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.


Leave a comment

Brand Audit

brand audit

If you can’t identify and articulate the problem you face, it is a good sign that you need additional help. One of my favorite things to do for businesses is to do a brand audit. Hang in here with me, you’ll see the value once I explain.
Think of how many things you put out there for your business. On a simple level you might have a combination of your logo, business card, website and a direct mail piece. When is the last time you put all those things directly in front of your nose to critique? Have you ever taken a step back to look at the entire picture instead of the piece that you’ve got to get out and get off your list? If this is you constantly, know that you aren’t alone. Many of my clients have this struggle. This can be a great pat on the back experience for some businesses and for others it can be quite sobering.

When you lay everything you’ve got together, on the table in front of you to review at once, things are going to jump out. You might notice that you sporadically use your logo the same, that your fonts are all over the board, that your images all have a different look and feel. This is when you start seeing opportunity! Create a plan to start tackling and pull in the ropes.

Streamline, be consistent, make things cohesive. You’ll be rewarded in your brand.

If you find yourself proud and happy with how things are all on the same page then you’ve got a chance to brainstorm on how to take things to the next level. Sorry if you thought I was going to say you could kick back! You can take the time to decide what has worked and what isn’t working. Look for your next branding opportunity.

Branding is constant work and it pays you back by setting you apart from your competition when you continue to be top of mind for continuously caring for the brand you have made.

If you are interested in a brand audit, give me a shout. I’d love to provide you some great feedback on where to go and how to do it!


Leave a comment

Your Elevator Speech- Is It Working?

helloWhen someone asks you what you and your business are all about, it can be hard to hold back from dumping a whole lot of passion in that captive ear in the form of a lengthy, possibly confusing summary. This same thing can happen online or even graphically. My recent consults have uncovered that this might be a more common struggle than you may think in business.
I’ll be putting together a worksheet that will force your mind to drill down all that passion into an impactful short summary that represents your business well without providing too many details but allowing the captive audience to understand the entry level knowledge they need before diving deeper.
If this sounds like a struggle you are having, sign up here to be the first to receive this worksheet for free when it is available in your inbox. Coming soon! You’ll also get to grab the branding worksheet that allows you to evaluate how well your current branding efforts are working for you right away.
In the mean time, keep the wheels moving and make today count.


1 Comment

Actionable Goals and Project Management Subscriptions

This year, I’ve made a commitment to myself to write monthly actionable goals to obtain each month for my business. As February comes to a close, I’m working on wrapping up one last goal before March arrives and then I’ll start again! I didn’t expect to like this so much. Each month, I write them and wonder how I’ll get them all done among everything else. There is this funny thing that happens when you write things down…they stay on your mind. For me, I keep these written on a sticky note on the inside cover of my planner. I literally look at them every day and even if I am not reading them, they are crossing my mind. I make them happen.

What do I mean by actionable goals?
I’m talking about things that you feel would make your life easier. Things that you know need to happen in your business but you keep putting off for one reason or the other. These things that make you feel less stressed once you know you’ve finished them.
Worth the effort!
  • Have you been meaning to write more content for your business? Write down what you need to do.
  • Looking for a podcast to learn more about your business? Write down a goal to find one.
  • Are you running low on business cards and just need to place that order? Reach out.
  • Have you been meaning to improve your project management? Check out Basecamp or Asana.
Speaking of which, I recently switched from Basecamp to Asana for my project management system because of my February actionable goal and I’m really trying to stay on board and give it a good chance. I’ve heard plenty of positive feedback and I do like the features more than Basecamp. However, Basecamp is familiar and comfortable for me so I’m fighting the urge to head back just for familiarity.
I welcome you to share your comments, and write down some March goals today. No need to be fancy, this sticky note pad is straight from a print vendor I work with 🙂
IMG_5679


Leave a comment

Do Fonts Matter?

You know who is amazing? My four year old! (Bare with me!) We were driving to his preschool and we pass a building not on our normal route but one he has seen time and time again. We were stopped at a light and he says “Mom! Their letters don’t match. Why don’t their letters match?” It took me a second to see what he was looking at and when I spotted it, I was shocked he of all people would notice such a detail. Here is a picture:

image-7

The top logo is a different font than the bottom logo. 

He told me he thought one must be old and one must be new and they should fix it. What?! My inner designer smiled at this conversation at a red light.

Don’t you think if a four year old notices something like that then your market would? One might think that plenty of people won’t notice and if they do then they won’t care. This may be true for some but for others? They might see this overlooked detail as a reason to not trust your brand or discount your services over their interpretation of your carelessness.

On the flip side, re-branding is expensive. Especially when signage is involved or vehicle wraps and many other items that would all get in line for an update. If you are in this phase on your business and re-branding then be sure to make a plan on how to implement the change, to budget for it and to roll it out with those things in mind. Make sure you can update your signage all at the same time.


Leave a comment

Recharge!

setting sail

I’m heading out today on an adventure! I’ll return November 11th. Normally, I take my laptop with me each trip or vacation but not this time! My husband and I are going on a cruise and since internet and phone service will be hit or miss I figured it is best to leave it behind. Plus it will force me to truly disconnect and recharge my batteries.

 

I look forward to returning and hitting the ground running. I sincerely love my job and the opportunity I have every day to be creative and help businesses grow!