Confessions of a Branding Designer
July 21 , 2021
Have you ever heard the saying “the cobbler’s kids wear no shoes”? Currently I find my business in this situation — my branding is not cohesive, does not attract my ideal audience, and does nothing to support my long-term business goals. Yeah, I said it. I’m a branding designer without proper branding.
My business has changed since I started in 2017. My mission, passion, and values haven’t changed, but my goals, direction, and ideal audience has changed significantly.
It’s common to hear from fellow creatives that it’s tough to design for yourself. Why is that?
I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this over the past year! For me, it’s hard to see my own blind-spots. I’m much too close to the project and business to have any kind of impartial opinion or perspective. What does this look like in practice? Using my favorite colors or fonts, for example. I know it’s my own business, but branding is more about the audience, not the owner! It’s so much easier for me to do this for clients, but for myself? Forget about it!
How I Got Here
It was never my intention to let it get like this, no, I wanted to have an intentionally designed brand from the start. However, I found myself in a cycle of working on my own branding for a while and then inevitably client work would come up. I would think “good enough for now” and quickly update my website and print materials.
When I first started designing websites and logos it was in 2010 and I was taking any project I could. That mentality followed me into my full-time design work and over time I’ve taken note of all of the projects that made my heart and soul sing.
As a result, I am now listening to my intuition more and taking on projects and clients that align with my mission and values. I love working collaboratively with eco-minded small businesses and entrepreneurs who are working to make the world a better and brighter place.
What I’m Doing Differently
I’ve already put myself through my branding process three times and I don’t plan on trying again right now. Instead, I’ve taken my own professional advice and I’ve invested in hiring a professional brand designer!
Hiring another designer is something that I’ve been thinking about for the last two years, but with the pandemic hitting last year it pushed back the timeline of many internal projects. A few weeks ago I reached out to a wonderful designer, Jeanne of Spark & Bloom, who I met a couple of years ago through a design mentorship group and have long admired her approach to design and business.
It’s beyond thrilling to know that this piece of my business will be getting the attention it deserves and it won’t end up on the back burner again in 6 weeks! IFKYK.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power of branding and not feeling confident in your own branding is tough, especially when you are a brand designer. I’m looking forward to feeling more confident and having a more cohesive set of tools to use in my business.
Just to be completely transparent, this is not at all sponsored. I am *happily* paying out of my own pocket! Investing in my own business is important for future growth and I want to take you all through this journey with me. I’ve learned a lot from fellow creatives and entrepreneurs openly sharing and now it’s my turn to add to the community.
Follow Along on my Journey
Over the next few weeks I’ll take you behind the scenes with me. I’ll take you through the process of how I decided it was time to hire a professional designer, how I decided who to hire, how I hired a designer, and what it’s like to be a client in the branding design process.