Branding Your Business...What You Should Know

howdy y'all!

happy friday! can you believe its already september?! crazy. that also means, crunch time for us small business owners who dread tax prep. if you're anything like me, i start saving money around now to make sure i have enough in my account to write one big check in april! if you're smart (unlike me) you pay quarterly!

this time of year also means it's time to start getting your tax write offs in before the cutoff! guess what? branding your business is a beautiful AND beneficial way to get in a write off for your business! two birds, one stone!

that's where OTSS comes in. i will help you to design & define what you want to portray when it comes to your company. 

tips on branding your business for the first time

  • when coming up with a name for your business, think of something that is both functional AND fitting. you don't want to be stuck with a cutesy and/or trendy name 5-6 years down the road. now, if you own a candy store, something like 'sugar sticks' or something would be perfect and would never go out of style. you don't want to go with something like 'sugar sticks' for your photography business, because let's be honest...what does sugar or sticks have to do with taking pictures? do you see what i'm saying here?
  • think of your company brand as an extension of yourself. what do YOU represent. what do YOU want potential clients to think of when they see your logo or hear your name?

tips on how to define your brand

  • whatever you do: be original. don't come to me (or another designer you may be working with) and say, "i like this design. can you duplicate it but with my name instead?" not only is that ethically WRONG but its almost an insult to the designer you hired. designers are artists, as you are, and really, really, really hate being asked to rip off another artists work. to define YOUR brand try a few things :
  • walk around outside. take notes of things that may catch your eye and give you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
  • take pictures of everyday things in your life that inspire you. whether it be a leaf, a colored picture from your son or daughter, or even a small hand written note from a loved one. it doesn't matter what any one else sees. if it makes your heart flutter, take a picture. your everyday surroundings are what make you the artist or maker you are.
  • when working with a designer, do NOT be afraid to speak up! the designer relies on input from YOU on how to create your one of a kind, unique to you logo design. don't worry about hurting the designers feelings. their job is to perfectly portray you and your business, not stock their portfolio with designs THEY like.

choosing the right designer for you

choosing the right designer is kind of like choosing the right doctor for your family. you want to make sure they have your best interest at heart. you trust your doctor. when he or she tells you ways to fix any ailments to make you better or improve your health/quality of life, you're going to listen to them because they're a professional whom you trust knows how to do their job, correct? guess what? designers are no different in the aspect of when it comes to telling you what may or may not make a strong brand. we live and breathe all things design. whether it be up to date trends, fonts, lettering styles, designers are always one step ahead of the game. where do you think these trends originate? 

to find a designer that is a perfect fit for you, RESEARCH. yep. i'm not telling you to choose OTSS over everyone, because there are SO so so many talented and amazing designers out there YOU deserve to find one that fits with you just right. fits with your style. fits with your vision. you will know within the first few minutes of talking with your designer whether or not you vibe with them. if you don't, move on. quickly. i hate when i have clients come to me with the words "i wish i'd found you first." seeing clients settle for designs they just don't love but accept the design they're shown  just to get the design process over with, it's not fair to the client OR the designer, who can usually tell as well if the its just not working. don't be afraid to tell them, "it's not you, it's me." we understand. i promise.

you have to be open minded when working with designers as well. i know sometimes you go into the design process thinking you know EXACTLY what you want. sometimes the designer will show you that exact thing, BUT we tend to sneak in bonus proofs or other design ideas that we think portray your preferences (that you gave us!) on a different level or in a clearer aspect. sometimes the client is surprised that the thought of one of the proofs never crossed their mind and wow...they love it. sometimes you will tell a designer you want a certain element, monogram, etc. in a certain spot. sometimes the designer (like me, since im a loudmouth honest designer) will flat tell you, look. ill SHOW you but it won't work. no matter how hard i try it won't work. be open to their suggestions. be open to their vision. they really do know how to manipulate designs to work, that is their job, afterall.

so yea. the gist of all things above? the final outcome of the design is YOU. what YOU envision. what YOU feel represents your business. YOU

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Hi! I'm Tiffany, owner and designer at On The Spot Studio & Blue Grass Lettering! I have been doing custom logo design and identity branding for about 7 years now, all self taught and pretty darn proficient in Illustrator & Photoshop (if I can brag a little on myself)! Over the last year or so, I have jumped in feet first into the lettering world, and let me tell you : It was love from the beginning. I love to make the simplest of words and quotes pretty. 

Visit On The Spot Studio's profile on Pinterest.

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