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: A Logo Story

(image via @jenserafini on Instagram)

When I rebranded E&M, I had little to know vision about a logo. I know it sounds strange that I would launch a blog without putting much thought into a logo, but I guess I knew inspiration would come…and it did!

I knew I wanted something clean, with simple variants that could be placed on anything: stationary, business cards, online products and of course the blog. This was my first time taking a stab at creating an actual logo, not just a blog header. Blog headers change all the time pretty simply, but logos imply longevity to me, and that’s something I really wanted to shine through my brand.

The feeling that Ember & March will be here for a long time to come.

If you’re designing your own logo or working with a designer to create one for your brand, there are a few things you’ll want to consider or ask your designer about.

Fonts, most definitely. They shape and set the mood of your logo and, in turn, your brand. I know I wanted a clean line font that was minimal and easily styled. I didn’t want my logo to distract from the brand’s deeper meaning. If I ever redid E&M’s logo, I would definitely consider creating a handwritten font, just to add a personal touch.

Colors are also important to consider. Naturally, you’ll want to align the color of your logo with your brands color scheme. I knew I wanted greyscale coloring in my logo so that, if I ever decided to play around with my blog design, I wouldn’t have to edit my logo. Simple and minimal are definitely my style, but if you like something more vibrant it’s always fun to play around with color!

I also played around with different shapes when I was working through the logo. In the end, a straight forward design won my heart, but circular designs made frequent appearances in my drafts.

If you are working with a designer, be sure to be as detailed as possible. Your logo becomes the face of your brand; it’s your trademark. Create mood boards that explain exactly what your vision is, and remember to mark what you do and what you don’t like. Each are important in creating something true and unique to you and your brand.

What was the process you went through when creating your logo? If you haven’t made one for your brand just yet, what’s holding you back?

Behind the Brand / Staying Inspired

(image credit)

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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