The Importance of Event Branding and Staying True to Your Design Core

Events and workshops are becoming an important way to interact with your audience. Whether you are a nonprofit putting on a fundraising event, an organization providing free community events or a business hosting an informational workshop, this is the time where your core audience really gets to experience your brand without distractions.

The Importance of Event Branding and Staying True to Your Design Core | Pace Creative Design Studio

Events give you a unique opportunity to have fun and try new things with your branding, but that doesn’t mean you can stray too far from your brand design core. You need to treat your event design as a mini brand or sub brand of your business.

Brand recognition should always be at the forefront of your decisions when creating an event. If you are creating a new logo for your event make sure that it works well on its own along with making sure that it fits with your main logo. For example: Root + River puts on a half day workshop called Brand Lab, where they help you develop key elements of your brand’s core. Knowing that I could have fun with the branding, I took the concept of a laboratory and created little science inspired graphics. Overall, Root + River’s brand is very soulful, energetic and organic, which contrasts with how people typically view laboratories – cold, clean and stark. By adding the natural textures that are already established in the visual identity, the Brand Lab logo looks and feels like it is part of the overall Root + River brand.

Root + River Brand Lab design by Pace Creative Design Studio

See how the Brand Lab branding fits perfectly with Root + River's brand design.

Root + River brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Events are also a way for you to increase awareness about your brand or mission. Most people thinking sticking their logo on everything is the best way to brand their events. Yes, it is important to have your logo on everything, but that is only one piece of the overall event branding. People should be subtly absorbing your brand through your messaging, colors, signage and all the other elements seen throughout your event. This is especially important for nonprofits. Sometimes nonprofits get stuck on how to incorporate their mission when branding a fundraising event, especially when the theme of that event doesn’t match the nonprofit’s core. For example: Every year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale put on a culinary fundraising event. The event always centered around eating and drinking and since the Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission is to help young people reach their full potential, the theme of the event and the mission don’t match. One of the ways to connect the two, was creating a brand that felt fun and youthful. By using bright, bold colors and infusing playful icons and graphics, it created an environment that reflected the fun, playful side of the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Live & Local event brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio
Live & Local event brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Colors are one of the easiest ways for people to remember your brand. So by sticking with your brand colors is another way of being consistent while still being able to apply a fun new approach to your event’s brand design. For example: Every summer, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park puts on a Summer Concert Series and each year they have a new design for the event. This keeps the event fun and fresh, but by using brand colors you keep the integrity of the brand design core.

Railroad Park - Summer Concert Series event branding by Pace Creative Design Studio
Railroad Park - Summer Concert Series event branding by Pace Creative Design Studio

Have an event coming up but don't know how to brand it? Reach out to me and we can talk about leveraging your brand design to make your events more impactful.

Project Spotlight: Her Packing List

Here is a behind the scenes look at the brand design for Her Packing List.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio


I was excited when Brooke reached out to me for help on designing a new look and feel for her business, Her Packing List. Her Packing List is a travel site dedicated to female travelers with a less-is-more attitude, who need advice on packing and travel gear. Brooke founded this site out of her passion for traveling and wanting to help other women experience how traveling can be life changing. The site also helps ease the stress preparing for a trip by providing over 100 packing lists, travel guides, product reviews and even creative hacks for packing.

Creative Process

After digging deep and learning as much as I could about Her Packing List, it was clear that the goal of the design should be to create a modern feminine (but not frilly) brand that had a mix of vintage/retro inspired elements. This vibe can be seen in the brand mood board below:

Her Packing List brand mood board by Pace Creative Design Studio

Logo + Brand Marks

It is important for all businesses to have a range of brand elements, so you have the ability for branding flexibility, which is why I not only created a primary logo but three other marks. The typefaces in the primary logo were chosen because of their retro inspired styling.

