When I first started trying to be a freelance graphic designer in 2009, I tried to claim to be a graphic & web designer. I had yet to discover the wide range of different (and specific) applications for graphic design. I also had yet to discover that I much rather spend time working on someone’s logo or brand identity than wrestling with HTML and CSS for extended periods of time. (Salute to all those superstars who specialize in web development.)
Mastering the expression of emotions is very valuable, when trying to communicate to an audience. When I produce content for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, I try to include as many smiling faces as possible. On social media, promotional material, and in our national publication The Podium, we want to speak to the value we bring college & university band programs. We also want to showcase the value the brotherhood and sisterhood has on active and alumni members of the organizations. Showing the effects of our service is best done through showcasing our members and their joy.
As an individual, company, group, or organization, your brand is everything.
A brand is everything that makes you…you — the images you showcase, the promises you give, and the actions you take (or don’t take).
Whether you are an employee of a company, an entrepreneur, or a member of an organization, you need to know the brand you are representing. As a human being, everything you put out into the world is under the umbrella of your personal brand. It is important to be cognizant of the image you are projecting and make sure it is true to who you really are.
Know what and who you are
Your brand is your gold, as I have mentioned before. You have to mine and refine that gold to establish yourself, your organization, your company, etc. Before you can truly build and tell the story of your brand, there are some questions that you must answer. Here’s a sample of three inspired by the SHYPSI client questionnaire, used to educate the designer on the potential client and what they need.
Invest In Your Brand (Or Else)
“That much for a logo?”
noun: investment; plural noun: investments
the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.
a thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future. “a used car is rarely a good investment”
act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. “the time spent in attending a one-day seminar is an investment in our professional futures”
Whether you want to build a personal brand or a company/organization brand, you need to invest time, energy, and money into that edification. While on break, back home in North Carolina, some friends of mine talked with me about some projects they wanted to get off the ground. I threw out a possible ballpark estimate for a logo and they were shocked by the price range.
“…for a logo?”