Clancey Brand Reveal

In my opinion you can’t steer wrong with a timeless aesthetic that meets high fashion quality and creatively fueled design elements, and that is exactly the recipe I found working with Clancey, a wedding and editorial photographer.

I’ve gotten to work with a lot of talented photographers and one of the things that amazes me are the differences they each bring to the craft. One of Clancey’s unique talents is his ability to not only capture moments gorgeously but to also create beautiful editorial work, so that was one of the important focuses of his branding. He wanted to make sure that it could appeal to both couples and more curated, editorial shoots.

It’s clear from his work that Clancey has a great eye, an appreciation for natural light, neutral color palettes, and classic beauty that he loves to capture literally around the world. The focuses led to a timeless and elegant logo to match his photography.


Moodboard

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Full Brand

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I love love LOVE getting to take additional branding elements to the next level by designing additional materials to enhance the client experience - not to mention make the client’s life easier! One of my favorite pieces to work on are pricing guides.

It is the perfect way to make a great impression on someone who’s considering hiring you. I also love the added benefit that is works so well as both a print and digital tool.

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An individual who I consider a creative genius and photographic talent - but really how could you not?- made Clancey a dream to work with. I can already see many more collaborations in the future!
*spoiler, packaging and client gifts in the works!

You can see more of his work here!

Are you a photographer or creative business owner? I would love to hear your favorite or most helpful branded items you use in your business or gift to clients?

2019 Growth Tracking

Success is steady progress toward one’s personal goals.
— Jim Rohn
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Can it be that we are already one month into another year? Can someone remind me not to blink again?

In addition to the colder days and longer nights of this month, I often think of January as goal setting season. However, the season is usually short lived and only in full swing the first few weeks of the month.

Trying to avoid the pitfalls of resolution traps and “I’ll do better this year” thoughts, one of the things I love to focus on not only at the beginning of a new year, but throughout all 12 months is the growth of my business. While I feel all the hard work and hours that go into keeping Good Day alive, the only real way to understand progress is to track it. I started a monthly routine during 2018 and couldn’t have loved it more. Simple, straightforward (maybe even old fashioned) this one piece of paper did wonders for me.

I used this worksheet to track my monthly progress across a few platforms:

  1. Instagram Followers

  2. Pinterest Views

  3. Facebook Followers

  4. Newsletter Subscribers

  5. Unique Website Visitors

  6. Most Popular Blog Post

  7. My Monthly Salary (how much I paid myself)

I have seen a few more sophisticated ways to track progress (spreadsheets GALORE) and even plan to implement a few of these strategies this year, but there is something about a tangible way to track these numbers - something about taking the time to physically write it down - that brings a new awareness and realness to these numbers. Not to mention there’s something especially exciting about seeing these numbers grow when you write them down each month!

How do you use this sheet?

A couple of pretty simple steps!

First, download and print it out. Then, on the last day of each month, check each of the categories and fill out the numbers accordingly. I keep mine on a bulletin board in my office so it is always visible - something about “out of sight out of mind” has always rung really true to me, but you know what works best for you. The important thing is keeping a consistent rhythm ALL year. You will be so glad you did and so happy to be able to check your progress with one glance.

I am excited for you, your year, and your GROWTH! I hope this worksheet has been as helpful for you as it has been for me! As always, I’m in your corner!

I’m also curious if there’s anything else you would like to see listed on this sheet you would like to track? Or if you have any other methods or tools you use to measure your business growth? Personal growth? Please feel free to share!

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Red Tail Management

WIth the holidays just around the corner, it feels very fitting to share this project for a hospitality focused brand with the nicest fall color palette.

One of my favorite aspects of working with this client was their emphasis on fun. In their answers to the branding questionnaire I send to each client, the response “FUN!” showed up no less than three times, so I knew that would be one of our most important traits to focus on.

Another favorite aspect of this client was the conscious decision to not have their brand be too literal. Being that the name is Red Tail (after a red tail hawk) the obvious decision would have been to include a bird in some way, which was my initial instinct as you can see in the early concepts below.

However, we all agreed it didn’t feel quite right and wasn’t working with the personality they wanted to convey. Enter the pineapple addition - which turns out to be the international symbol of hospitality. From here things really took off and began to take shape to be the perfect fit for their company.

The combination of the warm color palette, detailed illustration, and soft logo treatment created the perfect combination to represent their brand and appeal to their market of investors, homeowners, professionals, and (of course!) fun people!


