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.


Leave a comment

How To Speak Visually

MOOD BOARD DESIGN

I often hear from clients that they are having a hard time telling me what it is that they have in their head for their expectations on visual outcome. It can quickly become frustrating when you are trying to tell your designer in words and have it come out off target when translated visually. So what do you do?

Mood boards are magic, I promise. Take a look at this post in the archives to learn more about what a mood board is.

When you are having a hard time putting your thoughts into words to tell anyone, even your business partner then you need to take a different approach. Spend time gathering images off the internet that you’ve loved. Save those postcards you’ve gotten in the mail that made sense, take note of copy you enjoyed because it sounded great, pull those color swatches in the paint store because it is the perfect coral for your logo. Do all these things and compile them into a single image that you can look at and really see how all of these things you love visually work together once they are living in the same space together.

Once you have it all together, you may find that your love for glitter doesn’t belong in your brand, or you’ll find that it absolutely does. Visual clarity and focus will start to form. Take the time to do this and if you don’t have the interest to do this yourself, I can do it for you! Email me and we’ll start to pull it together.

Once you have a visual mood board it will be helpful for any designer that you choose to move forward with. A lot of things with design can’t be translated with words and so compiling a bunch of images together to do so proves very helpful on both sides with getting you up and running quicker and easier.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Project Work: Non Profit Event Design

invitation suite

I was happy to partner with a local non profit to work on a developing an event brand to support a fundraiser dinner auction that they host yearly. They’ve never really focused on event branding until this year and we hit the ground running! The first step was developing an event logo that would serve as a mark for all things related to this specific fundraiser in addition to the non profit’s logo. I shared this a while ago on Facebook and Instagram as a sneak peek and wanted to be sure and share the rest of the goods!

10444725_889707217727171_6019284467619118021_n

The scope of their event design needs included:

  • Save the Date
  • Invitation with insert cards and rsvp
  • Powerpoint branding for the auction
  • Event Signage
  • Auction Catalog

If you find yourself wondering if you should commit to event branding, write down a list of all the things you’ll need to create for your event. You might be surprised how long that list gets and in return, how  your event would profit and flourish from creating an attractive, relate-able brand that speaks to your foundation.

This was such a fun project and I’m honored to be a part of it!

Have a question about event design, I’d love to hear from you!


Leave a comment

Why Not Your Business?

flameAre you an entrepreneur working hard to build your business and waiting for your big break? You’ve got to keep taking steps to grow your business. Think of your business and the areas you wish could be stronger, that you could improve, that your competition excels with and you do not. Outline ways you can change that. Believe in your business’s abilities and yours to achieve just that and start to work on getting the ball rolling.

The common obstacles I hear from the clients I partner with are:

  • I don’t have enough time to dedicate to the branding process.
  • I don’t know what it means to build a brand but I have a logo.
  • The budget doesn’t allow for me to have the things I need for marketing.

These are all very real and very common fears and obstacles that get in the way of success for so many businesses.

I’m here to remind you that your brand is an investment in your business that will pay you back over time.

It is worth the work and effort put into it. Think about your days, every day you make assumptions about new businesses you see and learn about that is based off of nothing besides what you see. The customers you want, are doing the same to you. Do you feel like you are making a great impression?


2 Comments

Quick Tip For A Better Social Media Photo

I’ve been working with clients on their social media pages, specifically Facebook and have a quick tip that will help your pictures look crisp and clear.

Most people will default to upload a JPEG image for things like their cover photo. However, the best file format to upload is a PNG file. This will create the clear and crisp image you are after without blur or pixelation.

If you need help with creating PNG images, give me a shout.

 


Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning For Your Brand

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.


Leave a comment

The Good, Bad & Ugly

It is almost impossible for me to turn my mind off when design surrounds our lives constantly to not notice things. For me, it is a happy obsession. Today, I’m sharing some of the random design observations I’ve seen the past few days. We’ll start with the good.

Good: Packagedesign

Costco’s environment provides many retail display and package design challenges for the products they sell. Behind the curtain it is a very mathematical process to get everything to fit within the space available, to be able to ship and stack on a pallet. After the details are worked out, the biggest challenge for a product is creating an attractive package design to get sales.
I always applaud companies that take advantage of a small space by using their own packaging to project a bigger display. Take a close look at this display. By using a strategically cropped product photo and placing 2 boxes together, they created a whole image while doubling the size of their product image. Genius, right? I say it is a job well done.

Bad:

graphic design

Spotting this while getting gas broke my design heart. This is such an unfortunate error. Notice the “th” being half covered? Working with print for so many years I can guarantee that having a great print partner can be priceless. They are a fresh perspective to designs that have had several eyes all over them and all missing the obvious. To a printer with their fresh perspective, it can jump out and scream and when they tell you they caught an error you’ll want to resist the urge to kiss them. With that said, it isn’t the printer’s responsibility to catch errors but when you work a printer that has your back, you’ll keep coming back.

Ugly:

badfont

This snapshot is a placement in a restaurant. It bothered me so much after I noticed it that I kept it covered with a plate. The reason it bothered me was because the chosen font looks too close to the Disney font. Brands are sensitive too. Using fonts that echo another brand minimizes the message your brand is trying to translate.

Keep your eyes open and take in all of the designs you see each day. I think you would be surprised what you find. Don’t forget to share it with me!

Join me on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter.