Have you all noticed a few things trickling in here and there? New colors, graphics, fonts…we have some exciting news! c2s got a facelift with a little brand refresh.
When we launched resilience2reform, we hired Sarah Scholtz Co to brand resilience2reform. And everything she did blew me away. The experience, customer service, what she stood for, what she was about, who was on her team…it seemed so fitting for the r2r brand. And she blew me out of the water with the fonts, colors, logos, everything.
After that experience I asked her if we could just do a simple refresh for construction2style, being resilience2reform was our brand and I didn’t want that sister brand looking better than us and she delivered!
But here’s the kicker…she gave me all these beautiful things and I had zero ideas what to do with them…besides put it on a hat and on our website. I asked…can you do more with this for us, like as in make all of our graphics for everything.
That’s where life has now even more so changed.
She said Hell to the YES – gave me her retainer packages (which as super affordable) and I jumped on board. And that’s where everything changed.
I’m wondering how in the HELL I lived without her?!
Q&A With Sara
I asked Sarah some questions surrounding a brand refresh. Here are her answers!
- You’ve evolved and so has your business. This is a major reason to consider a branding refresh. You’ve evolved your business, how exciting! Now it’s important to make sure your visual story is still representative of your brand story; your voice (the message behind your brand, your mission, value, how you communicate and what you say to your demographic and client base) and your visuals (your brand assets like logo, colors, fonts, imagery, patterns, brand collateral, website, etc) need to maintain strong alignment. If you’ve evolved your business in any way, it might be a great time to assess if it’s also time to evolve your branding
- You don’t have a consistent brand aesthetic. Maybe you have 1 logo and a rough idea of the colors you like, but until you have a complete brand aesthetic that you’re armed to execute consistently, you’re missing opportunities to drive for brand recognition. Brand recognition leads to brand loyalty, and brand loyalty leads to money. Hello money, I need you! I don’t know many business owners who started their business to NOT make money. Every single time you have an opportunity to show your ideal client who you are, you should ensure that it’s clearly YOU. We consume more today than ever before. Your content, marketing, website, etc. needs to be built on the strong foundation of your branding and a design aesthetic that gives you every chance imaginable to be recognized by your ideal consumer. If you don’t have a consistent aesthetic that you can use over and over and over again, I’d highly consider a refresh to give you the best chances possible to bring in that moola you so deserve!
- You DIY’d it before and it’s time for a professional touch. Listen, business ownership is hard! I get it. It can also be very expensive to get started and scary if you aren’t already bringing in cash. So it’s pretty common to want to DIY as much as you can. Maybe you went that route and it was OK for a while…but now that you’ve proven your concept and you have some clients flowing in, you might be ready for something fully customized, intentional, and captivating for your ideal audience (I call them dreamy clients!). This is how we got started working on c2s; Morgan wanted my support to make some brand collateral and update their fonts and colors. I also suggested we review their core logos, too.
There is good design and there is bad design. This is determined by the core design principles (which span as rules across all design types, so both Morgan and I use the same rules when we create!). Then there is style. You can have a well designed logo and well designed branding from a principle standpoint, but does the style work? Does this ‘good’ design translate and convert how it should? I’ve seen c2s evolve and refine how they serve their clients. What they create is gorgeous. I felt there was a disconnect between their current logo and their work. Even though that mark was well balanced and abided by the design principles, the style was a miss to me. I wanted c2s to have a suite of logos, in addition to other brand collateral like fonts and colors, that truly represented their work to help captivate their dreamy clients.
This is such a great question. Obviously budget and style are important to consider. But my biggest recommendation here is ensuring you have a rich connection with this person. Most of my clients are small businesses owners providing a service; they are the business. It’s a very intimate experience…creating visuals for this extension of you. I’ve had clients express their surprise how cathartic the experience was. It’s always such an honor to bring this to life.
Personally, I rely heavily on my intuition and ‘gut’ to help guide my choices for design. It’s one of the reasons I’m frequently able to get really close to what a client wants within the first draft (just ask Morgan!). For this to work though, I also need my clients to have clarity on what they intend and want for their business so I can take that and create an aesthetic to support their goals. It’s a two way relationship; we both really need to feel it. I recommend two main things before hiring a branding designer:
- Ensure you’re grounded in your plans for your business. This helps everything go smoother! Business change could cause a necessary change of visuals, which can be costly and timely, especially in the middle of the branding process. How unfortunate! Also, understanding and planning for likely evolution is smart. A professional designer can help with this. Business change doesn’t always mean a visual overhaul and evolution isn’t a bad thing. It just takes some strategy and planning for.
- Trust your instinct: does it feel like a good fit? Do you love them and their work? Any designer will appreciate you for hiring them for their work; don’t hire someone because you love who they are but want them to produce a style that’s not them. Like them and their work, and let them do the rest to support you and your needs.
Now…to hire out or to DIY…I do this for a living, so of course I think you should hire out, but here’s why: if you have a budget that doesn’t allow you to hire out both branding and other collateral design (like graphics or print materials) I will ALWAYS recommend you hire out the branding and then do the other design internally. Ideally, your designer will provide a style guide with information on how to use the assets created for you. These guardrails will help you take the solid foundation fueled with intention and strategy built by your designer and then DIY from there. It will make your DIYing easier and help ensure you’re captivating the dreamy clients you really want on your client roster.
My lawyer will want me to say ‘talk to a lawyer.’ But here’s a general thought I would consider: don’t invest in building out a business that can’t be used. Ensure your brand name is usable and unique. Protect yourself and be smart. And build something sustainable that can last, especially if you’re investing in professionals for support of any kind.
Specific to submarks and secondary marks, this will depend on the mark and its usage. Is it highly unique? Is it even trademarkable? A lawyer can help you decide these things and assess the risk and reward for registering your business name(s) and any marks associated with it.
My last bit of legal advice: it always feels scarier than it is. Protecting your brand + your business isn’t scary, it’s smart!! SMART BUSINESS WOMEN UNITE! (PS Morgan, I’m assuming a mostly female readership…).
Colors are the most fun!! A few things to consider when choosing colors:
- For highly visual brands, like photographers or even interior designers, I encourage a brand color palette that works well with the work you produce. This is a solid strategy, ensuring the photos of your work also drive brand recognition with the rest of your brand assets. We chose the c2s color palette based on some of their favorite projects and the work they wanted to continue creating. If someone sees c2s’s use of earthy and moody tones and thinks “eh, not my fave,” that person has self selected OUT of working with c2s, ultimately saving every one time! c2s doesn’t need every client ever. They need their DREAMY clients only, people that they want to work with to create the work they want to create. So we didn’t shy away from a pinky color because it felt natural to them and the work they love producing. We want to captivate people who love that, too.
- Another thing to consider is industry norms. The easiest example is with banking/financial brands… In accounting, red indicates something negative financially. So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a poppy red as the core brand color for your wealth management business. Consider any industry norms when building a palette.
- There is a lot of psychology around colors. There’s also trend, cultural norms, and demographics to consider. I always encourage service-based businesses to really let their personalities shine, because your clients are hiring YOU. Might as well help them understand who you are and what makes you magical.
Our Branding Graphics
Check Sara out on Instagram!