Moodboard

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Initial Concepts

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Final Outcome

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Services Included:
Creative Brief, Moodboard, Logo Design, Business Card Design, Social Media Profiles, Branding Guidelines, Collateral Consultation

Root & Blossom Photography

More often than not, my clients find me on a referral basis. That is indirectly what happened in this case, and one of few instances we never actually met in person - though it feels as if we could have been friends for years. After seeing Good Day branding work on Instagram for another client (see that project here), Mandi reached out about rebranding her photography business. We hit it off over a Skype call then hit the ground running. 

One of the things I loved most about our initial interaction was hearing her reasoning for rebranding and the explanation behind the new name "Root & Blossom". In her own words,

As photographers, we’re hired to capture some of the most life-changing events in our clients’ lives. They’re moments of great change, growth, and emotion; whether it’s a new life as a married couple or new parents becoming a family for the first time. Our clients are rooting down and growing, often at the same time. Also, this name was inspired by the E.E. Cummings poem “[I carry your heart with me (I carry it in]. 
 

Can you tell she also has a background in writing?

I couldn't help but feel a sentimental love for this project all the more. Sometimes I joke that in high school, during the poetry section of a class, my best friends and I each picked a favorite poet. Mine, of course, was E.E. Cummings. I always love starting a brand with a lot of meaning behind it, and it’s really the icing on the cake when you happen have special tie to it as well. 

From there, we dove into specifics about their audience and values of the brand. Another reason I love this client - apt descriptions of what they aimed to convey. The pairings of seemingly opposite terms like "romantic with an edge of punk rock" and "eclectic, alternative yet natural, artistic" painted an image of the kind of couple or family who would be in front of their lens.  

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This led us into the first round of logo concepts that you can see below. 


Concepts

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I'll give you a quick rundown of the ideas above. The first was meant to act as a versatile logo which would have graphic elements that could evolve and change with trends but always have a strong foundation with a timeless, text-based logo. The second was intended to work as an elegant mark merging a classic floral illustration with a modern, geometric shape and text treatment. The third was meant to truly speak to the name of the company in an illustrated manner of combining the root and the bud with an ampersand drawing. 


The Outcome

After evaluating what we had here, we both liked the idea of using the second option as the primary logo and utilizing the ampersand mark as a secondary logo. 

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Services Included: 
Creative Brief, Moodboard, Logo Design, Business Card Design, Social Media Profiles, Branding Guidelines, Instagram Marketing
 

Emily Rose Floral Designs

The way I met Emily Rose is a fun start to our story. Initially, she reached out to me after following me on Instagram. We emailed and scheduled a meeting for the following week. Little did we know, two days later we would be attending the same event - where I would embarrassingly mention not being a designer who "only makes logos with flowers." Emily then introduces herself as, Emily Rose - the florist I've been in communication with and will be meeting soon. 

Cue the horror on my face - but together we laugh, and I tell her she can have an entire bouquet in her logo if she would like. While my floral comment made sense at the time (in response to a question about my design style and clients I work with) it was still the perfect introduction to Emily - easy going, fun to be around, very professional, someone you can make fast friends with. The candid nature of our meeting made it feel like working with a friend from the get-go, and I think it shows in her branding. 

The target market for her company includes couples in the Northern Colorado area with an appreciation for detail and natural beauty in their wedding florals. Some of the key focus words included: passionate, relatable, intriguing, professional, unique, flourishing, lovely, noticeable, progressive, and romantic - one of my favorite collections of branding adjectives to date. 


Moodboard

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Original Concepts

Including three distinct directions from the onset is always a key component of my process. Here the different ideas included:

  1. Bold, a little funky, standout from the industry

  2. Soft, romantic, charming

  3. Classic, botanic, professional

Good Day Design Co. Brand Reveal

Choosing the Final Logo

Even knowing from the beginning that Emily was questioning whether she wanted to include a flower as a main design element in the branding, I had a feeling she was going to pick the second option. We met to go over the designs, and she chose the second option hands-down. We both agreed that the simplicity, the descriptive nature of her industry, and the romantic sweetness of the approach made it a perfect fit.

The only hesitation was regarding the lower case treatment to each word of the title, so I showed her what the design would look like in uppercase or title case as well. One of the reasons I like providing options in the logo development process is because I find it to be just as helpful to know what you don't want as to see what you do want. That is exactly what happened in this case. We stuck with the original all lower case letters, and I moved on to the rest of the design elements. 

Good Day Design Co Brand Reveal

Some standout favorites from the project included the enthusiasm and participation from the client - being involved is one of the best things you can do to make the process not just a success, but a smash success. In addition, I love any excuse to make a pretty pattern, so couple that with delicate floral illustrations and you have my heart.

