I've been working on my own, and therefore by my own rules, for about a year and a half now. It always takes some trial and error, but I've had time and experience enough now to discover one of the keystones of who I am as a designer, collaborator, and worker.
Branding is tricky. There's the physical nature, where you hire an awesome designer to build an awesome logo, or spend weeks developing a new campaign, or pay out your ears for a brand new website. But then there's the reality of the after-burn, when all that time and money come down to the weeks of waiting and watching as clients respond.
Here's the truth I have for you: you can have the most beautiful designed materials on the internet, but if it's lacking authenticity, it's a failure.
If your design work doesn't have solid grains of truth behind them, your fancy new designs will ring false to viewers. If you're not putting a little bit of your company's realness out there, then the campaign will wither with time. And also? Brands don't just grow when they're authentic- they blossom.
Authenticity is something you have to search for. I consider it part of my job to put in the hard work of finding out what's unique and special about client's projects, business, or the people themselves, and it's not always easy, and it's not always pretty. That's the part where that great designer you hired comes in- it's their job to not only identify why you're so different, but to figure out how that's a good thing, and how to show others exactly how and why and to what extent it's a good thing.
Hire that great designer, explore yourself a little, and see how beautiful your little-something-special really is!
- Above is a selection from the photo series I did for Stephens College and their new brand. Bold, colorful, brave, and authentic as hell!