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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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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 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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When creating a logo design either for yourself or as a designer for a client, in some cases, all you really need is some unique typography to bring things to life.

Sometimes it’s best to keep your logo design type based so that you can bring in illustrative elements in other parts of the branding like on product packaging or as elements to build into a website design.

Or, you can combine typography with other elements to take your designs to a whole new level.

There are so many amazing things you can do with typography alone to make it unique and interesting, so I’ve pulled together my top 6 ways of being creative with type for you!

All of the examples below are my own work and have been created inside Adobe Illustrator (or as a combination of the Procreate app on my iPad and Illustrator on the computer).

The same effects could also be achieved in Affinity Designer which is professional design software that only requires a one-off purchase and works out much cheaper than Adobe Illustrator.

1. Type onto a path

Typing onto an open or closed path in Illustrator is such a fun way to bring movement and fun into your typography!

In this first example for Tea and Crafting I’ve used this effect in each part of the text. For the main logo typography in pink, I created a wavy path with the pen tool and typed onto it. Then for the tagline I’ve typed onto a circular path.

The second word of the business name here was much longer than the first, and so adding the tagline in a circle to the left balances things out.

In this submark example for Susana Torralbo I’ve typed onto two wavy paths to create a playful and energetic look. I created a few different text layouts, then sent these layouts to my iPad Pro and opened them in the Procreate app – this allowed me to draw the faces around my typography so they fitted perfectly!

I drew in black at a high resolution, sent the png image back to my computer, ‘image traced’ the faces to turn them into a vector, and combined them with my wavy vector typography.
In this last example for Kate North Kinesiology, spirals were a big part of the brand design concept. To create this unique looking submark I carried the shape of my spiral vine on and typed onto the path I made. Simple but effective and it fits in so well with the rest of the branding!

2. Embellish your type

Sometimes you’ll find a font for a logo design that feels like it is almost perfect…but there’s just something missing. In this case, think about how you add add to your letters to create the exact feel you’re looking for.

Maybe this means cutting bits off letters from another typeface and adding them into the typeface you want to use. That’s totally ok to do and is a lot of fun! To find what works you’ll need to spend the time playing around with different things.

You can also try adding illustrative elements either by drawing them or adding details with the pen tool in illustrator.

In this first example for Folk Rose Beauty, I found two typefaces that I liked for the design and wasn’t sure which was going to work. In the end, I took those curved embellishments from one typeface and added them to the other to create the perfect balance.

I also drew in some dots and the other detail on the K to add some more interest to the other letters. It’s important to not go overboard with adding your embellishments, they don’t need to be on every letter! 🙂

In the example below for The Prairie Wellness Co the font I’d chosen was very minimal and I knew we wanted to include some Prairie wildflowers in some parts of the branding.

It looked like far too much to add flowers to every letter, but the word Prairie was luckily the perfect length to add flowers to every other letter! I took an image of my typography into Procreate on my iPad to draw the florals, then ‘image traced’ the flowers to turn them into vectors.

3. Combine uppercase/lowercase or different font styles in a unique layout

When you need to create something really unique you can try combining uppercase and lowercase letters, or perhaps regular and italic letters. You’ll often need to work hard on the layout of these letters to make sure things look balanced and are readable.

In this example for Susana Torralbo it took a while to combine things in such a way that the text was readable still. All you can do is keep combining things in different ways until the composition feels balanced. Also notice ‘Torralbo’ typed onto a wavy line from my first tip, this follows through the the submark design.

Ask other people whether it’s readable still! My husband is a great help to me, he’s not a graphic designer and so he sees things in a different way. He can instantly tell me if something looks forced or if the text is no longer legible.
In the example below for Caro, I’ve spliced a couple of fonts together, created a completely new letter A, and combined them in an interesting way for this secondary logo. Having the A almost italicised and having the straight line on the right created some nice symmetry with the letter R which makes this layout work. It also works well with the text being laid out in a straight line for the main logo.


4. Create your type from scratch

Don’t freak out when I say that, we’re not talking about creating your own serif typeface here. You can create some pretty awesome typography just with monoweight lines in illustrator.

For this example below for Artificially Intelligent Claire, I couldn’t find a typeface that had the right balance for her brand. So I created my own letters just using lines and those little squares. There is so much you could do with this especially for a brand that will suit a minimal type design and it doesn’t only have to be for techy brands like Claire’s.

5. Keep it minimal

Don’t feel like you need to go overboard with the type customisations each time. Sometimes all you need to do is make some minor adjustments to your letters.

In the example for Louise Howarth below I disconnected the middle line of the H and A, and edited the curve of the letter R. The design is super simple, and there were other logo versions that provided some more visual interest. To create a ‘high-end’ logo less is always more.


Similarly with the Balance Hot Yoga logo below, I changed the middle line in each letter A to point upwards. This made me think of a yoga pose in a very subtle way and was enough to make the logo typography unique when paired with other elements in the branding.

6. Combine letters together

This can work nicely with so many different types of fonts. Some typefaces will have extra glyphs or ligatures (in Illustrator go to Window > Type > Glyphs to access the panel that will show you any extras that came with your font) where letters are already combined for you, but you can have some fun with combining things yourself too.

In the example below for Huma Qureshi I’ve combined the U and M in the first name – be careful with customisations this and make sure each letter is still legible in it’s own right! I’ve also combined the A and H after I lined them up to fit perfectly together, play around with your spacing to see if you can get things to line up.

Again, ask others who aren’t aware already what the words say if you’re unsure if you’ve gone too far with your design.

In the example below for Brilliantly Visible, I used some extra glyphs that came with the font but customised them to fit those little dots underneath the L and E.


I hope this has given you some fun ideas to play with for your next project. Remember to always seek balance with your typography logos and to not go overboard with embellishments and customisations. You never want your work to feel forced. Always ask for a second opinion if you’re not sure if things work 🙂

Find me over on Instagram at @lemonandbirch if you need advice on your typography!

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