Project Summary:

Branding Questionnaire, Creative Brief, Moodboard, Logo Design, Business Card Design, Custom Patterns, Thank You Card Design, Postcard Design 


Helios Landspace Design

This project was a rare treat. It is always a privilege to work with friends, but it always adds a little extra pressure because you really want the end result to be amazing.

To give a little context, Kristen and I met in college through mutual friends. Her boyfriend, Michael, who is a very talented instrumentalist, actually played guitar for the processional at our wedding. It was one of those little details that made our wedding so special. 

Fast forward a few years to when we began our businesses within a few months of one another. We became sounding boards and friendly support systems to one another in those early months. For these reasons, and so many more, I was so excited to work with Kristen when she wanted to uplevel her branding. 

Some of her primary branding descriptors included: Eco-friendly, non-conventional, sustainable, fun, knowledgeable, reliable, practical, listener, planner.


Initial Concepts

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Finalized Branding Direction

After talking through the options we had here Kristen chose the second concept for a couple of reasons. While she is currently a one-woman operation and loved the femininity of the first concept, we both felt the second would be more versatile for her growth as a company as well as more marketable to her client base. Additionally, in her experience, knowing that “Helios” ins’t a very common word, it was a benefit to make it as legible as possible, so we steered away from the script font.

50 Ideas to Creatively Brand Your Business

I can't help but start this post with a disclaimer - I hate the word swag - but because it's the best word to use here...I'm going to put my personal feelings aside for a second. One of the great things about strong branding is your ability to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do that is ahem "swag." 

Now when I say swag, I would advise you to take that with a grain of salt. I've spent more time thinking about this recently because I recently attended a conference and the sponsor bags were off. the. charts. 

What made these freebies so much extra? Two things.
 1) The quality 2) The creativity

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My main goal has always been to create a strong foundation for my clients. While I think this is the most important area we tackle together, these swag bags made me realize that there's a part of the process that can help my clients creatively market themselves and we should be tackling that as well.

While you may not need branded coffee mugs or beach towels, it is worth looking into the opportunities where you can stand out and impress your potential clients (and current clients - this applies for client gifts as well.) 

The thing about sponsoring an event or having "freebies" is that you have an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Because of that, I encourage you to think outside of the box. What are products that relate to your industry? What is something everyone likes to get for free? What can you afford to spend per freebie? How can you incorporate your brand beyond just adding your logo? 

On that note, I would also mention - know your goal with these freebie, branded items.

  • Is it to be stand out?
  • Is it to be remembered?
  • Is it just to have something to hand out?

Knowing the answers to the questions will help you to know what kind of item to purchase for what kind of event/purpose.

Depending on your end goal, I would encourage you to go for quality when choosing these items. While a well-made t-shirt may become a new favorite, a rough, scratchy one may end up at the bottom of a drawer. And, I don't know about you, but when I get a free pen that stops working within a week, I toss it... probably without ever noticing the logo inscribed on the side. That's what I would call a lose-lose. Go for quality and go for uniqueness. 

I would start by asking:

  • Will this help to make a positive impression of our company on potential customers?
  • Is this something people will appreciate, enjoy, and want to keep?

The grab bag at this conference really got my creative juices flowing, so below you can find a collection of ideas for ways to creatively brand yourself that will make a lasting impression you want to leave.

