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A question I frequently get asked is how to make sure a brand identity stands the test of time. It’s so hard to work on your own brand identity; you’re really close to it and you see it so often that your own perception of it is skewed from what other people see. People need repetition!

The main thing to note about your brand identity is that people need to be able to identify you again once they’ve seen your branding the once. So there is a little wiggle room for variety, but things always need to be identifiable as being yours. This is where trends can harm you rather than make you necessarily look more up-to-date.

And so here are my thoughts on making sure your brand identity stands the test of time.

Firstly, you’ll need to think about what your brand stands for on a wider level. If you had to pivot and change your product or service, what values or elements of your story and brand would stay the same?

An example is if you’re a jeweller, your work and style might evolve over time, but what inspires you at it’s core probably won’t. What is it that’s at the very core of your brand – the why or how you got here?

It could be a set of values, it could be your story, it could be a number of things. I don’t mean all the rest isn’t important, it totally is…but you want to get right to the heart and work out what’s unwavering.

And so how do you translate that into design?

The fun bit! You’ll want to build these foundational things into your main brand identity – so into your logo and branding elements, your colours, the mix of fonts you use. It’s about finding the balance.

It’s not an easy process, but what I mean is that different parts of your brand foundation can come through in different areas. Always try to see the bigger picture of how things work together.

Not every part of your brand identity needs to convey EVERYTHING. That’s why you have different ‘moving parts’ (logo, palette, font system)

Colour is great for quickly conveying FEELINGS, EMOTIONS, and VALUES. Typography can show if your brand is MODERN, CLASSIC, or RUSTIC.

And logo icons, graphics, and illustrations can actually tell stories, or convey ideas and meaning in visual form. Everything works together to build a picture for your audience.

You’ll want to make sure it’s clear and that the things you’re showing are going to resonate with your audience. BUT at the very beginning you might not know your audience well, so don’t let that bit hold you back.

Focus on conveying the true essence of your brand so that people can quickly self-select. “That’s for me”, or “That’s not for me”.

The WORDS you use need to be much more rooted in the knowledge of who your client or customer is, and your WORDS are something you can easily tweak as you get more clear on that. Your brand identity is there to show the core of who you are (as a business), what you value and why, so that you attract like-minded people. Then you can have fun with trending things like gradients – as long as not every part of your brand identity is changing with trends, you’re allowed to have fun!


If you need more help with this don’t hesitate to email me at meg@lemonandbirch.com with your questions, I’d love to help. You can see the branding packages and other services I offer here.

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Laney from Silent Goddess Art Jewelry got in touch via Instagram after seeing the work I’d done for fellow jeweler Rosy Revolver. I’m always so pleased to be able to work with jewelers because I specialised in jewelry design and silversmithing in my Art degree. I later got into branding and graphic design via a corporate role – it’s so much fun to be able to combine my knowledge and expertise in these two industries and create beautiful, multi-faceted brand identities that really show the heart and soul of my clients’ work, but that also allow them to grow.

This is exactly what Laney needed – a brand identity that felt true to her work now, but that would allow her work to evolve and grow over time.

Here’s the summary of how Laney’s brand needed to feel:

A BRANDING EXPERIENCE that MAKES YOUR AUDIENCE FEEL CALM and REFLECTIVE as they DISCOVER YOUR JEWELRY PIECES and products  – an identity that is CLEAN but WARM and NATURE-DRIVEN, with a DISTINCTIVE edge.

(This addresses 2 key things to help keep your brand consistent and strategic: (1) how you want to make people feel and (2) what words that you want them to associate with your business.)

I put together the mood board below first, before diving into the design phase.

I was able to create a brand identity that Laney loved during the first design phase! See part of the process of bringing it all together below, plus a closer look at each element.

Main logo design over an original painted background created on Procreate/iPadPro
Main logo
Secondary Logo
Secondary logo
Circular logo and makers marks

After working together Laney said:

From the first moment Meg sent over a preview of the branding package she created for me, I’ve been pretty speechless and I find myself in that same predicament as I’m writing this. I HIGHLY encourage you to reach out to Meg if you are interested in branding for your business. She did such an outstanding job and is so wonderful to work with. Meg, I continue to be in awe of the package you created for me. You are incredible. Thank you ⚒️🌲🏔🌙


If you’re looking for stunning, professional branding head on over to my services page to see the packages I’m currently offering.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions, the chat box in the bottom right of the page is the quickest way to chat to me!

