Design Makeover: Picking Out New Glasses


Last year I had to make a huge decision: it was time to get new eyeglasses. My old pair were nice, but were 5 years old, and their style had faded on me. They were getting old and didn’t look as funky fresh as I wanted.

They were perfectly OK: classic looking, black with clean lines, designed from an established eyeglass brand. They went through a lot with me: long hair, short hair. They lived with me in Boston, and stayed with me as I moved to Oregon. They were there when I met a silly man at a crazy party. And they were on 4 years later when that man and I got married.

Through our life together (eyeglasses + me), I started to wear clothes with more vibrant colors. I stopped dying my hair so that my “tinsel,” aka, gray streaks, emerged. I started Germinate Creative and became a spokesperson for my business, constantly meeting new clients, peers, and collaborators. I grew into the funky, fresh creative gal that loves expressing myself. The old glasses saw it all, but it was time to retire them. The moment  was ripe for a pair of eyeglasses that accented the new parts of my personality.

Here’s the thing about getting new glasses: it’s a big change. I mean, for those of us who wear glasses every day, it’s like changing your nose! Or your eye color! Or shaving off one eyebrow!

The other day I was talking to a client about a website redesign I was helping him with. I presented concepts to him and sensed that he was a bit overwhelmed. The concepts were well planned, and he felt confident that any concept I designed would fit well with his business personality (since I got a rock solid process that I use with all of my awesome clients). However, he wanted to make sure he picked the right concept moving forward, to be sure that the new look would be the right “visual face” of his business.  I sensed his concerns, and I said to him “I get it. It’s like getting a new glasses and wondering, is this look gonna fit me? Is this the style I want to portray to everyone I come in contact with?”

For those of you considering a makeover with your logo, brand identity, website, or whatever collateral you have, you can take a few lessons from trying out a new pair of eyeglasses. And if you don’t wear glasses, maybe it’s a new pair of sneakers or even a new car.

1. Know your business at its core.
When I shopped for new eyeglasses, I only looked at the pairs that spoke to who I am at my core: funky, bright, sophisticated, colorful. I wanted these glasses to give others a sense of what my personality is. This rings true for a business’s brand identity: it’s not only the visual stuff you gotta think about, but what youre business attributes are. Are you established and scholarly? Or are you innovative and daring? The look of your brand will depend on what personality you want your business to portray.

2. Try a few things out.
Was I going to stick with black frames but with a flashier design? Or did I want to try something that had a bit of color in them? Just like at the optometrist where I tried on different pairs of glasses, I give my clients a few options to choose from when designing them a new brand. Each option fits into your brand personality. You also have time to review to make sure that what we’re designing fits the business. Even before then I’m conducting strategic research into what design would be best for your project. Luckily when I’m redesigning your logo or website, you have more time than when you pick new glasses. When I got my new glasses I looked for about 30 minutes! You’ll get a lot more time than that.

3. Commit to something that will last.
Ultimately, the new look will have to last. When it came to picking out new eyeglass frames, it was an investment. I wanted them to feel updated yet be lasting. You want to do the same with your design. If you want a design that fits current design trends, that could work, but only for a limited amount of time. I always work with a design that is hardy and doesn’t fit to design trends. Yet it is always sophisticated and feels true to your brand message.

If your website has “old glasses,” is it time for a new look? Maybe your business has undergone new organizational changes, or maybe your business is 150 years old and really good use a refreshed look. Is it time to take the plunge and have a branding makeover? Sometimes a “new pair of glasses,” aka, a brand refresh or updated print collateral, not only is what you needed, but also is more authentic and contemporary to your business mission.

Just like those helpful people at the optometrist were there to help me pick out a great pair of new glasses, I’m here to help you design the right look for your brand. Get in touch. I’d love to chat.

By the way, I made the right choice: I love my new glasses. And! People always comment and say how great they look on me. Even people I don’t know! “Great glasses! They look perfect on you!”