Her Packing List logo design by Pace Creative Design Studio
Her Packing List logo design by Pace Creative Design Studio

These three brand marks might be my favorite icons to date.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

I created this H icon, so the overall creative direction still had a modern feel. If you look closely you will notice that the H’s crossbar is a little luggage tag.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

The third mark is a play off of passport stamps. It is a fun and playful brand element that can be added to different brand collateral, like this social media graphic:

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Color Palette

Since this was a redesign of an existing brand, Brooke and I felt that it was important to still incorporate the brand color red, but also develop a brand color palette that felt more vintage modern.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio


Fonts are just as important to your overall visual branding, just as other the brand elements. For Her Packing List, I decided to pair a modern condensed style font with a serif font. I also mixed in a retro script font. The styling of all three fonts together match perfectly with the goal of creating a modern and feminine (but not frilly) brand.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio
Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Patterns

I have said it before, but brand patterns add depth to your overall visual branding. You'll notice I use the main striped pattern throughout the brand collateral. The other ones are inspired by patterns and fabrics that you see traveling the world, which gives the brand a worldly feel.

Her Packing List brand patterns by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Collateral

As online entrepreneur, it is crucial to have an engaging social media following. With that in mind, I created Instagram and Pinterest templates that Brooke and her team would be able to use moving forward to promote new blog posts, traveling tips, packing tips and more.

Here is an example of what a branded Instagram feed would look like with the new branded templates:

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Pinterest templates:

Her Packing List Pinterest Templates designed by Pace Creative Design Studio

Social Media Cover Photos:

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio
Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Along with the social media templates, I designed a packing checklist template that travelers could download and print to help them prepare for their upcoming trip.

Her Packing List brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Want to see other brands that I've designed? You can check out my featured projects here.

The Happy Client


Brooke Schoenman
Editor & Founder, Her Packing List

“Jennifer's greatest asset is her uncanny ability to hone in on the features that make your brand truly yours, and then to turn them into the perfect visual identity. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire branding process at Pace Creative Design Studio, and as a result, I am now more able to clearly define what Her Packing List means to both myself and my readers. And we have a cohesive branding package that helps us to portray that meaning to the world! I cannot recommend the process highly enough; my only wish is that I'd done this sooner!” 

Design Paralysis: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Focus on Your Core

Are you stuck? Are you unsure of how your business needs to look visually? Are you constantly afraid of committing to a look, because you don’t know if it feels like you? If you answered yes to those questions, then you are in what I like to call a state of design paralysis – the inability to make decisions about the look and feel of your business.

Design Paralysis: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Focus on Your Core | Pace Creative Design Studio

Now you can get through this, but you should follow these steps:

1.  Stay Away from Pinterest

Now I love Pinterest and you can see that I have pinned thousands of images, so it hurts saying this. Right now you are unable to make any decisions about the look of your brand, because you are stuck in a comparison trap. You see all the other entrepreneurs marketing and branding themselves and you want to be like them. Everything they are doing looks perfect. You either begin to have self-doubt or think you need to look exactly like them. This leads right into why you can’t decide about your brand design. Take a step back and remove yourself from sites like Pinterest for a week or two. Then dive deep into your business. Hone in on your goals, your core and what makes you stand out. It is time to focus on just your business not what others are doing.

2. Work with a Designer and Trust the Process

It is scary trusting a designer to visually brand your business. You are afraid that they won’t understand you and end up with a brand design that doesn’t reflect your business at all. Take the time to research and find an experienced designer who has a branding process in place. Make sure their process emphasizes understanding your business before they ever begin to create a logo. All my branding projects start with a Discovery Phase, which solely focuses on understanding your goals, core values, where you see your business in the future and more. There is a comprehensive questionnaire that allows me to get a pretty accurate picture of your business. From there all design decisions reflect and connect back to the heart of your business.

3. Stop Trying to Please Everyone

Hiring a designer is a very important step in helping you through your state of design paralysis, but if you are not honest with yourself and the designer on your goals and your audience than the design is going to fall flat. Great brands attract and repel. You won’t become a great brand if you try to please and attract everyone. Really narrow in on who your ideal audience is, because then you won’t be stuck on what you should look like. You don’t want a generic brand design, you want one that is hand crafted to captivate, engage and appeal to your current and future customers.

4. Commit to a One Design Solution

Now this is the hardest part, especially if you are prone to design paralysis. Find a designer that delivers only one design solution. This option will make you nervous, but it will ultimately be the best approach for you.

