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How to Maintain Originality in Your Branding

I know you see the trends! 

Scrolling through small business Instagram right now pretty much feels like deja vu every couple of seconds! It makes it so hard not to be tempted to follow what’s in right now in terms of aesthetic and design. 

Since I started my business, it has been so important to me to pull originality through in each brand and web design project I tackle. The temptation to follow the crowd is so real, but I feel like I’ve found the secret:

The most important things are to 1) look beyond Pinterest, and 2) allow the business and the business owner to be your biggest sources of inspiration.

I know that may sound obvious, but think about it this way—there are so many facets to a business and the person who founded it that can translate into something visual. Whether it’s a part of their mission, a part of their journey, or even something like an important tattoo they have, I can guarantee there is a visual representation of that thing you can start to intertwine with their branding. 

I’ll give you two of my favorite projects as examples: 

  1. Ada’s Ice Cream Shop 

Ada’s was named after the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability, and the shop is specifically designed to employ people with disabilities! A big part of their branding that I connected this to was the clean, geometric shapes in the icons. I chose these intentionally to be visually soothing to an individual with a disability. They are the ones to be working in the store, after all!

  1. Alex Elise Photo⠀⠀⠀

On our first call, Alex told me how her journey as a photographer began in O’ahu, an island in Hawaii.  She said that was the place she really fell in love with capturing beauty through a camera. I started with a hand-drawn mark of O’ahu, and decided to infuse it with the rest of her branding! So the mark you see in the middle is an outline of O’ahu.

These are the pieces that are connected to a little piece of the business and business owner! It really pulls heart and soul through branding, which is as original as it could ever get.

  1. Freddie Collier Photography⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

When talking to Freddie about what brought him alive as a human, as well as a creator, Freddie mentioned that fashion was a huge source of inspiration for him. Clothes, colors, patterns – they all had an emotional tie. Specifically, pastels and houndstooth. I took this and ran with it to customize his typography and icons drawing from houndstooth to make it as original and unique to him as could possibly be.

These are the pieces that are connected to a little piece of the business and business owner! It really pulls heart and soul through branding, which is as original as it could ever get.

The Journal