brand consistency

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.

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.

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