Design

How a good brand can make you money

You have an exciting business idea that you want to share with the world, you’ve poured your heart and soul into it and possibly your savings. So where does a brand fit into this and how will it help grow your business? Or maybe you’ve been up and running for a while and you need to tell more people about who you are and what you do. So how can good branding make you money?

A brand is there to help you spread your businesses voice, resonate with customers and sell your product or service. But, a brand is more than just a logo. Done right a good brand embodies everything your business stands for, it consistently tells the story of who you are. It’s what sets you apart from your competition in the mind of your customers. Brand awareness and recognition is important when securing sales; a customer can't purchase your product, or make contact with you if they can't remember who you are, what you do or how to find you. 

The best businesses are those whose brands are easy to remember and instantly recognisable. It should resonate with your audience, the product or service you offer – whether your brand is established, hand-crafted, premium for aspecific market or has aspirations to be any of those. Your name should use simple monikers in order to make it memorable and have impact. By this I don’t mean what is on trend right now, or what you as the business owner like, it’s about what is right for your customers and the product or service you’re selling.

Petalon floral arrangement

A brand who I believe has established themselves within their small business arena is - Petalon, a London based florist. Owner, Florence Kennedy wanted to break away from the structured nature which was the norm for floral arrangements. Her style is practical, accessible and achievable by all, that brand message comes through from their identity; how they package their arrangements down to their instagram posts. The business has significantly grown, now becoming an extremely sort after wedding florist, offering a variety of workshops to now a published book ‘ Flowers, Every Day’ (which I'm dying to buy). They have followed all the rules in order to make their brand successful. Their brand elements use the fibonacci circle, which is genius as it is relevant to the core of every plant life, their font choice is simple, yet bold, the hessian fabric that they wrap each arrangement in shows their unstructured, natural ethos to flower arranging. They even deliver their arrangements by bicycle, showing that they are an ethically responsible business. I would recommend following their instagram feed @petalon_flowers, it will inspire you, give you social content ideas as well as show the importance of brand. 

Petalon delivery style

Like Petalon successful branding creates trust, improves awareness, supports your marketing, motivates you and your employees and generates new business - which in turn makes you money. These individual elements helps customers resonate with your brand, become loyal advocates which in turn means repeat business. Brand advocates become your best marketing tool, word of mouth. 

If you’re considering branding or rebranding your business, these questions below should help you get started.

What would you name the business, is it relevant and meaningful? Don't let yourself get too caught up trying to think of something cool or catchy.

How is your brand going to sound, what is your voice? Businesses have personalities, and your customers will choose whether they interact based upon your brand personality.

Visually how do you want to be seen? An image is worth a thousand words, and the visual impact of your brand goes a long way toward building brand recognition. Are you bold & brave or simplistic & minimal?

Where will your brand be seen? Consistency in your brand is key for your customers to see you as a trustworthy and dependable business.

If you want to find out how we can work together to create a brand that will help you grow your business and make you money please give me a call on 07834 830 384 - I’d love to meet up, have a tea and chat over your ambitions. 

Pigs and Peacocks

As the wedding season approaches, I thought I’d share this blast from the past. After designing what feels like more wedding invitations than I’ve had holidays – or hot dinners as the phrase goes – there are always a few key ones which stand out (though they’re all lovely). ‘Pigs and Peacocks’ stands out for me for two reasons: the story of the venue and the trust the couple put in me to reflect their dreams and aspirations through my designs.

Beth and Ed chose South Farm as their wedding venue because of its many unique features. Located on the border between Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, South Farm won numerous awards last year for their incredible venue and superb service. They offer a stunning range of ceremony and reception options, including the spectacular Tudor Barn, beautiful garden Summerhouse, intimate Drawing Room and lovely Old Dairy – all of which exude a refined elegance. As well as a stunning setting, the farm also has an expansive small-holding featuring gorgeous rare-breed animals, a charming collection of Romany caravans and their very own authentic Thai Tuk-Tuk…I know, amazing!

