Kelly Zugay, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold®
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Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has served more than 400 creative small business owners through professional brand design. If you’re a small business owner, too, you’ve probably heard how essential having a clearly-defined and professional brand is — but why? When is the best time to pursue a new brand for your business? What is the professional brand design process like? And what types of results can you expect once you apply your brand to every area of your business? Today, we’re going behind-the-scenes of the brand design process at With Grace and Gold and answering all of those questions and more!
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Brand Design Process
So, first things first: What is a brand? With a quick Google search, you’ll see defining the word ‘brand’ is actually somewhat challenging — and that’s because a brand can be visual (your photography, your color palette), it can be emotional (the words you use within your copywriting, the photography and videography you use on behalf of your business), and it can be a blend of how you present your business and how your audience emotionally responds to what you’ve presented. This sounds like a lot — so at With Grace and Gold, we like to think of your brand as visual elements that lead to an emotional or physical response from your audience.
We use logo design, pattern design, colors, and font styles to represent your business in a way aligned with your unique vision and goals. And in turn, when your audience comes upon your brand — whether through social media or your website — they respond by forming an emotional connection with you and your work… and, ideally, by choosing to purchase your products or book your services.
So, put simply, we use logo design, pattern design, colors, and font styles to represent your business in an elevated way, to help you openly and honestly connect with your audience — and to guide your audience toward purchasing your products and booking your services. We firmly and wholeheartedly believe having a brand is essential for every small business — new and old. Your brand becomes the visual, emotional, and physical foundation from which the rest of your business can grow — so pursuing professional brand design is highly recommended.
Maybe you’ve held back from pursuing a professional brand design for your business, because you’ve believed one of the following misconceptions:
- Misconception #1: Before working with a professional designer, you need to have a clear vision for the colors, patterns, or font styles you’d like used within your brand. The truth is, you need to have a vision for your business — who you are, what you do, who you serve, and what your goals are for your business — but you do not need to know which colors, patterns, or font styles you’d like to use. These design decisions are made by your professional designer who will use their expertise to make design decisions on behalf of your business — ensuring each detail has been carefully designed or curated to help you succeed.
- Misconception #2: Your brand design needs to be something you love. We can only speak on behalf of our brand design process at With Grace and Gold, and we believe your brand design should be a blend of what you love, what your Ideal Client will love, and what is appropriate for your specific field. In the end, your brand design isn’t so much about how you respond to your own brand design; it’s about how your audience will respond to your brand design. Does your brand emotionally connect with your audience? Does your brand encourage or guide your audience toward purchasing your products and booking your services? In the end, we believe your brand should be more about purpose than preference.
- Misconception #3: Having a logo design is good enough. The truth is, creating a purpose-driven brand is about how all of the details of brand design work together — your primary logo design, secondary logo designs, pattern designs, color palette, and font styles — in order to connect with your Ideal Client and help you to succeed. We believe, to create a strong foundation for future success, your brand details need to be seamlessly carried throughout every area of your business — your website, your social media profiles, your systems, and beyond. This can help to communicate your professionalism and expertise — and allow for brand recognition.
So far, we’ve defined branding — and shared some misconceptions and truths about brand design. Now, let’s walk through the brand design process at With Grace and Gold — and wrap up with some tangible, and intangible, results you can expect to experience with a professional brand working for your business.
- At With Grace and Gold, the first step of our process is to send along a Brand Discovery Questionnaire for you to complete. To create a design rooted in purpose, our Brand Discovery Questionnaire asks about your business, your Ideal Client, and the goals you have for your business. We ask you to share your preferences and vision, too.
- When your Brand Discovery Questionnaire is complete, we schedule a Brand Discovery Meeting — a live Zoom meeting, where we present a Brand Proposal to you. Your Brand Proposal contains written and visual details — and is our way of solidifying your vision and goals prior to formally designing your brand. We discuss your unique goals and how we will use professional design to help you achieve your goals. With an agreed-upon strategy and direction for your brand in place, we move forward and begin the design process.
- Our next step is to create and send you your Logo Proposal. Your Logo Proposal contains your proposed primary logo design, secondary logo designs, pattern designs, color palette, font styles, and more. This detailed, comprehensive, and complete proposal shares what we believe is the best approach for your brand — a complete strategy for achieving your goals. We ask for your feedback and journey through a collaborative and communicative refinement process through which we gather and apply your feedback to ensure every detail of your brand design has your stamp of approval. Throughout our refinement process, we bear in mind your preferences, your Ideal Client’s preferences, and the goals you’ve shared with us. That way, we can ensure every refinement is done with purpose — and every detail of your brand design is uniquely-created to help your business succeed.
- When your brand design has your approval, we send you all of your Final Files — all of your approved designs — in a variety of file types and in a variety of your brand colors so you can use your brand freely. In addition to a variety of helpful resources, our personal favorite resource is your Brand Manual — a manual to guide you through seamlessly applying your brand to all of your brand touchpoints too — your website, your social media profiles, your systems, and beyond.
Having a professional brand working on behalf of your business can provide tangible and intangible results — tangible results like helping to establish and build your credibility, helping to connect you with your Ideal Client, and helping to guide your audience toward purchasing your products and booking your services… and intangible results like helping you experience a renewed sense of confidence and purpose in your business.
We are so hopeful today’s episode has helped to shine a light on what the brand design process means, what the design process can be like at With Grace and Gold, and what results you can expect to experience when you have a brand working on behalf of your business.
Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided brand and web design for creative small business owners. Hire With Grace and Gold or shop With Grace and Gold’s pre-made designs and Showit website templates – and come away with an elevated brand and web design for your small business!
About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, founders and entrepreneurs. Enjoy weekly, actionable episodes to build a successful, sustainable small business from the inside out.