brand

How to Visualize your Brand Story

“Branding gives you an exceptionally effective way to broadcast who you are to your target market quickly and efficiently.” – MultiChannel News
 

How to Visualize Your Brand Story | Pace Creative Design Studio

In today’s ever-changing marketplace it’s more important than ever that your brand be effective at telling your story. Not only do you need a good story, you also need to tell it very clearly with cohesive colors, emotions, fonts, and other design elements. Putting everything together in one unified message is the key to branding success.

Whether you know it or not, your brand is telling the story of you and your business. Every time someone visits your website or reads your Facebook post, they are forming an opinion about who you are and deciding if they can relate to your brand. But it’s often difficult for small business owners, and even large ones, to understand and design every part of a brand story without some help.

Here are a few things to remember about the visual elements of your brand story. These can help you create a brand that is compelling and effective.

  1. Your visual brand story is a way to communicate directly with a prospect. It tells a story and should create a lasting impression. It should be authentic and should create a sense of trust in the minds of your prospects.
  2. The design of your brand should visually represent/reflect the mood and tone of your brand story. In order to have a great brand story, start with the story and add your visual branding based on that story. Too many times we want to start with logos and colors and fonts before we’ve really identified the story of our brand.
  3. Every color is tied to an emotion. You can use the psychology behind a color to help tell your brand's story. Take a look at this blog I created to help you understand color and its impact on people. Is your story emotional, energetic, happy or sad? Use colors to reflect those emotions.
  4. Your brand story’s visual elements can help in 3 ways. They make the brand relatable, memorable and engaging. The images create a simple yet highly engaging entry point for consumers, while the text of your brand story gives them the details they are curious about.

I hope these basic tips will help you create or strengthen your brand story. I geek out when I’m talking brand design and I’d love a chance to help you design a brand with one-of-a-kind visuals you can be proud of. Let’s get to talking!

How to Create Demand for your Brand

No matter how great your product or services, there is no such thing as a monopoly in today’s marketplace. There is an option for every product or service out there — usually an overwhelming number of options. So how do you get noticed and attract clients in the middle of all the noise? You might be surprised to learn that the key to success is to market your brand, not your product or service. 
 

How to Create Demand for Your Brand | Pace Creative Design Studio

Think about iconic brands like Coca-Cola and Nike. Does Coca-Cola tell you all the ingredients in their product or about where it’s sourced or how it’s made? Nope. Their latest tagline tells you to “Taste the Feeling” and their iconic logo is unmistakable. They’re promising an experience and feeling you have when you use their product. Does Nike talk all day long about their shoe construction or what their exercise wear is made of? No. The iconic tagline “Just Do It” is one of the most successful taglines ever created. Their “swoosh” logo implies movement and both inspire and encourage us to exercise. Even the Dollar Shave Club isn’t talking about the razor you’re buying. Their slogan “Shave Time. Shave Money.” shows they truly understand their audience and know how to speak directly to them.

How does your brand compare to these highly successful brands? You may not have the marketing budget they do, but the principles for standing out in a crowded marketplace are the same and can work for a business of any size.

  • Position your brand by narrowing your focus and staying true to who you serve. Narrowing your focus allows you to better target your ideal client.
  • Become known for who you are and create an emotion associated with your brand. Your brand should reveal the essential value you offer.
  • Create curiosity and belief in the minds of your audience that your brand offers something new—something they haven’t experienced before.
  • Differentiate how your brand looks from your competition. You can stand out by looking different and having a brand design that reflects who you are as a business.

These principles are a good place to start, but don’t confuse branding with advertising or marketing. Advertising is how and where you call attention to your brand. Marketing is actively promoting or “pushing” out a specific message. Branding is communicating your authentic values that clarify what your brand is and is not. It is “pulling” your audience in through attraction.

Is your branding attracting just the right clients to you? I know it can be difficult to figure out, so if you’re ready to strengthen your brand but don’t know where to start, then we should chat. I’m always ready to help with creative ideas, suggestions, and, of course, with custom, hand-crafted designs for you!

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.

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

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