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Safiyyah approached me via Instagram and asked me to create a Brand Identity Design for her business and I couldn’t wait to get started working with her!

Safiyyah is a British born artist and textile designer based in Birmingham. She specialises in floral print and pattern, taking inspiration from her original art work.

Her unique watercolour style embodies the magical unexpected beauty and wilderness found in nature, with all its imperfections. Safiyyah’s style encapsulates nature in its entirety as she strives to transport you to a world full of enchantment and beauty through her art.

https://safiyyahstudio.co.uk/about_safiyyah_floral_designs

Her audience for her beautiful nature inspired artwork had grown quickly on Instagram and so she wanted to make sure her website and the packaging for her paintings and products was professional and created a beautiful client and customer experience.

Here is our goal for how the Safiyyah Studio Brand Identity needed to feel.

A BRANDING EXPERIENCE that MAKES YOUR AUDIENCE FEEL ENCHANTED and SOOTHED as they DISCOVER YOUR ART – an identity that is TIMELESS, with an IMPERFECT and APPROACHABLE edge.

This addresses 2 key things to help keep your brand consistent and strategic: (1) how you want to make people feel and (2) what words that you want them to associate with your business.

After we were on the same page about how the brand identity needed to feel, I put together a mood board to show the direction.

After the mood board phase I was excited to dive into the design and I managed to create something Safiyyah loved during the first design round!

I created a unique typography logo, hand-drawn the leaves and branches, and overlaid them with Safiyyah’s own watercolour work and photographs.

I used overlay effects in InDesign so that the different layers of the background somewhat blend together to create this gorgeous textural effect. It bridges the gap between Safiyyahs floral artwork and her landscapes and feels distinctive without taking the emphasis away from her art.

See the process video of the brand identity I designed for her, along with a closer view of all the details below!

Main logo design
Main logo and colour palette
Typography logo with green textured botanical background
Logo design for Safiyyah’s watercolour landscape series
Circular logo
S monogram design
Tagline design
Product packaging

Here’s what Safiyyah said about working with me:

Meg from Lemon & Birch was a joy to work with. She just completely understood me and my brand and created something that was full of magic and soul. She helped me create beautiful cohesive brand packaging that evokes a feeling of enchantment!

Safiyyah


If you’re looking for stunning, professional branding head on over to my services page to see the packages I’m currently offering.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions, the chat box in the bottom right of the page is the quickest way to chat to me!

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TLDR: Your photo, your words, my animated doodles! Click here to see my availability and book this design service. Scroll down to see examples 🙌🏻

There are so many wonderful people with small businesses these days – you shouldn’t see this as a a bad thing for your business at all though. There is more than enough work to go around, it’s just a matter of being MORE YOURSELF, because you are the only version of you.

People can sell something similar to you, but no one’s going to do it exactly the same as you do it. Plus, the people following along with you probably don’t follow along with all the other people in your industry. They probably follow a select few that they relate and identify with personally in some way.

You don’t need to share absolutely everything about yourself, but bits of what really makes you YOU here and there will go really far to forging connections with people that just GET you and your business.

I think we’ve all been through that phase of wondering whether we should make it clear that it is JUST US in our business, or whether we should use the WE instead of I. I think years ago we all thought it looked more professional if our businesses looked bigger than they actually were. Nowadays though there has been a big shift towards people wanting to buy from small businesses, solopreneurs, and people just like them. It goes for both product and service based businesses – being small is now a superpower!

One of the most fun things about being a small business is your ability to experiment and try new things – there are no gatekeepers, there’s no one to approve the new thing you want to do. There’s just you (and possibly your VA or small team). Experimentation is something I personally just love to do and it’s what can often lead to really cool new offerings, or a new way of sharing what you do via social media, or a fun thing that can make your website shine just that little bit more.

I found something that is all of these things for me, and I want to share it with you right here!