Why is this the best for you? When you are given multiple design solutions, you tend to pick your favorite instead of focusing on if the concept reflects your core. In other cases, you end up wanting to combine two different concepts, which is even worse because you will end up with a diluted brand design strategy. The whole reasoning behind a one design solution approach goes back to the fact that your brand design should start with research and strategy not design. Every design decision will be based on the findings in a Discovery Phase. This one design solution works, because you aren’t distracted by all the different options. Remember to trust your designer, they will be working behind the scenes on exploring different options but they will only show you the best one that truly reflects who you are as a brand. By trusting their design expertise and process you will end up with a brand design that is the right solution, one that you are proud of and one that you are excited to show off.

5. Staying Consistent

Now that you have a cohesive brand design, make sure to stick with it or you’ll be back to your old design paralysis habits. Your brand design should include a brand style guide which will help you maintain brand consistency moving forward. The guide should outline how to use your logos, what your brand colors are and more. If the brand package doesn’t include collateral, I suggest investing in branded templates and brand materials. These templates, especially templates for social media, will allow you to simply fill in your content and not have to worry about making sure your brand design is staying consistent. Like I always say, brand consistency is one of the most important things about your brand design, because consistency equals recognition. If your customers recognize you, if they trust you and if they feel like you are dependable then they will be a fan for life. And a good brand design makes you recognizable, more dependable and most of all it builds trust.

Are you stuck in a design paralysis? Let’s chat and figure out ways you can move forward and not feel stressed about your brand design.

How You Know it’s Time for a Rebrand

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the signs that your brand design needs a refresh, but sometimes a refresh is not enough and you need to commit to a full rebrand. Rebranding is an important step for your business, but should only be done if you truly need it. Here are a few signs that let you know when it is time to rebrand:

How you Know it's Time for a Rebrand | Pace Creative Design Studio

Here are a few signs that let you know when it is time to rebrand:

You have outgrown your brand.
When you started your business, you did not have a budget for hiring someone to design your brand. You went the DIY route, which worked for you in the beginning but now that your business has grown it no longer works.

Your brand design lacks emotion.
Your business was founded by your drive to make an impact. You need to rebrand if you design lacks passion. Without an emotional connection, your audience will not feel compelled to interact with your brand.

You have repositioned yourself in the market.
When you grow, your business tends to evolve and change. As you diversify your offerings and adjust who you are marketing to, you will notice that your brand design no longer depicts who you are as a company and it begins to fall flat. 

Most importantly, the main reason to rebrand is so your business goals and values strategically align with how you are visually communicating to your audience.  

Do you feel it is time to invest in redesigning your brand? Let’s chat and we can work together to figure out if rebranding is the right move for you.

Favorite Font Friday No. 5

Favorite Font Friday no. 5: Mixa | Pace Creative Design Studio

Happy favorite font Friday! How fun is this font? It's a cross between a script and a san serif font. If you were just using the capitals, you'd never know that this font was also a script. Pretty sneaky 😉 You can download Mixa here and the Extra Light weight is FREE. 

Mixa font

The Top 3 Reasons You Should Use Patterns in your Branding

Patterns make people smile and if you follow my work you know they make me smile too. More importantly, patterns can play a huge role in your brand recognition. They add a little something extra to the overall brand design and that is why I like to create patterns for my branding clients.

These three reasons will explain why patterns can make an impact in your brand design.

The Top 3 Reasons You Should Use Patterns in your Branding | Pace Creative Design Studio

1. People Remember Patterns

Our brains tend to pick up and recognize patterns faster. We rely on repetition as a way of remembering things, so I use this notion when designing brand identities. I create patterns from different elements throughout the overall brand to reinforce the brand’s essence and visual appeal. These patterns become memorable and add another layer of visual consistency to your brand.

Here are examples of brand patterns I designed for Brightside Creative Solutions. I focused on using the brand's icon (the "B") and created a series of signature patterns that could be used interchangeably across the brand. Repetition of the brand's "B" icon in the patterns was key to making the brand unforgettable.