50 Ideas to Creatively Brand Your Business:

  1. Water Bottles - These first two listed are the ones that inspired this post. I recently received a SIC water bottle freebie (thanks Amari Creative!) and it is AMAZING. This is what I mean when I say go for quality. It may not have been the most affordable of all options, but because of the quality, I use it daily and it has been a conversation starter.
  2. Postcards - Not promotional ones, actual postcards you mail...who doesn't love getting snail mail? Make them cute/fun/pretty and everyone will want to send them!
  3. Matchbooks
  4. Coffee Mugs
  5. Tin Camping Coffee Mugs
  6. Guitar Picks
  7. Coasters
  8. Wine Stopper
  9. Blankets
  10. A Deck of playing cards
  11. Lighter
  12. Multi-use Charger - I actually received one of these once and it is one of the best freebies I have ever gotten. It was appropriate for the car rental company and helpful while traveling - two USB ports plus car and wall charger capabilities. This is a really great example of thinking of something in your industry to stand out. 
  13. Notebooks
  14. Pins - Like the kind you would put on a backpack
  15. Patches - Also like the kind you would put on a backpack! 
  16. Reusable Shopping Bags
  17. Socks - Insider tip from a friend in the printing industry - this is all the rage right now! 
  18. Puzzles - Wordsearch, crossword, or otherwise this would be a really fun way to deliver a message 
  19. Jigsaw Puzzles
  20. USB Drive
  21. Pop Socket
  22. Chapstick
  23. Sunglasses
  24. Makeup Bag
  25. Fanny Pack
  26. Sunscreen - If you're going to be outdoors - a thoutghtful time to be the most talked about!
  27. Candle
  28. Pet Toys
  29. Christmas Ornament
  30. Koozies
  31. Wax Seal
  32. Calendars
  33. Hand Santizer
  34. Bracelet - Even if you think it's been overdone - people still love to wear these! Don't underestimate the way people want to share your brand. 
  35. Keychain
  36. Caribeener
  37. Bottle Opener
  38. Bookmarks
  39. Hat
  40. Bandana
  41. Swiss Army Knife
  42. Umbrella
  43. Beach Towel
  44. Poncho
  45. Candy/Gum
  46. Chip Clip Magnets
  47. Cord Wraps
  48. Nail File - Look for Crystal/Glass in the title - these will be the best quality! 
  49. Earbuds 
  50. Magnets

What are your favorite things to receive as freebies? Is there anything you would suggest on this list? Especially specific to your industry? I would love to hear! 

Make the Most of Your Brand's First Impression

"You only get one chance to make a good first impression." 

We've all heard it. We all understand it. But, normally, we only think of this in terms of the impression we as individuals have the power to leave behind. But here's the thing - this is true for your business as well! I've started describing this to my clients as the "First Impression Syndrome" and NO business is exempt (dun dun dunnn). 

At this point, the question to ask yourself is, “Is your first impression working for you or against you?” If it’s working for you then give yourself a pat on the back! If you’re not sure or don’t think it is, let’s figure out how to fix that.

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I think the easiest way to think about this is to reverse the situation. Instead of focusing on what people think of your brand, think about your own assumptions of other companies.

Let’s start with a familiar scenario. Think about how you make a decision about where to go out for dinner. How important is price point? Atmosphere? Convenience? Type of food? 

Now imagine you're in a new city looking for a dinner spot. You’re walking around downtown on a popular strip with plenty of options. You haven’t consulted reviews or recommendations from others, and you walk a few blocks to see your options.

What’s going through your head at this point? First thoughts? I would be willing to bet you've formed a first impression about each place you walk past based on a snap impression. Part of this could be the designer in me coming out, but really this is simply human nature. You have most likely already eliminated a few options and ranked a few as your top choices based on the storefronts alone, often with a logo as the focal point of that design.

At its core, design is processed on a subconscious level more so than a conscious one. The colors, the style, the type - the way they all work together. The whole point of design is that it evokes a feeling within you on a subconscious level.

In the above example, I would be willing to bet that you could identify the family-friendly diner vs the casual sports bar vs the 5 star rated steakhouse - all based on a first impression. 

The thing about this is that as a business owner, none of us are exempt from this process. No one. A first impression is a valuable asset that YOU can control. 

These are important aspects of understanding how to take that control...


1 | Put yourself in the buyer's shoes

Remember, at some point in time, when your brand was new to you? Maybe you've been in business for year, living with your business, day in and day out. Or maybe your brand doesn't even exist yet, but you've been imaging what it will look like as you begin your business. Regardless, you have to take yourself out of the scenario and try to see your brand with fresh eyes. Try to imagine what someone would think who has never been exposed to it before. 

It's not unlike selling a house. They say when you're preparing to sell your home, you have to look at it from a buyer's perspective. If you think about a house, you wouldn’t want to ignore the curbside appeal just because your child took their first steps there. You have to see your home the way it is - from the point of view of the person looking to make a financial investment in it. The same holds true for your branding. 

With your business, you can’t see your brand as the thing that gives you warm and fuzzy feelings or the place where you hang your hopes and dreams. You have to see it as part of a decision making process from someone who you want to choose YOU to purchase from. 

It’s easy to become emotionally attached or invested in a personal way. Maybe this means revisiting the logo you or a friend made to get you started but you know you outgrew a long time ago. Maybe it means putting your personal preferences on the back burner for a style or imagery that makes more sense for your industry. Maybe it’s actually asking your customers what your branding communicates to them. Ultimately, just take measures to make sure you aren’t choosing what works for you in favor of works for your business. 