As you probably know if you’re reading this, I’m a designer and illustrator, and I’d seen some super creative people drawing over their photos and sort of ’embellishing’ them with the procreate app and their iPad and apple pencils. I gave it a go and it was fun and creative and just a nice extra to share on my insta account. I’d also seen that GIFs had become really popular, you know those ‘stickers’ on insta stories where you can add little moving phrases and pictures? That’s not the only place you can use GIFs but it’s where I saw text animated so that it ‘danced’.

I thought “What would happen if I put these two things together, the embellished photos and the dancing animated text?”

What I created was SO MUCH FUN to design! The embellished and animated photos are eye catching and quirky (I haven’t seen anyone else combining both these methods…yet!) and SO filled with personality.

I’m hooked on creating them and so I now offer this as a sweet new design service. You can book your slot here!

I also made a tutorial for anyone that has an iPad and the procreate app so you can try it yourself if you want to. iPad and Procreate are just the tools I use and a similar method would work if you have other drawing software that uses layers and allows you to export as file types like .gif and .mp4 – Photoshop would work if you have a tablet that allows you to draw directly into it.

The examples

I thought it would be really helpful to show you some ideas of how this animation method could be used over your own photos, but the possibilities are endless. All I need is a photo of your choice and some text that you’d like me to add over the top. You can specify whether you’d like colour added too, or can leave it to me to work my magic!

This example is a really lovely way to share more of what your brand is all about on a wider level. What’s the inspiration behind everything you do in your business, what mantra really resonates with you? A stock photo from unsplash could be used, but your own photos are always going to be the ones that are best placed for your brand. You can post this on Instagram repeatedly! Obviously not in a short time frame, but you should never feel like you can only share something once. No one is going to see everything single thing you do, so repurpose and re-share!! Photograph taken by my brilliant branding photographer friend Sophie Carefull.
Here’s another example that works well for brand building. This is a mantra/affirmation that I use myself often when I’m feeling anxious about the future (both personally and business wise). The photo is another of my brand photos taken by Sophie Carefull and it works really well on my ‘About Me’ page because I talk about loving dungarees and hydrangeas!
Here is something that would work nicely for product based businesses – your tagline, or what you do over a really great photo of your products is a winning combination for your website 🙌🏻 Photo by Sophie Carefull
This one is perfect for those introduction posts we all love to share on Instagram periodically. You could also add this to an ‘about me’ or ‘start here’ highlight for when new people arrive on your profile and want to learn more about you. It’s also obviously would absolutely great for your website – homepage, about page, blog sidebar, so many options! Photo by Sophie Carefull

So there it is: Your photo, your words, my animated doodles!

The introductory price is £75 and the file types I’ll provide are:

  1. One still (non-moving) version as a jpeg file
  2. The animated version as an mp4 video file – this is usually only a few seconds long but Instagram automatically loops it when you upload to your feed, or you can loop it to make it longer with various free apps
  3. A gif file – many website platforms/builders will allow you to upload an animated gif file in place of the standard still jpeg or png file.

After booking your slot in my calendar, please email your photo over. If you’d like text on your image, please email the text over along with your photo. I’ll need this BEFORE the date you booked in my calendar. Usually I’ll provide the files within 2-3 days, but I’ll always keep you updated.

Please do email me at meg@lemonandbirch.com or click on the chat box (in the bottom right corner) if you would like me to check your photo for usability. You can upload files via the chatbox 🙂

If you’re ready to book your slot for this in my calendar you can click here!

And don’t forget the tutorial I made if you have the tools and software and would like to learnt the method yourself.

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I was super excited when Anna Dunleavy got in touch with me about her branding via Instagram. We had been following along with each other for a while and I loved all the work she was doing. I knew she was a personal branding photographer and had recently set up her community – Fearless Hustle Collective.

Anna created the Fearless Hustle Collective to provide a supportive community of likeminded female creatives where everyone can help each other on the way to achieving their goals.

There are a few different elements within the Fearless Hustle Collective. There’s the super valuable paid membership club where Anna provides group coaching calls, monthly expert sessions, accountability calls, downloadable worksheets, and a closed Facebook group.

She also has monthly in-person meet-ups in Nottingham (UK), and a podcast where she talks to other business owners and creatives to share their stories and the nuggets of wisdom they’ve learnt along the way.

