On Blogging / Creating Your Brand With a Designer

I’ve been using my (rare) quiet moments to plan some exciting things for the blog in the coming months. Nothing makes you reflect on your branding more than considering brand extensions, so this post was born in rapid fire during one of my brainstorm sessions!

When I was planning and launching the Ember & March brand, I was fortunate enough to be able to have maximum control over what was created. I knew I wanted to design everything myself, and plan to add even more personal touches to the blog in the future.

It’s important that you’re able to see yourself in your brand; that you get to leave your fingerprints and traces of your identity throughout your space. I know my mark is here, and hope it’s felt. But I also understand that other bloggers and creatives who don’t have design skills, or even fully understand branding, sometimes feel limited in their control over the final product.

When working with a designer, in order to get the best result, don’t be afraid to speak up and express, as best you can, what you want. If something doesn’t look or feel right or as you envisioned it, be sure to say something! When deciding to work with a designer on your brand, be sure to review designers carefully. Does that designer have other project similar to the one you want executed? Does their style match your vision?
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Behind the Brand / Staying Inspired

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I didn’t think this ‘behind the brand’ thing would catch on, and become a reoccurring feature. But I get lot’s of questions about some of the behind the scenes deets of Ember & March that I wouldn’t get to cover, otherwise.

Today I want to share a bit about how I stay inspired: to blog, extend the brand (think newsletter and special offers) and where I find most of my inspiration from.

It sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is, but I do think that there is much to be learned by simply getting the chance to see how someone else does it. Because the fact of the matter is that so many people who read this blog do want to expand their brands into more than just a blog. Maybe you want to open a small business, offer a few services, or impact people’s lives positively by creating and sustaining a booming community of bloggers. All of those things are awesome, and all of those things take a lot of inspiration (and coffee, so much coffee).

I get blog ideas/inspiration from:

+ Getting outside of my head a bit. I love exploring the city, and popping my head into new cafes and trying out a new latte or iced coffee. Being in a new environment and people watching, surrounding myself with the unfamiliar helps to clear my mind and make room for new thoughts (like posts).

+ I give the answers no one had for me. When I first got to college, no one taught me how to make an effective to-do list; when I was working on my rebrand, some of the tips I needed were hard to find; and it took a minute to get the difference between WordPress and WordPress. We learn so many lessons over time that we can pass on to help others. I use my lessons and answered questions to create new posts that help others!

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Welcome to a New Beginning

No need to adjust your screens ladies and gents! The wait is over, the work is (just getting started) nearly done, and Ember & March is here! What do you think?

I had an urge to change directions a little over a month ago. I felt that a change was needed, even if it was a subtle switch, and that it more than a new blog theme would be required. From that quick thought, Ember and March was born… and now one month later, I’m launching this little piece of my heart for everyone to see.

There are a few pages for you all to explore! A completely revamped about page, as well as some frequently asked questions I’ve gotten! The sponsorship program has also been done-over, and there will be more on that in an upcoming post.

Lot’s of things will be staying the same, and many things will be new. Every week, we will still be meeting up to talk blogs and recap the week over sunday morning coffee, there will still be lot’s of talk about blogging, organization and living well. Now, there will also be posts on typography, branding and design as well. All of these things flow harmoniously in my life, so it only makes sense that I carry the relationship between them into my blog. I’m excited for all of the new content, and for the improvements in the things I’ve been doing. I tweeted a preview of some things to come a few days ago about some of the content that will be shared soon!

Thank you all for bearing with me during this rebranding process. I’m still working out some tech kinks, so if things are a little messy over the next week or so, just know that I’m working on it! I’m excited to be back with fresh inspiration, posting regularly and sharing more and more.

[Tweet “Ember & March has FINALLY launched. A new blog by @ambersb_”]

*Sidenote: The photo in this post was snapped on my iPhone a week or so ago while I was out wandering in the city. This is my first summer away from home and living in the city full time. I can honestly say, nothing is more wonderful than a Philadelphia summer.

Five Tips for a Smooth Rebrand

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Happy Tuesday, everyone.

I know that things have been a litter quieter around here than usual, but it’s only because I’ve been pouring my all into the rebranded blog. I’m so incredibly happy about how the project is coming along, and finally have a set launch date and details that I will be sharing soon. It was really important to me that I take my time with this project, and let things happen organically so that they felt right.

Today, I wanted to share some insights that this second rebranding process has taught me. When I rebranded the first time to bring And Yes To Joy come to life, there were definitely times I struggled. And to be fully honest, the launch was rushed and it took me a while to get past some of the smaller details that I had overlooked. I’m having a much easier time this time around!

I’ve also noticed that I am not the only blogger rebranding! I’ve taken a few surveys and seen lots of posts and comments about tons of creatives making changes to put their most authentic foot forward online –how exciting for us all!

So, if you’re in the process of or considering a rebrand, here are five tried and true tips to make the process go much smoother.Continue Reading

Can You Feel That Change is Coming?

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me mentioning a strong want to start fresh, wipe the slate clean and move forward with a new brand. I thought it was just a fleeting thought, but then I realized this wasn’t the first time I had this feeling. And it wasn’t just a by-the-way type feeling, this time, I felt it in the pit of my gut.

So I slept on it, wrote some things, sketched some things, and didn’t act. I thought it was ridiculous that after only being in this space, under this rebrand, for eight months, I was already itching to pack up and go through the process again. And boy, is it a process. New name, new design, refreshed content.

But I noticed, all of those things were coming to me, quickly and almost effortlessly. The name came to me almost instantly, and stuck. I wrote it, typed and and said it out loud and all it felt right. It fits likes my favorite pair of jeans.

I opened up to my blogger and real-life friend Jordan about where my mind was regarding the blog and potential rebrand. I was looking for someone to tell me I was crazy, and to focus on the space I was in currently. Luckily for me, Jordan isn’t that kind of friend. She sees the ridiculous and nontraditional and encourages it, and just like that, encouraged me to press forward with how I was feeling.

So, with a little more motivation, I got to work -designing and writing, planning and mapping. Within the next 24 hours, there was a logo and a brand board in the works. Yesterday’s mood board (as I somewhat eluded to) is the bones of this rebrand. Shortly thereafter, a domain name had been purchased.

I’m not sure how long the process will take, but I know that I don’t want to rush it. This brand has its own feel, mind, and spirit.

There will be some changes, some big and some small; other things will stay the same. I still want to produce content that you all will enjoy. So, I’ve put together a quick survey (will take less than 3 minutes to complete) to help me as I move forward with this project. I’d love if you would share your feedback!