When designing their invitations, I really wanted to capture the type of wedding that Beth and Ed were planning at South Farm. So I linked the design identity to some of the fantastic and unusual features the venue has to offer: the Romany caravans and the way the farm’s pigs and peacocks can freely wander round and interact with the guests. I created a unique logomark which appeared across all their wedding stationery, making it even more beautiful by embossing it on to G.F Smith Fine Uncoated paper in Imperial Blue.

I’m a firm believer that your wedding stationery should live and breathe who you are as a couple – and little details can go a long way. Even with my pre-designed collections you have the opportunity to add your personal touch, I work with each couple to help create something that reflects their day no matter what the budget. 

Band identity

A very close friend approached me to help out with his new musical venture. The name was set all that was required was to create an identity which matched the musical style and the bands flair. The deco style font came from the bands musical influence and the flourishes represents their unforgetable live performaces.   

Creating curves

An empty room is a blank space, so where do you start? When designing a room, its character is built by all the little details you add along the way. But with a large space like this one, you need one very large detail to set the tone from the beginning. Tactility and ambience were the key attributes on this occasion, with the aim of creating a room that people would always want to visit. That’s why no trends or themes were introduced, as the space has to stand the test of time and appeal to a variety of demographics.

We set out to create warmth, softness and just a hint of drama

First, we looked for natural materials to create the mood the room needed, deciding on a curved light wood. Layering the timbers on top of each other generates depth, with the subtle change of tones within the wood’s natural grain providing the kind of gorgeous detail you can only dream of. Our chosen fabrics – a mixture of leather, cottons and felt – add texture and soften the masculine effect that a large expanse of wood can often produce.

We also tempered the acoustics with an ergonomically-shaped feature wall. This helps dull the background noise and create an environment which welcomes intimate conversations, as well as a unique seating solution. Following the theme of softening the edges, we chose curved booths to give intimate dining areas which can seat from 2 to 8 people; this is also a great way to close or section off a very wide room.

As a finishing touch, we installed dimmed, ambient lighting to help people relax, forget about the stresses of their day and enjoy their time in a warm and welcoming space

Like a fine wine

As a designer, I’m always the person that’s asked to help plan and design the entire event whenever a landmark occasion arrives. And I find that, because I know the people so well, designing the invitations is the easiest part. On this occasion, I was armed with the knowledge that my friend loves wine and everything it has to offer at the end of a very long day – so it was only fitting that her party invitation should be a bespoke wine label.

The invitation featured written verses that expressed my friend’s personality as if she was a fine wine, describing her as ‘a vibrant little number with enough attitude to give your taste buds a tingle.’ Little touches like this made it clear to every person invited that this party would be truly unique.

By using G.F. Smith Colorplan Fuchsia Pink paper with silver foil across the whole invitation, I achieved a high-end, luxurious result at a low cost. As the invitation solely used silver foil, no printing was required – a trick that can often help create something with a champagne look on a lemonade budget.

Once in a while...

...In the middle of an ordinary life

Invitiation grey.jpg

Designing an invitation for any sort of event can be the trickiest of projects. As well as being an extremely personal process, it’s also the key to enticing people to attend. No simple task when you’ll be hitting multiple audiences, all with different tastes, with just one piece of collateral!

This invitation was for a Prohibition Wedding, where it was important to maintain the American Art Deco theme whilst adding a contemporary twist. We focused on the alcohol advertising that was around at the time (think the mirrored adverts you used to see in pubs), using a Smoke Foil (ref 6705) on G.F Smith Nomad Grey Smooth Paper. This created a tactile yet impactful invitation. The design was intricate but the execution simple, creating the perfect balance of old and new.

Every detail of the invitation continued the Prohibition-era theme, from the illustrated map of the wedding location to the language used. It gave you the feeling of being transported back in time, but in a modern setting – giving guests a sense of what the day would be like before they even arrived at the venue.

We took care to provide the guests with plenty of information, such as where to find the church and evening reception venues, lists of local taxi firms and hotels, and the fact that whilst booze was provided, they could maybe bring a bottle or two as well. We even asked for music requests so we could add these to the playlist. This made the guests feel very much part of and involved in the wedding, and helped them prepare for the day.

As a finishing touch, we included a reply slip and envelope with each invitation. This really is the best way to make sure replies are sent – it's remarkable how it encourages people to respond quickly.