Brightside Creative Solutions pattern design by Pace Creative Design Studio

You can see how the patterns were implemented in the collateral. The brand patterns are unique and unforgettable. People will remember getting their business cards and they will begin to associate these bold patterns with Brightside.

Brightside Creative Solutions branding by Pace Creative Design Studio

2.  Break the Mold

What brand does not want to stand out from their competition? More and more businesses are realizing the importance of branding. They understand they need a strong logo and a brand color scheme, but then they stop there and think their visual brand is complete. But you shouldn’t. Developing patterns makes your visual messaging more unique. Your brand will begin to stand out from your competition. The patterns will enhance your brand’s personality and your audience will notice. Using patterns is a fun, visual way of engaging your customers.

Most people would think a dentist practice would not need brand patterns, but these patterns for Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry add visual appeal that makes them stand apart from most dentists. I created several simple and sweet confetti inspired patterns that were used on their business cards, website and more.

3.  Catch their Eye

Just adding your logo to your brand collateral or stationery does not count as branding. You want your collateral to be eye catching. You want your audience to recognize it as your brand and you want them to be engaged. Brand patterns add that eye catching interest that you are going for. They also allow you to stay consistent with your branding without heavily relying on just your logo. You can use them on your business cards, website, packaging, mailings, in your office or your storefront – the list could go on and on. In the end, your brand patterns add personal and memorable touches that your audience will be attracted to.

Not all brand patterns have to be intricate and bold. Sometimes the perfect pattern for a brand is subtle and not in your face. Your brand patterns need to reflect your business vision. For example, I created a very simple brand pattern for root + river. The wavy lines make you think of a river, but it also connects with how they help people, businesses and work cultures propel forward as they embrace the authenticity and soul of their brands.

Anyone can harness the benefits of brand patterns. They are beneficial for corporate companies, entrepreneurs, online shop owners, restaurants, clothing brands – basically they will work for all types of brands.

Don’t have brand patterns? Reach out to me and we can strategize how patterns can impact your brand.

Project Spotlight: Art Cart

Here is a behind the scenes look at the brand design for Art Cart.

A behind the scenes look at the branding of Art Cart by Pace Creative Design Studio


Art Cart is a mobile arts & crafts business, founded by two moms (and best friends), Amy and Jennifer. Their new business is inspired by their passion for the arts and DIY projects. They want children and adults to have fun exploring their creativity and not to be afraid to take creative risks. This “mom & mom” shop provides unique and personalized experiences that are specifically tailored to their customers. Whatever creative idea you have they will make it happen, from painting parties to even workshops were you can create succulents wreaths out of felt.

Creative Process

During the Discovery Phase, I learned more about the vision behind Art Cart. Jennifer and Amy were beyond excited to start their dream business and their enthusiasm was contagious. As always, the project started by narrowing in on their business goals, target market and more. They really emphasized who their target audience was down to even where they shopped. They wanted to target moms with a creative side, who were not afraid to DIY and get their hands dirty. These moms, who are probably so busy at work or raising littles ones, have lost touch with their creative side, but they yearn for it and want to explore it again with their friends or with their kids.

To attract these moms, the brand design needed to have a crafted and personable feel. The best way to create that feel was through a vintage styling that had whimsical elements with modern twist. This can be seen in the mood board below.


Art Cart mood board by Pace Creative Design Studio

Logo Design

To stay in line with the visual brand tone, I paired a modern font that had a feminine flair with a very playful serif font (that can be seen in the tagline). The addition of the pencil illustration really gave it that whimsical feel that we were going for.


Art Cart logo design by Pace Creative Design Studio

My favorite part of designing brands is adding flexibility and elements of surprise to the overall brand design. This alternative logo might be my favorite part of the Art Cart brand.

Art Cart logo design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Inspired by vintage design, I created a play on a floral wreath by designing a "doodle wreath" that captured the essence of Art Cart. I love all the art doodles around the primary logo like the ink bottle, the little trailer and of course the pencil icon. All the little details within the wreath highlight the whimsical appeal of the brand.

Color Palette

The feminine inspired color palette gives the brand a chic and crafted feel. The midnight blue, mint and blush colors combined with the bright pops of the pear and salmon colors add a touch of playful sophistication.

