Starting your own business isn't easy. It's a mixture of exciting and scary at the same time. This year I'm celebrating my tenth year in business and I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm not going to lie and say ten years ago I knew exactly what I was doing and I had this whole entrepreneur thing figured out. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I had a dream and a vision for my business, but I did not know how to execute and be successful.
Owning a business is a series of trial and error, learning new skills and growing as a person. You must push yourself to try new things and take risks, but you also check your ego at times and seek help. There were numerous times when I tried something new and realized it wasn't a fit. In the world of design, I'm constantly reinventing myself and thinking of new ways to creatively portray my message. Some efforts work better than others.
I've designed hundreds of custom invitations and countless one-of-a-kind pieces for my clients. Recently I've had several inquiries about logo design and branding, which inspired me to redesign my own logo. Through the process, I realized how much fun I was having creating something new for myself that would represent me as a designer. The difficult part is combining all the things I love into one piece of art.
As a graphic designer, I understand the importance of a good logo. It's one of the first impressions of your brand and a glimpse into what makes you unique and sets you apart. The fonts you choose, the colors and the artwork are all elements that are equally important to the end result. When I am designing a logo for someone, I ask a lot of questions about their business and about who they are. I want to use elements of their favorite things to paint a picture in my mind so I can create a logo that represents them. I create with purpose and intention and every element of the design is well thought out.
I recently deigned a logo for Eternal Roots, my husband's custom documentary business. The name originated from our annual trips to the Sequoia National Forest. Every summer we take our family and escape from the grid for a week in nature. It's when I feel we really connect with each other without the distractions of the everyday routine. My husband visited the same campsite as a young boy with his family so it holds a very special place in his heart. Now that we are continuing the tradition with our own family, it was a perfect catalyst for the design of his logo and branding. His business started with the idea of simply wanting to preserve his grandfather's story on video. He also created a transcribed book of his grandfather's interview including old photos. The business concept grew organically from there once others heard what he had created and wanted him to create the same precious keepsakes for their families.
When sketching and conceptualizing his logo, we knew it had to look natural and have an organic woodsy feel. Through our research, we found Erik Linton, an artist who creates stamps from slices of fallen tree trunks (www.etsy.com/shop/LintonArt). He had so many beautiful pieces and we knew we had to incorporate one into our branding. We created business cards, brochures and marketing materials that were all based on elements and colors found in nature.
The entire process from conception to completion was so much fun and I love how it challenged my creative mind. Logo design and branding is so important in business and I began to notice how this important element often gets overlooked. Sometimes the job is given to someone who has little to no experience in design and the end result is less than spectacular and appears disjointed from the overall business concept. I decided it was up to me to make this world a better place, one logo at a time and have expanded my portfolio of services to include logos and marketing materials for businesses. Recently I have worked on several custom logo designs and quite a number of re-branding projects which I will feature in upcoming blog posts and in a business portfolio section on my website. If you are interested in preserving your story, please check out Tom's website www.eternal-roots.com. You can contact me directly for inquiries on logos and branding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently pushed myself in the world of design. It wasn't anything new or innovative, in fact, a lot of people are doing it right now. However, I knew absolutely nothing about how to do it or the steps I needed to take in order to make the vision in my head a reality.
When you work in a creative field, it's easy to master a style or process and get stuck doing it over and over again. At the same time, when you have that creative vein, there's a part of you that wants to push the envelope, think outside of the box and do something that's never been done before. So when my client wanted to incorporate gold foil on her invitations I was both excited and a little scared. I wasn't sure if I had the skills to get it done beautifully and to the high standard I expect of all my work.
This is my 10th year owning my business and if look back at where I started and how far I've come, it's pretty amazing. I remember in the beginning running around town hunting down paper and envelopes. I would make daily trips to the craft stores buying rhinestones and ribbon and most times I would have to drive to several to find the quantity I needed to complete a single job. I was unfamiliar with the design programs and had a difficult time calculating the amount of time needed to design and complete a project. I spent endless hours researching the best glue, scissors, rhinestones, paper cutters and spending lots of money testing them out so I could have the best for my clients. My standards were high but in the early years of my business, my skills weren't mastered yet. I knew I had to provide quality products and impeccable service to set me apart from other designers so I kept learning, researching and working on my craft. Over time, the things that were once difficult became easier and through the process I found my design style.
Now 10 years later, I'm still learning to master new skills and expand my design sense. Through my recent process of designing with foil, I learned so much and in the end I know it made me better. It was uncomfortable at first, but when we make ourselves uncomfortable, that's often where we grow the most. I want to consistently push myself to learn new skills and design techniques so I can continue to provide beautiful work for my clients. I am as passionate about the process as I am about the final piece and I find joy in the journey. After all, the journey is where the magic happens.
Graphic designer, music maniac, dancing fool