Ever felt you were stuck in a creative rut for your heart-driven brand? You’re not the only one! If you own a conscious business, you know very well what it’s like to spend hours scrolling through your phone and surfing the internet looking for some inspiration for your next design. Tired of stale ideas or of copying some other brand you like on Instagram? Creativity is a big part of solving this problem. Once you get yourself out of the creative rut, you’ll suddenly feel super pumped up and have an overflowing imagination when it comes to your branding and design.
Over the years as a brand and design expert for conscious brands, I have cultivated a simple yet powerful creative process that helps me create the visual brand my clients absolutely love! Today, I am going to share these 3 steps with you so that visual branding finally becomes an easy and enjoyable experience for you!
When you have a conscious business, your branding plays a huge part in bringing it to the next level. But branding is not as simple as using a Canva (ps. affiliate link) template or copying a cool Instagram page you found last week.
Branding, and more specifically, visual branding, needs to be done intentionally. That’s why my focus has always been on purposeful design and branding that’s consistent, authentic, and recognizable. That’s how you create the perfect brand to tell your story like no other.
Ready for my 3-step creative process that is about to make branding a whole lot easier for you? Here goes:
The Discovery Phase is when you are going to do your research.
Researching everything you can think of about your conscious brand. Start with a brain dump: write everything you can think about on the subject and questions you or your audience might have. To understand what visual brand you are going to adopt, you need to understand who your audience is and what their story is. So think about your audience. Learn everything about them, I want you to know them like they were your childhood bestie.
Then, make your mood board. Let yourself go and bring in the colors, fonts, photography, and anything else that inspires the project. Places like Pinterest are great for you to create your mood board on. You can simply create a board there and grab anything online that inspires you and just pin it there.
Once the brain dump is done, it’s time to start bringing in your uniqueness to the project. Inspiration is great to get started but what we really want to create here is a visual brand that is clearly telling your story in the most impactful and authentic way!
Inspired by everything uncovered in the discovery phase, here is where we explore different directions to take the project through sketches and doodles. At this stage, you’re not looking to create anything sharp or final, it's rough and all over the place on purpose. So let your creativity fly and start sketching roughly what you’d like your logomark and wordmark to look like.
Pssst...Don’t know what the difference between a logo and a wordmark is? I got your back! So, a logo (or logomark) is an identifying mark or symbol that doesn’t contain your business name. ON the other hand, a wordmark is a distinct typographic treatment of your business name. Put in simple terms, your wordmark would have letters in it.
If you are still having a creative block in Step 2, here are some self-care tips that can help you loosen up and let those creative juices flow full force:
Sometimes, you simply need a break from your desk or your notes to increase your creativity. If you feel really stressed or tired from the day, you might even want to sleep on it and wake up fresh and motivated (you might even have some light-bulb ideas from your dreams!)
Your brain has to be well-nourished and hydrated to perform its best. So make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals during the day so that your body is energized and ready for its creative session.
Ever felt more inspired when working with a landscape view? Many creative people, including myself, enjoy working outdoors in nature when it comes to developing amazing conscious brand designs.
Find your zone
Your zone refers to the time of the day that you perform at your best. And it does not have to be during working hours! Some of us are early risers while others are night hours. One of my friends can write an entire book chapter at midnight, that’s when she’s in her creative flow. So, what times are you the most creative?
Don’t be scared of mistakes
Free yourself from any form of judgment when you are doodling or sketching. Many times, especially when you’re only starting, you might be scared that you are making mistakes in your design. Don’t be! I have worked in top design and advertising agencies and let me tell you, it is through those mistakes that you’ll learn and create something even more beautiful! Everything is connected :)
Be a rebel!
Stay true to yourself and what you feel is right. Don’t feel weirded out or intimidated if your creativity seems to be different from the norm. Yes, it is so easy and way more reassuring to follow rinse-and-repeat styles and designs of peers in your industry. But the truth is, you are unique - and so is your brand! So let your imagination go wild and mix things up as much as you want. You might just have found your uniqueness, your brand that is going to separate you from the crowd!
You made it! It’s now time for step three, and I must say, it’s my favorite one. Once we have a concrete concept, that’s when we start working on the final product.
Like adding those few drops of essential oil in your aromatherapy diffuser, this step is an important one to creating the results you are seeking to get. What I like to do is hop on the computer and use my favorite tool, Adobe Suite (ps. affiliate link) to get things cleaned up and final. I use mostly Illustrator for logos and wordmarks because it's vector-based. You want to use a tool that is vector-based as these give you the highest resolution which you can then edit and use in many different ways in the future.
It can be overwhelming and just plain scary to be creative in design and branding but it is also the most satisfying and fun when done the right way! So simply follow my 3-step creative process and let me know how you go! I am eager to hear what you come up with :)
To help you unleash that creative god or goddess inside you and get clarity with your branding, check out Get Your Brand Together, I designed especially for you! Simply follow the link and get cracking!
Have fun creating, friend!