My brand was fine.

It evolved over time, I didn’t really have a style guide, I didn’t have consistent imagery, but it was fine. That was the problem… it felt like it was just that… fine.

Actually, it felt more like an outfit that just didn’t quite sit right.

You know that moment, the one when you happen to walk past the mirror and your appearance catches you off guard…

Something just doesn’t feel right!

I had one of those moments the other day… I was about to walk out to a meeting, and something didn’t feel right.

The good news, is that I at least had pants on, so it wasn’t that.

the elements of what I was wearing was fine, but something about that combo on that day… it wasn’t working.

You business brand can feel that way too sometimes.

All the elements of the brand are fine, but it just doesn’t seem to pull together too well.

Maybe two elements aren’t living together happily [like wearing pink shoes, and a red shirt]

Or maybe you’re using too many elements in one place [which is the equivalent of wearing all your accessories at once].

That’s when you know you need a wardrobe change [I mean style guide review].

A style guide is like having a wardrobe consultant come in and help you fathom which item looks good with another.

When you take the style guides advice, your brand looks really hot! Things make sense, and if you are a business owner – it saves you a bunch of time, because half the guesswork is removed.

When you don’t take your style guides advice… the brand looks messy, and you start to send a somewhat confusing brand message.

So what is a style guide?

Depending on your requirements, it could be as detailed as a booklet of what to do [and what not to do] – including how to use certain visual elements, which colours are stipulated, and which fonts are a must… it could also be a topline  guide as to what your brand essence is.

For my brand, it made sense to go more topline, and I thought I’d take you through the elements in a bit more detail below.

2015.08.27 FreshSageBrandingElements_FS_Overall Board copy

 

1. The Logo

My Logo hasn’t changed too much, but the nuances really help bring through the element of what I’m about.

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Fresh is a little more bold than sage, because whilst my business is based on solid thinking [sage], I think my creativity needs to take centre stage.

You’ll see that a new element is my icon.

Some love it, others hate it.

It has a ton of meaning for me though, so it’s staying [for now at least, after all, I just printed business cards… hahaha]

Why the icon?

I believe that creativity is an incredible catalyst for change.

So naturally, I wanted that to come through in my logo somewhere… and I remembered that early in my corporate training, I learnt that shorthand for the word “change”, was in fact a triangle.

But a triangle has three sides, and there were 4 elements to my business.

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So I made the triangle 3D, that way there are actually 4 sides to it, which symbolise the 4 elements of my business.

Deep right!

And you thought I chose it because triangles were “in” – hahaha

So now I will use the icon as my little subtle reminder that Emma was here.

The inspiration/mood board.

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First up: Credit to the following for their imagery [Top to bottom L-R]:

Chevron Print: BackdropShop, Print review: BraidCreative, FullService: Native Agency, Agency: Knoed.com, Fresh Sage Plant, Fusion Photographer: Victoria Gretch, Kraft Paper “WhiteBoard”: DesignMilk, Post-it collaboration: Design Milk, People Matter: Scout books

The images on the Left, symbolise the fact that I want FreshSage to be more of an agency, with a fresh [chevron] approach, but still being quite real and authentic.

On the right, the images reflect the kind of work I do… That it’s a full employer brand offering… from conceptual [and facilitation], to design, photography and video.

 

What do I want my clients to feel?

When they work with me, I want them to feel Ease, a little “Emma Magic” and Clarity.

It’s important for clients to feel ease with me and trust my ability, and that I do work that comes from my place of ease [my strengths].

I love it when clients experience the “Emma Magic” that happens when I bring my creative thoughts to the table… presenting something that really works for them.

Lastly, I want my clients to leave me feeling like they have clarity… clarity on the way forward, and clarity in how to project their brand, and being able to communicate a really clear message.

 

3. Colours.

the colour Sage has always been my go-to colour, and it is the one consistent across both my brands, but as my primary colours, I wanted it to be paired with a colours that were fresh, modern, and symbolised my creativity… orange and grey were my logical choice.

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The accent colours took a bit more working around [except for the light grey, that was a no-brainer], but I have settled on a darker sage, and the pantone custard as my two other colours… I’ll let you know how these progress 😉

4. Typography [fonts]

I’ve chosen to keep my typography quite simple… with the main font and access font being from the same family… but for a little creativity and fun – I threw in a light handwritten font!

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And that’s my style guide.

Now when I create graphics, I keep to similar look and feel, use the same fonts and colours, and am hoping that through that process… my brand will evolve to a very consistent look and feel.

Is your Brand Styling fitting with where you brand [and business] is going?

Have you developed a Brand / Style Guide?

EmSign

Ps… this kinda branding was super fun to do! #JustSaying