Designing + Building a Brand

I'm proud to say she's my girl. I mean, if I owned a varsity jacket, I'd ask her to wear it because we're that tight. Of course, once Promise Tangeman got her hands on it, she'd probably shred it, sew patches on the elbows, and add feathers. Because that's her style. I think that's what attracted me to her when we met…Promise knows exactly who she is and makes no apologies for her sass. Or oversized hair.

Promise is my graphic designer and I think we make a pretty good team. But all her clients think the same thing. That's what makes her awesome. I asked her to share a few tips regarding branding in relation to graphic design…and I LOVED her insight…check it…

“I have come to believe beyond all doubt that brides are choosing photographers not photographs, so stop focusing on that very thing that makes you the same”. That is one of my favorite quotes in Jasmine's new EXPOSED Magazine and I think it's SOOOO true. Being the designer of the magazine and having read it 500 thousand times I can now say that I've memorized Jasmine's story and at this point, I can probably tell it better than her. Haha jk.

I love that Jasmine talks a lot about showcasing your unique personality in your brand and standing out for being different. #ghettofabulousmarketing. You can showcase your personality in a lot of different ways in your business through video, your interactions with clients, the wording on your website, your photo edits, etc. But when it comes to visually depicting your personality through graphics (aka your visual brand) it can be extremely hard to pinpoint your personal style aesthetic in a way thats professional, timeless, descriptive, and unique to you. Lets face it, we are all artists, we change our minds daily, we are easily swayed by our emotions, and we are EXTREMELY opinionated and perfectionistic about the way things look. AHHHHHH!!!!! Trust me, I live in this frustration everyday…. and I hear about it from others everyday as well. The comment I hear the most is: “I don't know what my personal style is.. and I can't figure it out.”

There are a whole myriad of ways to begin to identify your personal style. The first creative research task that I encourage some of my clients to do is to take a step into their closet. Haha What?!?! I bet you thought we were talking about your photography and your business brand right? YEP!!! We are. Take a step into your closet and evaluate what you like, what you buy, what you wear, and why. You may say that you don't know what your style is…..But give yourself some credit, you know more than you think. When you get dressed in the morning you are choosing a visual look to represent you. This is one of the only areas in your life that you have to make this choice *everyday*. So, by now, you have had a lot of practice saying yes or no to visual looks.

Here are a few questions and things to note:

1. What colors do you see *most* in your closet?
These are usually colors that look the best on you and colors that you naturally gravitate towards. A combination of these colors can be a possibility for your visual brand.

2. Do you see a consistent theme?
Plaids, lace, graphic tees, solids? This would be great inspiration for patterns or textures in your visual brand.

3. If money was no issue, where would you shop for clothes? Jcrew? Anthropologie? Guess? Take a look at their ads and marketing materials and add these companies into your bucket of inspiration.

4. What are 3 words that describe your fashion sense? These words will help define the vibe of your brand and personal style as you move forward with your creative research.

Hopefully this trip into your closet will help jumpstart your personal style exploration and ultimately make your brand more personal, relatable, and unique to you. Shown here are a few staples found in my own closet and why I like the look. Oh… P.s. The background wood texture on my blog is actually our wood floors at home. I LOOOVE our wood floors. I took a photo of them and tiled it to create a background…. See? you really can incorporate YOU into your visual brand. Even literally from your closet, home, or wardrobe.

Promise Tangeman