Anna felt that she was struggling to grow her reach because her branding wasn’t memorable enough and didn’t stand out. She wanted a look that other female business owners would feel connected and drawn to. Anna has a real spiritual side (like myself) so we were inspired by sun and moon symbolism and I dived deeper into other symbols and their meanings in parts of the branding too.

I also created the three sigils shown in the following images that incorporate the moon along with symbols of strength and support, clarity, and wisdom for each section of Anna’s business. A sigil is where you set an intention and then distill that message down into a meaningful image or design. The sigils feel like a tangible representation of the benefits of being part of the Fearless Hustle Collective.

After sending through the first brand design draft to Anna, she had this to say: “YOU HAVE BLOWN ME AWAY!!! The branding is everything I wanted and more. It couldn’t have felt more me if you tried! And I can’t tell you how thoughtful the sigils are. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I’m honestly so so happy, and can’t wait to start using the branding. Thank you!”

I hit the nail on the head first time with this design and after a small tweak to the weight of some of the text, we were good to move onto collateral items such as business cards and blog graphic templates!

If you’re looking for a stand-out design for your brand please get in touch, I take on a very limited number of projects each month

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Caro is an in-home family and newborn photographer who approached me via Instagram. She is also a passionate photography coach and mentor who is moving into the teaching world as another branch of her business.

With the shift in her services Caro knew it was time to update her branding so I created a bold, striking brand design for her that blends seamlessly with the stunning light and shadow play that is so distinctive in her photography.

Caro’s previous business name was Blue Cicada Photography – at the time of setting it up she was living away from her original home of Provence. Cicada’s reminded her of the summer months back at home and ‘blue’ came from the very unique blue of the Provence summer sky.

With a move back to France and a business that has evolved into teaching and mentoring alongside photography, Caro felt it was time to make her brand feel more like her.

She told me a story about how some types of Cicada’s stay underground in the dark until they shed the skin that has protected them while they were growing. Once that is done they come out into the sun and sing their hearts out. This is a beautiful metaphor for where Caro is at with her business – she’s ready to celebrate her hard work over the years and be the name and face of her business.

After reading this story I knew we had to keep Cicada imagery in Caro’s branding even though she was changing the name because it represents her business journey so well.

I put together the mood board below as a starting point for the project.

I combined hand-drawn Cicada wings with bold but refined typography that plays on the light and shadows that are a distinctive part of Caro’s photography. I overlapped the 2 hand-drawn wings to create the rectangular mark on the right shown below.

And below you can see a GIF animation of me creating the custom typography logo.

In the below submark, the word Caro is rising out from the circle to show that she is bringing herself to the surface. We chose colours that feel warm but dramatic to strike the balance between compassion and strength.

This was the very first concept I created for Caro following on from the approved mood board and she fell in love with it right away! She said: “It feels like you have materialised my vision…I feel elevated and energised!” To finish off, I also created some instagram templates for Caro, a business card design, and a keynote presentation for her training sessions.


If you are interested in working with me on new branding for your business please have a look at my services page and get in touch. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Jess from Rosy Revolver contacted me via my website after finding me on Pinterest and we immediately knew we were a great fit for working together!

Jess is a Silversmith and a Jewelry Instructor with online courses – I studied some Silversmithing back during my college degree and so having some working knowledge of her industry meant I understood her business easily and intuitively.

At the beginning Jess said:

I’m struggling to bring all the aspects of my business into one brand image – partly because I sell to jewelry consumers but also to other silversmiths. The one thing I know for sure about my client is that she’s highly create and individual… beyond that, I struggle with how to get started, finding the time to create the brand I know in my heart that RosyRevolver could be, and creating beautiful visuals that translate into the story that my jewelry and company try to tell…

To unite all the parts of Jess’s business I created circular design that feeds into each of the logo varieties. It was so much fun to design with the wild rose theme and to make each design feel like a collection of trinkets – gathered, treasured, arranged.

Jess’s jewelry work is just like that – collections of repeating elements, sometimes including precious stones, vintage glass, African clay, and always with fine and sterling silvers.

She builds these materials into beautiful, wearable pieces that are bursting with stories to tell. It’s jewelry with heart and soul and history, ready for you to wear and layer with your own story and meaning after the many years you’ll treasure it.