Art Cart brand colors | Brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Illustration Style

The playful illustrations in the alternative wreath logo can also be used by themselves through out the brand. They have a quirky style and really emphasize the creative side of the business. As Art Cart grows, Jennifer and Amy will be investing in a vintage trailer, so I created a little icon to nod to that.

Art Cart brand illustration style | Brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Patterns + Textures

Those illustrations also turned into brand patterns. Next I created brand textures. These consisted of up close acrylic paint textures, abstract watercolor patterns and watercolor splotches on kraft paper. This added another layer of intrigue to the overall brand design.

Art Cart brand patterns + textures by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Collateral

I then utilized the brand textures on the business cards to really highlight the vintage, whimsical and modern mood of the brand.

Art Cart business card designs by Pace Creative Design Studio

Looking for an update on your brand design? Let’s work together and figure out how design can impact your brand.

The Happy Clients

Art Cart founders – Jen and Amy
"Working with Jen could not have been any easier, at first I was a little worried since I have no knowledge of the design world but she talked us through every step of the way. I could not love our branding anymore and it just goes to show that Jen is truly a master at her craft, everything she does looks so effortless and beautiful." – Jennifer Britz
"Jen was the ultimate pleasure to work with. She guided us smoothly and professionally through her branding process, and did so in a way that allowed us to feel like we were truly a part of the creative process. By exploring our brand personality and learning the goals we had in mind, she emerged herself in the design process and the outcome was exceptional. We are thrilled with our identity package! And now we feel we have the tools to make our business a successful venture. Thank you for your incredible skills and your kindness, Jen! We wouldn't be here without you." – Amy Vericker 

The Power Behind a 100 Day Project and How You Can Implement that Power in Your Brand

The Power Behind a 100 Day Project by Pace Creative Design Studio

I am 21 days into my second 100 Day Project and I have realized how powerful it is to do something consistently every day. Since January 4th, I have committed to designing a greeting card every day. It has challenged me to focus not only on my clients’ work, but to also focus on making time to develop and improve my skills as designer and illustrator.

#100happygreetings project by Pace Creative Design Studio

Dedicating time to do a project every day for 100 days has taught me several lessons and these lessons can easily be implemented into your brand design:

Be Accountable

Showing up every day proves to your audience that you are accountable. Social media makes this easy, but being on them every day isn't enough. It is important that your posts are consistently following your brand design guidelines, like using the right brand colors and not changing them up all the time. You have to hold your team accountable to make sure you brand looks the same across all platforms. A consistent brand increases customer recognition and I am always preaching about it. You can see for yourself here and here.

I’ve told my audience that I will be designing a card every day and if I decide to quit in the middle of the project it shows them that I’m not reliable. If your audience trusts you and feels like you are dependable then they will be a fan for life – and we all are looking for our own brand cheerleaders.

Build a Habit

Successful brands are built on habits. Habits make you accountable. What do you think is the number one habit that brands break? They do not speak directly to their target audience. You should be doing this every day. With each detail of your brand, especially your visual brand, you need to ask yourself how does this relate to my ideal customer? Does this connect with them? Do the brand colors catch their eye? Does the brand photography spark their curiosity? You need to constantly be checking in with your brand to make sure that it is connecting to your audience. You need to establish this as a habit, so that your customers feel like your brand is speaking directly to them.

Stay Curious

Being curious and creative are two very important aspects of my business that is why I have embarked on another 100 Day Project, but these two things should also be a priority for yours. Building habits are great, but you don’t want them to become stale. For example, with my 100 Day Project, I’m not sticking to one genre of cards. I use my curiosity to research different themes and creatively depict them through illustrations and patterns. This process of brainstorming new ideas every day will ultimately help me come up with creative ideas for my clients’ projects. That is why you should always be curious about new ideas and how they can creatively spark your business.

How do you plan on implementing these lessons into your business? Do you have an idea of what you can do for the next 100 days to step up your branding? Email me and tell me your plans. 

#100happygreetings project by Pace Creative Design Studio

Project Spotlight: Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry

Here is a behind the scenes look at the brand design for Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry.

