Twice a year I have the privilege to speak to a group of students pursuing the art of Wedding Coordination. My wife teaches the certification course at Cal Poly Pomona and invites me to speak to them about branding, marketing and design.
It’s always an engaging conversation which usually lends itself to an extended time of Q&A. Here’s a bit of what I share…
1. Your Brand is You…knowing who you are is the foundation of building your brand
2. What is Your Art?…being clear about what it is you make; what you provide
3. Setting Your Destination…knowing where you are going defines your vision and mission
4. Telling Your Story…effectively communicating who you are, where you’re going and what you do to those who you wish to partner with
5. The Icing on the Cake…implementing design to support your story and create a positive first impression
6. Time to Knock on Doors…thinking through strategic marketing via social media, tradition collateral and beyond
My hope is that, though this is fairly brief, it would give some direction to Wedding Planners or anyone else with an idea and a willingness to connect that idea to society.
Frustrated by stupid client criticism, Irish graphic designers Mark Shanley and Paddy Treacy decided to turn their “favorite worst feedback” into posters. The guys worked together on so-called “Sharp Suits” series with a team of other ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more, who must’ve all appreciated a chance to let out some of their exasperation in a creative way.
The series was exhibited at The Little Green Café, Bar and Gallery in November, giving a chance to purchase an A3 poster of your choice. The guys, however, received so many orders during a 5 day exhibition, that they’ve already stopped accepting them. All the thousands of euros they claim to have raised were donated to the Temple Street Children Hospital.
Seth Godin, one of my favorite modern thinkers, released his newest book today. “The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?” is nothing short of brilliant. Two things might hold someone back from sharing the art they’ve got inside: The fear of telling the truth or the lame strategy of hiding the truth behind a sales pitch. If you can find the voice, stand up and tell people what you care about.
Your art is vitally important, and what makes it art is that it is personal, important and fraught with the whiff of failure. This is precisely why it’s scarce and thus valuable—it’s difficult to stand up and own it and say, “here, I made this.” – Seth Godin
Watch this video…go ahead and do it. Now.
At some point, art must involve a human. A human with intent. Your hand can be your heart or your words or your effort or a hug, but, yes, the work of a human. If you de-industrialize the process and return it to humanity, to connection, then yes, it’s art and yes, it will connect to other humans more effectively.
This is my art:
I’m good at helping tell your story to people who don’t really know it, yet need to know it. I create pictures that don’t speak a thousand words, but instead speak a few strategic words that provoke an inevitable response. I’m gifted at the art of ignoring boxes and rethinking possibilities. In essence, my art is helping give your art wings.
CALL ME 626.467.5335
ALSO, check out our LOFT and how it may support you.
I see a lot of logos being created that have seem to just not work. Some folks believe that their logo has to make it clear what their business is all about. While this does help sometimes, the truth is that there are really only two fundamental principles needed in a good logo…it should be easy to recognize and should be memorable. Here are a few good simple examples.
Logos…usually one of the first things a new company works on to create the brand imaging they desire. Here a few things to keep in mind, whether designing your own logo or outsourcing it to a designer (which I highly recommend).
- Do Your Homework: You must begin with research. Your logo is your visual brand, usually the first impression the consumer sees. As you build your brand, your logo and your brand start to become the same. Don’t just pick some cool icon that means nothing at all. Ask yourself who your target audience is and what makes them tick. Can your logo stand alone or does it need explaining? Does it motivate your target to action? You may consider creating a small (not your friends/family) focus group to present a handful of ideas to. Heck, why not invite some folks from your target audience to brainstorm with you.
- A Name Unlike Any Other Name: In the world of branding, a strong and unique name is very important. Do you want a name (or a logo) that looks and sounds like everyone else? Why should people pick you over everyone else. Why do you stand out? The other benefit of a strong name is they are easier to remember. Think of Lexus and you really don’t confuse it with anything else. Same goes for Mountain Dew. Whereas names like Watson & Co or London Mart may be forgotten by people easily. Make sure your name doesn’t leave people confused, tell them our story.
- Build Trust: What comes to mind when you see Huggies or FedEx or Amazon.com? When a Mercedes or Lexus passes you on the road, are you thinking that they make a great luxury car? If you are like most of us, you do. So while you may not have purchased a Mercedes or Lexus, they have logos that are instantly recognizable and are trusted. It’s not the logo that you trust, as much as the reputation of the brand. Remember that your brand is more than your logo, it’s your product, customer service, parking and even availability.
- Be Distinctive & Unique: A logo should be unique and unlike other companies in their niche. Looking like another company might initially seem like a good idea, but you are likely to be seen as a copycat and one that can’t think of an original thought. So make your logo stand out by being unique and unlike others in your niche.
- Details: (Typography, Color, Shape, Scale): A powerful logo should portray the company’s image and must be created in such a way that a normal person may understand the concept which the logo designer is trying to give in his logo. Like many things, a great logo pays attentions to the details. It should represent the niche of the company or the product for which the logo is designed. In other words, you should have an idea of what your company does by looking at your logo. The colors & shape should be characteristic of the company or product’s nature. There is a rich that deep rich colors go with high end merchandise. So give that thought and if the company has a slogan then it should also be representing it. Also remember that it should be legible even at small sizes and should still tell the same story when when replicated in black and white with no shading.
Brands personify organizations and their products and services. That is, brands allow non-human entities to take on human qualities such as trustworthiness, authenticity, vitality and reliability.
In this way, brands enable entities to create emotional connections with customers and potential customers, resulting in more frequent usage and greater loyalty.
Brands are also the sources of promises to customers.
Brands are also the sources of promises to customers. They promise relevant differentiated benefits. Most people associate only one or two attributes with any organization, product or service. Well thought-out branding increases the likelihood that the attributes chosen are relevant, believable, compelling, and are customer benefits that motivate purchase or usage.
Proper brand positioning can ensure that people perceive the brand in ways that achieve organizational objectives. Diligent brand management efforts can move people from considering the brand (when they have specific needs), to preferring the brand, to purchasing the brand, to being completely loyal to the brand, to enthusiastically recommending the brand to others.