Of course there was custom typography in this branding too – the little spiky thorns on the letters feed into our wild rose imagery. Jess has always had a rose motif within the branding for Rosy Revolver, we just shifted it to a Dog Rose – these wild plants grow by climbing up other plants and shrubs for support. This represents Jess’s online courses and resources and in person workshops where she helps others who have no formal silversmith training to create work they can feel proud of, supporting them through the process.

At the end of the process Jess said:

“I’m thrilled with the care and thoughtfulness Meg put into my brand design. Absolutely cannot recommend her enough – if you want something custom, curated, meaningful, and of the highest quality – Lemon & Birch is your best bet.


If you are interested in working with me on new branding for your business please have a look at my services page and get in touch. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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There is no rule book for running a business and there are always so many questions circling in your ahead about what should be a priority and what should be put on the back burner.

To a new business I would say that brand design should be high up on the list of priorities if there is the budget to go professional first thing. For a more established business though, how do you know when the time is right?

Maybe you have been in business for a few years and feel much more set on the direction you’re heading in, or maybe you’ve been in business for a long time and have a niggling feeling that something needs to change.

If that seed has been planted in your mind and you’re at least considering it, it probably is time, but let’s go over a few signs so you can get a clearer picture.

1. Your current branding is hard to read

Sometimes that font that seemed to suit your brand perfectly in the beginning just becomes a nightmare to work with. A very fine or thin font won’t have a big impact and when reproduced at a small scale it might well become unreadable.

Fine lined fonts also don’t translate well in a number of other situations – if letters are not thick enough there may be problems with things like hot foil or letterpress stamping, spot gloss printing, screen printing, signage, embroidery – any time that you want to reproduce your logo on products or stationery.

If you want to grow your business and want to be able to use your logo in a wide variety of situations it’s definitely time to rethink your brand design.

2. Your current brand design was built on trends and now looks outdated

Any time that a logo or brand design had been created based on a faddy trend it can start to look outdated after a few years as times move on. This is not what you want, small tweaks to a brand design over time are fine, but the overall feel should be somewhat timeless.

There is a difference between incorporating an element or design tend that feels authentic to your business and having a logo created in a certain style because that is what everyone else is doing.

For example, botanical and floral themed branding is still having a majorly popular moment, but as long as florals and botanicals fit with your brand vision and values then it’s perfectly ok to use them in your branding. Just having a floral logo because it looks pretty however may feel restricting in the future, and you might find that you grow out of it quickly.

Every design decision should be backed up with meaning so that the final outcome is truly tailored to your business – you’ll find that it feels timeless and authentic even though there might be ‘popular’ elements incorporated.

3. You don’t have a complete brand identity or never set clear standards from the beginning

Perhaps you only have a logo rather than a full brand identity. Chances are that things don’t look cohesive and that might be holding you back.

Think about how larger brands look, they have set colours, fonts and styling for their products, stationery, website, and social media. This cohesive and intentional look is absolutely within reach for you when you work with a professional designer. Make sure your designer provides a style guide at the end so you can stay consistent going forward.

4. Your current brand design doesn’t align with your vision

If your business has pivoted and the direction you’re heading in has changed or become more clear, or you have new product offerings, then it’s definitely time to rebrand.

Your brand design should be rooted in your vision and all those things that matter to you and your customers. When that alignment isn’t there you can end up with a confusing and inconsistent message which can turn off potential customers.

You might just have a niggling feeling that something doesn’t match up and if you’re unsure, please get in touch with me here for some friendly advice.

5. You want to change your business name

This almost goes without saying, but a business name change is the perfect time to review everything and as mentioned in the previous point – make sure your message is still consistent. A name change often signals the start of a new chapter and your current logo design is probably more suited to your old business name – simply changing the words used within the logo might not be enough.

6. You want to reposition yourself and attract a different set of customers

If you’ve identified that you want to target a different type of customer, a rebrand should definitely be high on you list of priorities. Good design can elevate your offering and connect on a deeper level with your ideal customer.

Customers buy from you over someone else offering something similar because they feel an emotional connection to your business and product. Brand design and your visuals are a huge part of triggering that emotional reaction. Please also consider refreshing your brand voice and hiring a copywriter if you can in this instance, words and visuals go hard in hand here.