2 |  Understand who you want to attract

I know, I know. How many ways can I think of to bring up your target market? But, ultimately, understanding who you want to attract is the best way to make the “first impression syndrome” work for yo uinstead f against you.

Flip the scenario again and think about the companies you are attracted to. What makes you like them? Go as far as to create a “client profile” for yourself. What does your life look like? What about these brands aligns with you and your lifestyle? 

I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for “Instagrammable” places, especially when I am traveling. Those shops, restaurants, cafes, and events understand that if they put effort into creating an experience paired with their service, they are catering to someone with preferences like mine. In this case, that means they are paying attention to the details of their interior, packaging, and overall presence, making someone like me more likely to become a customer - and potentially pay a little more to do so. 

On a less shallow note, I also tend to prioritize local companies or those that give back to a cause. Being clear on your values and projecting those to your audience is another way to authentically attract those who align with your company. 

Understanding the way you make decisions helps you to understand the way your clients make decisions. It also helps you to manage the ways you present yourself. This is the part of marketing that I think can be perceived as manipulative, BUT if you are able to present your products or services in a favorable way to the people who want to buy them, I would call that a win-win. 

With each decision come back to that person: Who are they? How do you want them to talk to their friends about your business? How would they react to your new campaign? What do you do to make them a fan of yours? Consistency and details are key! 


3 | Consider your competition 

I’m all about community and support in what could be a dog-eat-dog business ownership culture; however, understanding your positioning in the marketplace and understanding what your competitors are up to will help you to create a clear and unique experience for your clients. 

For instance, I happen to know a lot of very talented photographers. This industry is one of the best examples I have seen at successfully differentiating themselves. Each photographer is confident in their specific style, then manages their branding and presence in a way that is aligned with that style. This in turn ends up attracting clients seeking what they have to offer. It is a natural fit from the start because the person understands what they're signing up for. 

Back to the restaurant example - the steakhouse isn’t necessarily competing with the diner. They may be in indirect competition for hungry people, but they are serving different purposes and different audiences, so ultimately they need to understand who they are appealing to. If you took the diner’s logo but replaced it with the steakhouse’s name, then still try to use is as the $$$$$ restaurant storefront, it would most likely be misinterpreted and convey the wrong message. Each type of restaurant can consider how to use their visuals and their language to attract the right people. 

The point here is to understand what your competitors are doing, primarily so you can leverage the differences in what the two of you offer. Then you can use those differences to stand out and attract the customers who are the best fit for you. 

How are you feeling about your first impression now? What are some of the things you do to stand out? 

One Source Cleaning

If there's something I love, it's working with a company with great integrity. When discussing this business with the owner she gave her reasoning for choosing to be a green cleaning company. While the environment was an important factor, her main reasoning was for the health of her employees and to save them from surrounding themselves with harsh chemicals daily, not to mention her emphasis on paying her employees a livable wage. 

I knew right away this brand would be a joy to work on. After owning several businesses in her professional career, Jill had never been through a professional branding process, so this rebrand was a new experience. 

Focus words included: Unique & professional, straight-forward, clear & quality, organized & efficient, and customer service oriented. Knowing her target demographic was the woman in the household, as well as a specialty service to target Air Bnb, hosts, having a straightforward and modern appearance was the utmost importance. 


Moodboard:

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Initial Concepts:

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After reviewing these three concepts, there were a few strong points identified. Though Option 1 was a strong contender, it was ultimately decided that it was too modern and needed to be a little bit softer. From there, she identified the elements that were strongest from each and felt represented the brand best.

Ultimately, I honed in on:

  • The type treatment from Option 1
  • The circle leaf icon from Option 2
  • Combining these two elements
  • Softening the combination of those two elements

Final Design:

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Hanning Law Ltd.

One of my favorite ways for a new project to begin is with a client who wants to think outside the box, which is exactly what Brian wanted to do to brand his law firm. Having worked in the industry for some time before branching out on his own, he wanted something a little less traditional and put a modern spin on the traditional "lawyer look." 

Brian had an initial concept to have pillars and a quill, traditional imagery, to form an "H" to represent Hanning. One of the reasons I love presenting multiple logo options is the it gives me space to develop the client's idea, which I will always do when they come to me with one, as well as explore new options.  

 

Initial Concepts:

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After reviewing the initial logo concepts and choosing the first option, Brian's only request was to make the colors pop a little bit more, so I adjusted the color palette to be more in the teal family than muted navy, giving just the modern and lively vibe he was going for.  In addition to revising the colors, I adjusted the type treatment to include a little more variation by bolding Hanning and adding lines as accents. 

Final design:

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