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.


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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.

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Logo Design Spotlight

logo design therapy I Heart Connection is a business with a big heart behind it! Suzanne is growing her business to help others better connect within themselves and how our brain relates to our feelings and our needs of others. She wanted a logo that could appeal to multiple audiences, in her case adults and children. It is always extremely helpful to know this before design ever takes off because knowing who you are designing for in terms of the audience will secure better results. Within this logo there are a couple of things going on. You’ll notice the heart within the shape of the “I” and in the girl’s ponytail but we completely avoided having a heart take over the logo. This was intentional to avoid market assumptions regarding her services. She’ll also be able to really have those cute characters take off within her brand and support her. In the end, logos are a piece of a business’s story.

It is up to the marketing support to carry the logo. Focus your attention and remain consistent to start seeing results faster. Have a great logo that you don’t know what to do with? I’m happy to review your logo and provide suggestions for improvement or ways to make your logo stronger. Drop me an email to get started! amie@amiebakercreative.com


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Do You Need A Website Or More Customers?

where to startWhen someone comes to me asking for a website, I know they are really might be asking is for more customers. It is my job to help connect those dots.

There are so many things on a technical list of what you want for your website like a contact form, social media links, or a photo gallery. Have you spent the time thinking about the “why” behind these needs on your list? Why- your customer cares that you are on Facebook, why- your customer cares about your slide show of images. It is a good mindset to have as you plan out your website.

Something I like to know when starting a project is what made you decide to start this project in the first place. If I can understand what happened or what changed in your business to need a new website (we’ll stick with that example, but it could be anything) then I can better design to meet that need. Sometimes it isn’t just for more customers. Sometimes, it has more to do with customers not understanding the width of the product line or services. Sometimes, a project is developed out of the realization of not reflecting the right image.

Whatever the reason, it is so important to discover the “why” in order to make sure the results will be of value for you.

Image


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People Judge Books By Their Cover. Truth.

I’ve always hated that saying. As a designer and branding addict, I know better. People crave things to relate to. We need things to catch our attention and to engage us. We have too many distractions in our daily life for us to be expected to pay attention to mediocre.
This same idea applies to things that we view as dated. I mean, there are entire reality shows dedicated to bringing things up to date like home remodels, what people wear and how businesses run. The danger of having dated design and materials that look cheap represent your business is exactly that. Cheap and out of date. Your competitor is just a click away, don’t make it that easy for your customer to leave once they are at your doorstep only to find your competitor’s brand that looks and feels more comfortable and welcoming of their business.

 

You can check out a before and after for a client in the wedding industry here: 
princess brides before and after


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Youth Group Identity Makeover

I recently paired my talents with my church to overhaul the look of their youth program. I am proud that we worked to create an image that represents the the youth group collectively and provides another bridge for everyone to connect.

Here is a look at what we did. We started with a logo design that features bright colors with a reference to a cross in the “t” of the abbreviated church name. Emphasis was added to “you” on the “youth.”

Youth Group Logo Design

There were a few key elements to support the new look that would work really hard for the brand. Overall, this is a pretty shocking change for the Youth Director to manage so our focus was making elements that could be used a lot and with ease.

powerpoint background designDigital background designs: It was important to have some slide designs that could have multiple content uses. Backgrounds with multiple colors were created to be paired with images and text as needed.

blog designBlog Design: WordPress is a great match for the uses and needs of the youth group’s blog. A simple to use and clean design was implemented.

brand launchBrand Launch Graphic: In order to introduce the new look to the youth group, we created imagery to be used through visual expression. An instant look and feel for viewers to relate to.

Image DesignImage Filters: Image filters are quite popular these days so we created image filters that can be applied to photographs.

This is a great example of how careful planning can really make a small amount of branding elements work really hard to create a bigger image and tie things together.


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Be Authentic

During some client meetings and consulting sessions this past month, I have had a re-occurring conversation that I thought would be great to share on my blog.

My competitor is successful, I want to copy- but not copy what they are doing.

In life, we’ve all followed the thought of assuming people are better off than ourselves, in whatever way you measure your success. This same thing happens with branding your business. Part of the discovery process includes finding those that you admire, those that you don’t and define why you feel that way. This is something to do with great caution.
I’ll assume you all have the friend on Facebook who puts on a big show about their perfectly full of excitement life for all to see but we know there is more to it than that. They aren’t the ones posting about running late to an important meeting, a casual relaxing Friday night or how messy their home might be from trying to keep up. They are keeping up the show at all times. Brands can do that too.

I pull the reins back every time I hear a business owner in conversation with me about making their business card, their website, their mailer or whatever it may be look just like their competitors… but not to copy it. When I start to ask why, I start hearing assumptions about how successful they are so what they are doing is right. That may be true, but it might not be. Truth is, it takes a well rounded effort to succeed with your marketing being the driver. You’ll need to follow up, check in, close deals, provide supporting information and make sure your content on your marketing materials is turning your audience into a fan club for your brand.

Most importantly, you’ll need to be authentic. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

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