Branding, etc.

We hear a lot about branding these days, and I have discovered it actually is more than just a pretentious buzz word. I thought it may be helpful for people to see examples of how I use it to create a refined, cohesive look for my business. You can do a lot with little expense, but you have to start with a great logo.

I LOVE my logo, and it has made the world of difference in helping me design my booth and marketing materials. Everything flows from it. Make sure it looks great in black and white as well. When I need a brighter look, I simply change the background to white and the text to dark grey...the other colours all work either way.

Above is an example of how you take your logo and use it's branding abilities to the max. You can usually isolate bits of it - the graphics, the font, the colour - and use those in different ways to create different marketing materials. I wanted a new little display sign to let people know that my flower vignettes were new for spring 2011, so I took the bubbles from my logo (my original logo is basically my blog header), added stems to make them more spring-like, and used the two fonts from my logo for the rest of the wording. And, of course, the colouring all ties in with my other display and marketing materials. This will be printed on glossy photo paper then mounted onto black self-adhesive foam-core and trimmed. Voila - a very professional piece of marketing material that is in line with my overall branding, and is also incrediby cost effective.

Hint...even though I have a good photo printer at home, when you are printing a glossy photo with a dark background I find that you get a far superior product from the photo printing machines at places such as Walmart or Shoppers. Even Staples couldn't get it right when they used their normal photo printer....they were the ones who suggested Shoppers. An 8 x 11 glossy photo costs less than 5$ (I can fit 2 little signs on), and a large sheet of self adhesive foam core is only $10-$20, so you can make plenty of these, changing them up for different situations.

For my 40" wide booth sign and my 20" x 30" photo enlargements, I went to a higher end photo printing place, then had them mounted on Sintra, a material similar to plexi. The One of a Kind Show strictly forbids the use of foamcore, but you can do that for any other show. Anyway, I now have great, professional looking signage that will last ages if I take care to pack it carefully at the end of each show. BTW, I make everything on Adobe Illustrator, then import to Photoshop and save as a jpeg to accomodate the photo printers at various stores.

More branding....this is my current packaging for my jewelry:

Notice the lime green circular style reflects the bubbles in my logo. I just used those labels cause I had them lying around at home, but I was informed by the lovely ladies at Studio 28 that Vista Print does a great job at a great price. I'm going to be making new round labels for the top, and for the back of my frames. Here is an idea...once again, notice the common themes:

I stack some of my boxes on my checkout desk because I think it adds something to the whole display, and I have actually heard people say "Oh, look, they come in those cute boxes." Never underestimate the power of visual presentation.

Think of this type of thing for hang tags, labels and other display materials. I think people often feel that they have to just take their logo as is and shrink it down or up to fill every need, but consider mixing and matching. If you have any kind of computer program at home that will help it will cost you nothing but your time....and I LIVE for this stuff:)

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