Branding my business the "right way" took a lot of time. It took a lot of soul searching, a lot of up-all-night, one-to-many-glasses-of-wine and a lot of post-it notes taped all over my office wall and desk with different ideas, time. Some of those ideas ended up in the trash can while others are still taped to my wall as a reminder of what my business is all about and how I hope to see my business evolve in the coming years. (Let's be honest, some of the best ideas come to us after a nice glass of wine after all... or in the shower!)
I figured out early on that branding goes much deeper than a logo. Your brand is the personality of your business. The client experience. The visual style of your business. The core values of your business and your moral promise.
Simply put, your brand is like an extension of you.
So, when I went about visually branding my business, I had a good head-start because I have spent so much time thinking about what I really want my business to be about, who I want to be as an artist and business owner, and how I can incorporate that into a brand identity. I had done much of the mental and emotional work, but when it came to designing a logo I was stuck. I felt pulled in many directions, I couldn't quite pinpoint what I wanted in my logo... Or rather, I couldn't quite articulate what I wanted in a logo/visual identity.
My other issue, I am by no means a graphic designer. I wouldn't even pretend to know where to start with all of that. And while I do love looking at graphic design and it inspires me in many ways, I was not about to waste my time trying to figure it all out. Because, I am a photographer... Not a graphic designer.
And then I found Nicole from Nicnillas Ink (see her awesome work here on her site and check her out on FB and Instgram... She's seriously talented and super sweet!). When I saw her work it was like that ah ha! moment... I needed some of her creativity infused into my logo in order to get it looking exactly how I wanted it.
We had many phone calls, lots of laughs, so many emails. And I knew I was working with the right person for 2 reasons:
The first was because as I was writing her an email, my sons kindergarten called to say he was sick and I had to come get him. I went to text my husband right after, but got distracted and somehow managed to end my email to Nicole with "F*ccckkkk... Finn is sick again! I have to go get him right now from Kindergarten, the poor baby". Once I got home, I realized what I had done and emailed her quickly to apologize for my abrupt and crass sign off. She responded later with something along the lines of "Don't even worry about it. In fact, it was my favorite part!" I knew then that we were both just 2 creative entrepreneurs that sometimes drop F- bombs when the time calls for it (and again, let's be honest... Sometimes it just feel so much better to emphasize via cussing).
The second (and more import, branding-wise), was that I would attempt to explain to her visually what I wanted but instead I would only be able to come up with the feeling I wanted to portray. And she would somehow come back with these designs and it was like "holy smokes!! This is exactly what I meant! How did she come up with something so awesome when I couldn't even articulate what I had in mind". Seriously, she is like a mind reader!
And that is how my visual branding identity came about!
So, without anymore rambling, here is what we came up with:
And the patterns and illustrations for each of my sessions.