Brand Identity Makeover: What your logo design can learn from your wardrobe

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Here in the Pacific Northwest the weather has changed from gray overcast to 80s and sunny. Yeay! I can finally work on my Vitamin D reserves.

This time of  year always brings up something I dread: switching my wardrobe. Last weekend I packed away my cozy fall and winter outfits. I find comfort in the bulky layers on top with cute skinny jeans. But when summer comes around, I start to pull out dresses, shorts, and shirts that feel a bit dated. Since we have such a long fall/winter/spring here, I’ve succeeded at rocking my colder weather wardrobe. I still struggle with owning a summer wardrobe that channels who I am at my core: sassy, second-hand, solo-biz woman with a sprinkling of hippie metal chic. Luckily Portland has lots of awesome second hand stores to shop in to meet all of those specific needs.

As I was thinking about my lacking summer wardrobe I had an “Aha!” moment: this must be how my clients feel when they want a new logo and brand identity. So many times I hear “My logo doesn’t fit my business,” or, “I feel embarrassed by my website.” The brand identity is like your business’s wardrobe: the look needs to reflect the personality and mission in the world, and it should make you feel CONFIDENT!!!

If the sun is rising over your budding business, it means there is more demand to network, hand out business cards, and refer potential clients and collaborators to your website. You don’t want to feel unhappy or constricted with the way you’re representing your business. You want to feel poised, comfortable, and free to share your business’s look. No spanx needed here.

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So how do you cultivate a “new wardrobe” for your logo?
If you’re not confident with the look and feel of your brand identity, then something is not in line. Your gut is not wrong. But how do you start fixing that problem? That can be a challenging task to do on your own without hiring a designer. But if you’ve got a bit of time before you make that commitment, you can start asking yourself some assessment questions. These can help you that help point out weak points in your  brand strategy look and feel.

Your brand is not only what people see, it’s also what they understand.
When assessing your brand look, start with the business strategy questions:

  • Does your business have a clear purpose? Does it have a mission?
  • What are your business goals?
  • When people think about your company or product, what are the feelings and associations you want them to have? Are they unique?

Then take a look at your logo:

  • First of all, do you have a logo (or a logo you’re not afraid to show publicly)?
  • Does the logo authentically represent your business?
  • Was your business purpose and mission carefully considered when your logo was created?

Finally, assess the look and feel of your brand identity:

  • Is there a cohesive look and feel of all your collateral?
  • Do all of the parts (business cards, website design, social media graphics) feel comfortable to you? Do the parts correctly illustrate your brand in the world?
  • Does it reflect your business’s clear purpose?

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If your brand identity was an outfit you wore in public, would you feel confident? Or would you feel frustrated by a design that just doesn’t fit? What would it feel like to love every item in your identity’s closet? Just like you can switch up your attire you can create a custom brand identity that’s perfect for you.

Want help evaluating your brand identity? Get in touch for a consultation. I’d be thrilled to hear more about your budding business.

 

Thanks to Flickr user genibee for the great vintage catalog images!

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Client Kudos

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Maria. The results were beautiful and consistent, AND right in line with my desired outcomes. As someone who enjoys design work and design conversations, I appreciated Maria’s openness and finesse as I wanted to engage in a co-creative process. I also appreciated the boundaries she set for where my processing could get in my own way.

David T., Coaching & Consulting