Be Brightly Branded

Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.

Spring Cleaning For Your Brand

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Tacoma graphic designer
One of my favorite things to do is evaluate brands. It is always tricky when I enter into a situation with a brand that was developed by an uncle’s, friend’s wife who is known for her talent to craft cards. Usually, this situation takes a few directions:

• The business took off their blinders and finally gave it a critical look and has determined it isn’t something they are proud of or working for them and we get started.

• The brand is working and headed in a good direction but the creative muscle needed to grow it isn’t available.

• The business stands by their design and really wants help making it work.

To the business that has placed their brand in the hands of someone who does this as a hobby or even an employee who has this role added to a very full plate just make it happen, I’ve got some tips for you. I acknowledge that businesses can be limited on their budget and by doing so they use their resources to the best of their ability. I like the mindset of not chasing perfection but getting things out there. If you are striving for perfection, you’ll never pass go and you’ll keep finding something to get hung up on.

Don’t let your brand plateau. This is where a professional’s dose of honesty will help. I will tell you if your designs look dated, filtered, unfinished, slapped together or templated. It might be hard to hear but you’ll be thankful for this knowledge later.

If you are not ready for that, here are few things you can do to check the pulse of your brand:

  1. Print out all items representing your brand currently. This includes the web related items, screen shots of your website, your social media presence, any email blasts you send out in additional to your printed collateral. Gather it all and then get it up in front of you on a wall to review.
  2. Pay attention to fonts. This is usually something that is hard to spot for those who aren’t looking at fonts all the time. I like to think that everyone knows using comic sans isn’t the best choice due to over saturation, accessibility or poor usage overall giving it a bad reputation in the design community. If you use a font like this, take note. If you use too many fonts, take note.
  3. Look at your colors. What colors jump out? Are they consistent? Are they all warm colors, cool colors or do you have a rainbow on your wall now?
  4. As you take this all in visually, take it in verbally too. Note the tone of your copy that you use. Do you swap from corporate to casual tones?
  5. How do your photographs look? Do they communicate the same message or do you notice differences in the lighting style, the model appeal or scenery?

By doing this, you should have a good feel for how your are representing your business to your market. You should notice your strengths but also notice where you can improve your branding efforts.

Spring is a great time to take a time out with your brand.

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