When you’re creating the collateral for either your business or a specific event, one of the most important aspects to pay attention to is the visual impact your branding will make. You’ll (hopefully) spend hours choosing the right font for the occasion (or enlist the help of a designer to do so), you’ll ensure that you have a memorable logo, and you’ll coordinate the aesthetics of the event website with printed materials.

Why then, would you do anything less than that when branding your own design business?

If you’re launching your own company, you should put just as much thought, time, and effort into its design and conception as you would for a major event. Moreso, even: first impressions are of the utmost importance, and you’ll want to create a brand for yourself that is eye-catching, smart, evocative, and inspires faith in people. Sounds like a tall order, but it’s absolutely achievable with the right tools.

The Design

Remember that design aesthetics can often make or break a business. If it’s in your budget to do so, hire a graphic designer and let them create an identity package that best suits you: unless you have a fair bit of art/design knowledge and ability, you’ll likely end up shooting yourself in the foot if you try to take care of this yourself. Many a company has suffered by using fonts and illustrations that the owner might think are lovely, but are really quite repellent in educated design circles. Back away from the clip art, midi tunes, and fonts like Papyrus and Comic Sans, and get some proper design help to make your company shine the way it’s meant to.

Visuals

As with naming your company, the visual keys you associate with your brand will speak volumes about what it is that you do. Keeping things crisp, clean and bold implies efficiency and inspires confidence, while rich hues and script fonts give the impression of lavish elegance: a company that utilises the former will likely be the one hired for company events, while the latter might find itself focusing on cocktail soirees or art shows. Keep your branding design as simple as possible while still evoking what’s special about you, and avoid anything too kitschy or trendy: what’s “in” now will be old in a few months, and it’s better to go with a sleek, timeless design rather than one that will be outdated before the year’s end.

The bottom line

Ultimately, think about building your brand identity as you would approach online dating: the profile that a company creates will determine the type of clientele it attracts. If your website and promo materials are flashy, over-decorated, and brash, guess what kind of clients will be drawn to you? On the other hand, if you evoke understated elegance with great service and wonderful personality, you’ll end up with clients you actually enjoy working with.

Lana

After spending over a decade coordinating and managing events ranging from weddings to celebrity charity functions, Lana Winter-Hébert has stepped away from active event work to pursue a new direction in her career. With the event companies and home décor specialists she writes for, she has the opportunity to flex her creative muscles to conceptualise memorable celebrations, and to share inside tips with those new to the industry.

Currently, Lana divides her time between writing for various clients and doing collaborative projects with Winter-Hébert: the design studio she runs with her husband. Best described as "endearingly eccentric", she spends
most of her spare time wrestling with knitting projects, and cohabitates with two hand-raised sparrows who live in her writing-desk.

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