Branding

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: 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

Overview

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

Overview

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

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

 
Erica-headshot.png
 
"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!"

 

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How to Avoid these 3 Mistakes in Branding

How To Avoid these 3 Mistakes in Branding by Pace Creative Design Studio

Crafting your brand design is not easy. Unfortunately, it is really easy to fall into some common brand design traps. As you begin the process of branding or rebranding your business consider these three mistakes:

1. Not Investing in Brand Design

Hire a professional.
Brand design is an important investment. As a business owner, I understand the need to keep expenses low. Remember though that your brand identity is the face of your business and is the first thing that your ideal customer will see. Your goal is to have a brand that is professional, recognizable and authentic to you, so the biggest mistake you can make is not investing in brand design.

Today, there are so many websites that offer cheap logo designs and you can even buy one for $5*. In your mind, you are probably seeing all the money you will be saving, but stop and think for a second – do you really think that they will be providing you with a logo that reflects everything that your business is about? I promise you that they won’t. When you hire a professional designer, they will take the time to understand your business including your story, vision, goals, target market and more. Great brand design reveals your values.

* Please note that a lot of these sites are ripping off logo designs. I don’t want you to end up with a design where someone can go after you for copyright infringement.

2. Lacking Creative Consistency

Inconsistency is confusing.
Don’t confuse your audience. Don’t have all your brand collateral look different. Don’t believe you have to follow every single design trend to get people to notice you. When you invest in a professional designer to create a cohesive brand identity, they will develop brand guidelines that will be your roadmap to creative consistency. It is important that your marketing materials look similar, because people will start to recognize your brand which is the first step into building a loyal following and trust. Your audience will start to feel comfortable with your brand and start to recognize subtle details like colors or patterns. Consistent brand design establishes credibility.

3. Branding without a Purpose

Design is strategic.
The most crucial step in brand design is the discovery phase. A professional designer will research your business, ask questions around business strategy and understand your business goals before designing anything. Why is that important? Having a design strategy around your brand will bring clarity. Knowing what is important to your business and why you are doing it is how you position yourself in the market. Brand positioning allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your positioning guides the design direction. Each design decision is crafted to tell your story. In the end, strategic brand design illustrates your purpose.
 

Do you recognize any of these mistakes? Don’t let these mistakes hold you back from reaching your brand’s full potential. Drop me a note and let me help you avoid these pitfalls. I want to help bring your brand to life.

 

The Fear in Branding

Branding has become quite the buzzword and rightfully so. Why? Because branding matters. 
 

Fear in Branding by Pace Creative Design Studio

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin

Branding Myth: Branding is just a logo.
The biggest misconception about branding is that it is all about the logo design. A logo is part of your brand and is important, but it is not the only piece. There are several important pieces that make up your brand. Your branding includes:

  • Brand Values
  • Brand Voice
  • Brand Story
  • Brand Goals
  • Brand Relationships (the emotional relationships with your audience or customer)
  • Brand Visual Identity (the look and feel of your business)
    • Logo: the mark that portrays your company in the most simplest form
    • Secondary logos/marks
    • Website
    • Brand elements – patterns, icons, photography, etc.
    • Marketing collateral – business cards, flyers, ads, social media graphics, etc.
    • Advertisements


Branding is the foundation of your business and is the reason why people are attracted to it. That is why it matters.

For the most part people understand why branding is important. After years of designing brand identities, I have noticed one big challenge that my clients face when it comes to visual branding — they are afraid of taking risks. Today, innovation and big ideas (more buzzwords) are what everyone strives for, but when you really dive deep you will begin to notice that people shy away from it. They will avoid taking a risk or just simply doing something new. Why is that? Because change is hard. Being different is hard. Innovation is definitely hard and so is being creative.


“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas.
I’m frightened of the old ones.” – John Cage

The Fear
People come to me for branding design. They are looking for a fresh and unique brand identity for their business. Once I get into the branding process, I quickly realize they don’t want something fresh or unique, they want a design that is based off of what other people in their industry are doing. That right there is the epitome of fear in branding. They become so distracted by the trends and what their competitors are doing they forget about their brand values, their brand voice and their brand goals. This distraction leads to what I like to call design paralysis – meaning that people get so caught up in design trends that they go into a state of fear and are unable to take risks in design.

Taking risks in design doesn’t mean you will be going completely out of your comfort zone. It can be simple. For example, I just got married in January and while researching different vendors, I noticed that the wedding industry is full of brands that have floral or calligraphy logos. Is that a bad thing? No. Overall, if you are in the wedding industry you probably want to convey an elegant and romantic feel and one of the ways of portraying that is through beautiful script fonts and delicate florals. But your goal as a business should be to strive to being unique. Remember your brand values, voice and goals are some of the most important elements that dictate the design decisions for creating your visual brand. The most simple way of standing out might be to not have a calligraphy or a floral logo, but you have to make sure that the design decisions align with your brand. Just because I said that was the most simple way of standing does not mean that should be the reason for you. Each decision should reflect and highlight your overall brand.

To make sure that the visual identity aligns with your brand, you need to make sure that the designer you are working with takes the time to understand your business. Through my branding process, I spend a lot of time in the beginning dedicated to the discovery phase. The discovery phase is one of the most important aspects of the process. The goal is to understand your business at a deeper level. Before any design happens, I will need to know everything about your business including your story, vision, goals, target market and more. All of these elements will help in defining your visual brand.

So, what are you scared of? What about the branding process has you in a design paralysis? Email me and tell me your fears in branding.