The moodboard above is a reject from a branding project I’m currently working on. Although the project took a different creative direction, I kept coming back to this board. Ive been rethinking my brand and how I might apply it to a few personal projects I have in the works and then it struck me—this feeling right here, this is it. Cool muted tones paired with modern typography, minimal design and natural elements, this is it.
It’s amazing to see how my style has evolved over the past few year. Part of what makes a great designer is their ability to pick up on the nuances of different design genres, jump between design styles depending on a client’s business objectives, and create really great things that work out in the wild. With that said, it’s also really easy to get lost in your appreciation for many design styles which can leave you wondering: how do I define my personal aesthetic and do I even have one? With all the visual stimulation we’re exposed to on Instagram, Pinterest and elsewhere—talk about inspiration overload—it’s not uncommon to feel a little lost once and a while especially when you’re trying to grow a body of work that reflects you and the projects you want to attract. That’s not to say it’s all black and white. Your style can most certainly be fluid and evolve as you grow and experiment. It’s a process and you only get there by doing.
Sometimes after a few great projects and some pretty amazing clients an aesthetic/style/feeling just sticks with you and you can’t wait to build something that is just so you. Just maybe that’s where I am.
I’m working on the colour scheme for a new and exciting branding project (more process work coming soon!) and my client and I were really inspired by this photo from minted.com/julep/. When I start a more sophisticated branding project I like to create a private Pinterest board to pin all my inspiration photos, logos and illustrations. I use the pin board to draft up a more polished moodboard to present to my client. For this particular project I shared the pin board with my client so they could contribute their own inspiration elements. For the more hands-on client this is a great way to start the brainstorming process but it’s not always the best approach (I think you need to get a feel for the level of creative involvement your client is comfortable with).
From there I develop the brand presentation—a one page (8.5″x14″) design that neatly showcases all the elements of the small business’s visual identity. This is the recipe I use to design the website, blog, business cards etc. Things I always include in the brand presentation:
logos and logo variations
brand elements (this may include identifiable icons, unique social media images etc.
I just finished two design contracts today—one advertisement and one infographic spread in a Canadian magazine. I’m so excited to see the final creative in print! (I’ll post an update when this happens.) Feeling happy about the work and a little tired today, I decided to reward myself with some free drawing time. The result—a new print for the blog. There is something very soothing about playing with geometric shapes and symmetry. Once you get started, the design starts to take on a life of its own.