Project Spotlight: Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry Brand Design by Pace Creative Design Studio


Dr. Erica Pitera, a pediatric dentist in Connecticut, reached out to me to rebrand for her new dentist practice. She was in the process of taking over a dental office and it needed a new brand. The practice had been around for 30 years and was originally named after the previous dentist. Erica decided to rename the practice to Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry, since kids are sweet. The sweetest (no pun intended 😉) part of her story was that she had been a patient there when she was little. The most important thing to Erica was that she wanted to make sure that the brand didn’t market kids eating lots of sweets, but wanted to be known as the place where sweet kids and healthy teeth are their speciality.

Creative Process

In the discovery phase, I learned more about the vision behind Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry through the creative questionnaire that all my branding clients receive. As a young female dentist, Erica stood out in the market because most children feel comfortable around female dentists. Moms that are looking for dental care often feel overwhelmed and nervous when trying to find a dentist, so having a brand that highlighted a more feminine side was important. I created a mood board that reflected her vision of a brand that was modern, fresh, approachable and trusted.

Sweet Tooth mood board by Pace Creative Design Studio

Logo Design

I design most of my brands, so that there is a lot of creative flexibility and the Sweet Tooth brand was no different. I needed to make sure that there were several brand marks that could work on applications as small as a handle of a tooth brush to large signage.

Sweet Tooth brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio

Here are all the different brand marks for Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry.

Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio


Color Palette

The Sweet Tooth color palette is fresh and modern with a bright and happy feel. Since the colors are so bright and vivid, the use of a lot of white space is important for the overall styling of the brand to stay sophisticated.

Sweet Tooth brand colors by Pace Creative Design Studio


Patterns are one of my favorite brand elements. For the Sweet Tooth brand patterns, I created several simple confetti/sprinkles inspired patterns. The “sprinkles” give a playful wink back to the brand’s name. To complement these patterns it was important to also pair them with stripes.

Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry brand patterns by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Illustration Style

To establish the youthful side of the brand even more, I created custom illustrations. The hand-drawn illustrations mixed with the brand’s more modern elements gave it a really fresh feel.

Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry brand illustrations by Pace Creative Design Studio

Brand Collateral

It was a lot of fun building out the Sweet Tooth brand from business cards, to referral pads and to the design of the website, I was able to really capture the brand’s vibe – modern, fresh, approachable and trusted.

Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry referral pad designs by Pace Creative Design Studio
Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry web design by Pace Creative Design Studio
Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry business cards by Pace Creative Design Studio

The Happy Client

"I am beyond thrilled with the final result of my branding design for my new pediatric dental office. I can be a very picky person when it comes to design, but I never second guessed my decision to hire Jennifer - she exceeded my expectations! She listened to my ideas and desires for the branding, was very receptive to any changes I requested, and always replied promptly and stayed on track through the entire process. She truly "got" my vision and executed it beautifully, I am so excited to share what we've come up with with the world. I would highly recommend working with Pace Creative Design Studio to any of my colleagues or friends!"



3 Resolutions for Better Branding in 2017

It is that time of year again, where everyone is setting their resolutions. Personally, I love setting resolutions and goals. It inspires and motivates me. As you are setting your personal goals for 2017, don't forget to include some resolutions around your personal brand or your business's brand. These 3 resolutions will help you kick start better branding for 2017.

3 Resolutions for Better Branding in 2017 | Pace Creative Design Studio

1.  Set Intentions – Create an Inspiration Board

Inspiration boards or mood boards are one of my favorite steps in branding. I create them in the Discovery Phase of my branding process with my clients. Mood boards are your brand’s compass that guide the vision and visual style of your brand. The collage of images, patterns, textures, typography and colors perfectly communicate your brand’s essence. This inspirational piece is very important in creating your visual foundation.

Creating a mood board is fun and tools like Pinterest have made it even easier to create them. To start, setup a secret board on Pinterest and pin images that visually reflect your brand’s vision and tone. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to find the “perfect” images, but don’t overthink this step – it is all about collecting inspiring images and setting intentions for your brand. As you pin more images, you will begin to see a distinct visual direction forming.

