract…
1.) CONFIDENCE IN YOUR BRAND, YOUR FUTURE AND YOUR PURPOSE IS REQUIRED TO BEGIN THE BRANDING PROCESS.
I think the biggest issue I’ve had with female entrepreneurs who are just starting to brand their business is this – they don’t have confidence in their purpose and aren’t seeing the future clearly enough to begin. The two most important things that you must possess in order to begin a project like this are one - a very, very clear direction of where you want your brand to go and two – an undying confidence that you will get there.
Without these two things, I can’t help you. If you’re direction isn’t clear, you’ll be wishy-washy with every logo concept and direction I present to you. If we can never nail down what is wrong and what is right for your brand, the whole process turns into the equivalent of the never-ending song. You’re frustrated and not having fun, and I’m frustrated and not having fun.
How to not sound like a washing machine: Start with the basics. It’s always fun to get excited about a really cool idea or a new journey, but branding has many more levels than just the visual. Which leads me to number two…
2.) A GOOD IDEA IS AWESOME. A SOLID IDEA IS EVEN BETTER.
What the hell are you talking about Shawna? Let me explain:
In MOST instances, you come up with a really cool idea. Your new blog, your next business endeavor – whatever the situation may be you’re EXCITED. You’re so excited that you jump right over the strategic planning of a brand (audience, voice, direction, etc.) and go right into the visuals and execution. I CAN’T BLAME YOU, IT’S THE FUN PART! But the base of a brand is what will carry it through the second week, the third month, and the 5th year. And needless to say, we need to attack these things before we start on the
If you want to do it on your own – awesome. Look up Branding Foundations and really dive into your brand. It’s something that everyone should do when starting a new business/project/side-gig/whatever. It’s going to turn your good idea into a SOLID good idea.
3.) BE PREPARED TO GIVE FEEDBACK.
Although you want to hire/hired a professional, you did not hire a psychic. This process is very hands on for the client – because your feedback is required. The artist is definitely going to get to know you and your brand prior to designing (such as my mood board and questionnaire I make you do prior to the initial concept stage) but overall the designer is basing their designs off of what you’re providing them in terms of direction, vibe, colors, etc. If there is a miscommunication, MAKE SURE YOU LET THEM KNOW EARLY ON. If you don’t, the situation only gets worse as you progress through the project.
*How to avoid anger, frustration, and throwing your computer: Give the designer your honest, detailed feedback in each and every stage. We welcome feedback, we’re making this logo for YOU after all. With my designs, all edits are included as long as we are continually moving forward. If communication is clear on both ends, there’s no stopping greatness from happening.
4.) BE CAUTIOUS OF COPY-CATING.
On a personal level, one thing I will never understand is the copy-cating of other brands. If a potential client comes to me with an image of a competitor’s logo saying “I want this but with my name” – it makes me feel slimy as a designer and it makes me feel even more slimy about your brand.
The beautiful thing about hiring a designer to work on your branding, and branding in general is that it’s unique to every single business – if you’re willing to take the time to do so. Copy-cating really isn’t an issue if you follow steps 1&2 because there’s an ultimate meaning and direction behind what you’re doing – something that no one else has.
(Note – Copy-Cating is different than providing inspiration. I welcome my clients to gather images of designs, photographs, textures that they love because it helps me see a consistent vibe.)
*Are you guilty of this? Take a step back, and breathe easy tiger. It’s time to rewind and find out what makes you different from the rest, how we can focus in on that, and give you something killer to represent it… that no one else has.
5.) STRESS AIN’T WELCOME HERE.
I don’t care what anyone else says – this process should be FUN. Like, overwhelmingly fun. You’re bringing a vision to life, giving a new idea presence, IT’S SLIGHTLY EXHILIRATING! So don’t be too stressed when it comes to the basics. Enjoy each and every moment you’re working on this new brand, because these are the steps that are building it’s future. From every Pinterest board pin to every black and white logo concept, there’s something to be excited about in each step along the way.
So if you’re still ready to take the plunge, or have any questions on the “5 Things to Consider” feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org