3 signs you should hold onto what you’ve got a little longer

  1. You’re still unsure if the direction you want your business to go in – in this case it’s a good idea to wait until you’re really clear on where you’re heading. A new brand design alone won’t make that clear for you, you need clarity on that first.
  2. Someone has said they ‘don’t like’ your branding – A person who doesn’t like your branding is probably not part of your target audience anyway. Not everyone needs to like your branding, your business is not for everyone.
  3. You want to appear more trendy or contemporary – This alone is not a good reason to rebrand. Think long and hard about what it is that doesn’t feel contemporary about your current brand design.

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Before we dive into the elements that make up a strong brand, let’s first recap what a brand actually is. It’s a big buzz word, but what does it mean?

What is a brand? In simple terms, your brand is what you mean to people, or what your business means to people. It’s not your logo or your colour palette, it’s more of an abstract thing. it’s the substance below the surface of all the visuals – without substance and meaning, your logo is just a pretty book cover.

Your brand is what your customer thinks of when he or she hears your business name. It’s an experience that’s not repeated by any other company they interact with, and is guided by a set of values that they understand and that resonate with them.

There are 7 basic attributes of a strong brand – when you get these right your brand will naturally flourish. You may currently be strong in many of these areas and need only to tweak a few in order to grow the number of loyal fans and customers you have!

Clarity

“If you confuse, you’ll lose.” ~ Donald Miller That quote is a pretty blunt way to put it, but it’s true. It can be tempting to use flowery language to describe what your business does and what you stand for. In reality, people have perhaps already spent their daily quote of brainpower elsewhere that day – they don’t have the time to decipher your meaning.

It’s so important that they understand what you do quickly and with ease. As soon as they feel a little confused, or that they need to use some brainpower, they’re likely to leave your website, shop, Instagram profile etc.

Assess the way you talk about your business everywhere. Ask a friend or family member, or better still, a customer. How can you simplify things? Do you describe your business the same way everywhere? Make sure you use simple language that’s free of jargon.

Relevance

Not everyone is your customer, so you do not need to appeal to everyone. You just need to be relevant to the right people and understand how you help them with your product or service.

Do you understand your customers’ situation and where in their life or day you come in for them? Make sure the messaging and content you share is relevant to them.

Sometimes it might feel like you’re repeating the same things over and over but I assure you, the repetition is necessary to help strengthen your brand.

Difference

You must have something that makes you or your business different to your competitors and makes sure you highlight it often. Maybe it’s the way you create or manufacture your product, maybe it’s how or where your materials are sourced from. Maybe it’s a personality trait and the way you show up on social media.

Your unique mix of brand values and the reasons you do what you do are also a differentiator. Point out or illustrate your differentiators often so that they stand out in your customers’ mind.

Make a list of the ways you and your business are different and start weaving them into your messaging and content.

Passion

When you’re truly passionate about your product or service it’s plain to see. I think this is the area that most small businesses have no trouble with. We’re all here because we’re passionate about what we do, right?

Making a success of your business is hard – you must have passion in order to move past the knock-backs and the things that go wrong and keep ongoing.

Credibility

It’s important that your people believe that you’ll deliver on your brand’s promise. There are many ways you can increase your credibility, such as:

  • Gathering reviews and testimonials, both experience-based and results-based
  • Talk about your business journey, what makes you qualified to do what you do, and how did you get here?
  • Collaborate with other businesses, when you support each other it shows that you believe in each other and so your customers will follow suit
  • Show your process and the behind the scenes of you actually doing the work

Visibility

The reason that social media is such a valuable marketing tool now is that it helps your business to be more visible. You can pop up in the news feeds of your followers on a daily basis, keeping you front and centre in their minds.

People are much more likely to buy what you’re selling after they’ve interacted with your brand multiple times. Having social media accounts and a mailing list so you can pop into the inboxes of your customers are both so valuable for visibility of your brand.

Visibility of you as a person also counts, showing the face or faces of the people behind the brand. People buy from people, they want to get to know you and hear about your story.

Consistency

Last but definitely not least, we have consistency. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be consistent with everything you do. I’m not saying you cannot pivot or fine-tune things, you absolutely can and should as you get further along in your business journey, just build that consistency back up again. If you take nothing else away from this article, make ‘be consistent’ your mantra!