Here are some mood board examples that I’ve created for some of my branding clients:

Mood board example 1:

visual brand vibe: creative, whimsical, crafted + playful

visual brand vibe: creative, whimsical, crafted + playful

Mood board example 2:

visual brand vibe: modern, fresh, approachable + trusted

visual brand vibe: modern, fresh, approachable + trusted

2. Find Balance

Does your visual brand seem disjointed? If so, you are probably sensing the unbalance within your brand design. Balance is one of the most important elements of good design. It is key to strike the right balance within the elements in your logo design but also between the different brand assets. You need to have the right combination of colors, patterns, typography, illustration and photography to have a successful brand identity. Do an audit of your brand assets and find what elements are working and what are not.

3. Exercise Brand Consistency

I am always preaching about brand consistency, because consistency equals recognition. If you only keep up with one of your branding New Year’s resolutions, this is the one. The number one thing you can do to help stay consistent is by establishing a brand style guide and sticking to them. A brand style guide is an in-depth document that clearly shows how your branding should be used. You need to set detailed parameters about each of your brand assets. For example, you need to outline how your logo can be used, what are the brand colors, what fonts are you allowed to use. This guide will help you make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms – print, web, social and more.

Here are a couple of pages from a brand style guide that I created for one of my clients:

root + river Brand Style Guide example by Pace Creative Design Studio

Need help with sticking to your branding New Year's resolutions? Drop me a note and we can work together to create better branding for you in 2017.

FREE Printable Holiday Gift Tags

FREE Printable Holiday Gift Tags designed by Pace Creative Design Studio

Who else is notorious at last minute holiday shopping and wrapping? I am! I always seem to have the best ideas in the last few days and I always wish I had given myself more time to execute them. I've designed a set of holiday gift tags for all you last minute gift givers. Just print on white card stock and cut them out.

FREE holiday tags printable by Pace Creative Design Studio

Favorite Font Friday No. 1

Favorite Font Friday No. 1 – Oswald | Pace Creative Design Studio

I'm starting a new series called Favorite Font Friday, where I will be showcasing some of my favorite fonts. As a designer, I find myself obsessed with a lot of design related things and fonts and typography top that list. Looking forward to sharing my favorites and most importantly I will post fonts that are free, because who doesn't love freebies?

Favorite Font Friday No. 1 – Oswald

To kick off the series, I want to share with you Oswald. It is a modern font that has a strong, condensed styling and it is perfect for headings and captions. It comes in 15 different styles (light, regular, bold, stencil, etc.) and you can download it for free here.


Project Spotlight: Brightside Creative Solutions Brand Design

Here is a behind the scenes look at the brand design for Brightside Creative Solutions.

Brightside Creative Solutions brand design by Pace Creative Design Studio


Holly and Jessica, co-owners of Brightside Creative Solutions, approached me to take on designing a new brand identity for their digital marketing business. They felt their current brand design was dull and did not reflect the energetic personality of their business. They wanted some bright and unique elements that could make their brand stand out and I couldn’t wait to make that happen for them.

Creative Process

Every branding project I work on starts with the discovery phase. Holly and Jessica filled out a comprehensive questionnaire, so I could gain a better understanding of their business vision. The biggest takeaway from the questionnaire was the unique value that they bring to their clients. As a duo, they bring this infectious enthusiasm in their one-on-one interactions that you don’t see very often in the world of digital marketing. As I learned more about Brightside, I became more inspired by Holly and Jessica. I was able to create a mood board that visually reflected their infectious enthusiasm that I even began to see with my own interactions with them.

Brightside Creative Solutions Mood Board by Pace Creative Design Studio

Primary + Secondary Logos

After the discovery phase, I knew that there needed to be several surprise elements within the brand. I designed a logotype, a secondary logo and several alternate marks that would allow creative flexibility for the digital brand. Each of the logo elements are full of energy and portray that playful and modern sensibility that the brand embodies.

Brightside Creative Solutions branding by Pace Creative Design Studio

Color Palette

For the brand colors, I chose a palette that was bright and light, but also had a feminine flair. The primary sunshine yellow evokes the sense of optimism and self-confidence, while the mix of the charcoal and mint colors adds a touch of sophistication.

Brightside Creative Solutions brand colors by Pace Creative Design Studio


If you follow my work, you know I have a huge obsession with designing patterns and I couldn’t stop myself from creating several different ones for Brightside Creative Solutions. These fun and playful patterns add another exciting layer to the overall brand identity. My favorite part was using the alternate marks to create some of the patterns.

Brightside Creative Solutions brand pattern designs by Pace Creative Design Studio

Business Cards

From the beginning, Holly and Jessica emphasized how they wanted to start incorporating gold into their brand, so I could not resist designing their business cards to include gold foil. The addition of the gold foil was the perfect touch for this new brand design.

Brightside Creative Solutions brand stationery design by Pace Creative Design Studio

The Happy Client

Holly Lane, co-owner of Brightside Creative Solutions

Brightside Creative Solutions

“The brand elements Jennifer created PERFECTLY captured who we were. She gave us brand patterns that we are able to use on many of our new collateral. The whole process was smooth and done in a timely manner. We cannot recommend working with her enough! As a digital marketing company we know the value of a brand and are so happy to have a partner in someone like Jennifer who understands that as well.”

Dear America...

Understanding by Pace Creative Design Studio

Today I woke up devastated, bitter and ashamed of being an American. I woke up to a world I don't recognize – one where hate won. A place where people seem to be okay with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and sexual assault. My spirit is crushed.

But tomorrow I will wake up with an open mind and an open heart. I will once again wake up being proud to be an American. Because even if you aren't feeling the way I am right now, doesn't mean your feelings don't matter. I will make it my mission to listen to everyone's frustrations, fears and concerns. Tomorrow will be about understanding.

The next day will be about action. I'm going to do what I do best – work hard. Work hard for what I believe in. Stand up for people who feel like they have no voice. To live passionately and honor everyone's differences. I will not let hate stand in my way! I will not stop working hard to make a difference in this world.

It is time to listen to each other and come together to talk respectfully about our differences. We need to look at each other as humans, who deep down all want the same thing – to be loved for who they are.

Community Over Competition

Community over Competition by Pace Creative Design Studio

If you are a designer like me, especially one that runs your own business, you’ve quickly realized that the market is saturated with other creatives doing exactly what you do. Most mornings I scroll through Instagram and I see the endless posts from extremely talented designers, artists, illustrators and photographers. Sometimes that little voice in the back of my mind creeps up. I begin to hear the dreaded insecurities like “I’ll never be that good” or “you’re crazy to think you can do this.” I have to remind myself not to think like that, because insecurities will be your downfall.

That’s where community comes in. This past week, I immersed myself not only in the Phoenix design community but I also pushed myself and joined in on The Rising Tide Instagram challenge. Here is what I learned:

Build Each Other Up
It’s hard not to get caught up in the comparison game. Once you get involved in a community you will quickly find people that will encourage you, give you advice and genuinely want you to do well.

Learn From Each Other
Make authentic connections by sharing your passions and your knowledge. Help each other out, because it is easier to learn from others than trying to completely recreate the wheel.

Know That You Are Not Alone
Don't do this by yourself. The most important thing about community over competition is the feeling you get when you realize you are not alone in your struggles and your successes.

Let Go of Your Fear
People’s biggest fear with making connections with other like minded business owners is that they are going to steal their clients or their ideas. That is a limited way of thinking. When you open up and make authentic relationships you will begin to see your business thrive on many levels.

“Community over competition is competition rightly ordered–it’s putting relationships before opportunity. It’s an understanding that the best businesses serve others.”@daveytjonesy

Not only can this be applied to the creative community, but the theory behind community over competition can be practiced by all businesses. I truly believe everyone should take a step in that direction.

Community Over Competition by Pace Creative Design Studio

I challenge you reach out to three new people in your community this next month. Grab coffee or lunch and find out more about their passions. Learn about their struggles and genuinely find ways you can help each other.

Once you’ve made this effort, tell me what you learned. Let’s talk about what happened when you made a conscious effort to believe in community over competition.