Be consistent in:

  • How often you show up
  • Where you show up
  • How you talk about your business and products
  • The content your share
  • Your brand identity (logo, colour palette etc)
  • Your brand photography

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I have questions asked of me over on Instagram often by fellow designers as well as small business owners. I always make a list of the questions I get asked so that rather than just answering once, I can create blog posts like this that help more people with the same questions! I also have some digital products and online masterclasses in the works right now so keep your eyes peeled for those launching in a few months time.


If you’re new to the world of branding, or are a designer looking to learn more about what the ‘best practices’ are when designing a brand identity for a client, I really hope the following tips are helpful to you. As I said, digital products I’m creating at the moment will expand on all this knowledge, but in the mean time, here are 4 ‘best practices’ for creating a brand identity design.

1. Gather inspiration from more than one place

During the research phase when you’re gathering imagery to inspire the look and feel of the brand identity, it can be tempting to only look at other logo designs that have already been created. Worse still would be to look at only logo designs from the same field of business.


Of course you need to know what else is out there in the field of business you’re creating the identity for, but there is SO MUCH MORE to see, and I don’t just mean on Pinterest. Really dive deep and think about the story of the business owner and their journey to where they are now.


Are there little ‘story’ elements you can pick out, are there themes you can build on, are there any images that come to mind when you’re reading all the information your client has given you? It’s important that a logo design has elements that feel familiar and not totally ‘out there’ but that it also feels like it has something ‘new’ to offer.

The most original designs come from combining different inspiration sources together. For example, combining a style of typography or text layout you may have seen in another logo design with some interesting angles or shapes inspired by a tiled floor pattern that gave off the right vibe for your clients’ brand.

2. Know what the businesses goals are as well as the specific objectives of the design/rebrand

It’s important to know what the future goals of the business are so that the new design can be aligned with this. You brand for the future of the business, not the past or present.


If the business is looking to expand in some way, an objective of the new brand identity might be to diversify the overall design so that there is scope to add more product lines or service offerings. More design elements might be needed for product packaging, or set colour combinations for each new service for example.


If the business is looking to target a slightly different customer or an additional type of customer, an objective of the new brand identity might be to elevate the overall feel of the brand to bring it in line with the revised target market.
Always discuss goals and objectives so you have a marker on which to judge the effectiveness of the new brand identity.

3. Make sure the logo stands out against the rest of the identity design

There may be more than one font used within a logo design, but the main typeface or font used should not then be used in other parts of the branding like for headings.


There are always exceptions to the rule – sometimes if your logo has illustrative elements or has had lots of customisation done to the text, you could feel that the same font is going to work best for headings. However, as a ‘best practice’ try to find a heading font that blends nicely rather than using the same one – or at least use the logo font very sparingly. This will make the overall brand identity look and feel much more professional.


In addition, you might think that adding more elements to a logo design will make it stand out more, but this just makes things complicated. The best logo designs have one or two ‘wow’ elements (this could be an illustration and custom letters in the text for example). Don’t try to add too many ideas into your design so that it becomes confusing or too busy.

4. Think about where the logo will be used – make sure it will work for these scenario’s

Make sure you think about (or talk about with your client) all the places the brand identity and logo’s might be used. If you go ahead and start designing using a really thin weight font in part of the logo and then it’s decided that the logo needs to be letterpress stamped onto stationery, it can be impossible to make a stamp at certain sizes to get the desired printed result.


Similarly if the logo is going to be blown up very large onto a shop sign, make sure it’s going to look perfect at this larger size! Hand drawn elements can sometimes be tricky at larger sizes and may need a bit more tidying up so they don’t look too messy.

Another example would be involving colours – some blues and turquoises don’t replicate well from screen (RGB) to printing (CMYK) and you may need to use Pantone printing to replicate the correct colour. Same with neons – spot colour printing is the only way neons are possible in print. Make sure your client is aware of any colour printing limitations if they are keen to use colours that might present problems and try to explain Pantones and spot printing if you can.


I hope these tips have helped you get clearer on some aspects of designing a brand identity. As ever, if you have any questions for me or things you’d like me to cover please do send me an email at meg@lemonandbirch.com – I’m always happy to help!

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