Self Branding Process or Identity Crisis?

artboard-1Think you have a good idea of who you are and what defines you? Try branding yourself THEN answer that question!

Truthfully the branding process may come along with a brief identity crisis but if you take some time and a few deep breaths you’ll realize that you do really know yourself, it’s just the stressful process that is self branding that is giving you that brain block! It’s a difficult thing trying to define yourself especially when this is going to be the first impression you give your future employers.

What really helped me was making a list. This list doesn’t have to be just ideas specifically for branding but I made a list of everything about me. My list included things like my love for dogs and brunch to more design related topics as well. When you start to push your thinking process to outlandish ideas that you would not normally think to incorporate into your branding it really stretches your thinking and allows for those reasonable and more rational and altogether wonderful ideas to surface!

If you’re having trouble starting that list it’s also helpful to talk to those who are close to you. Ask them how they’d describe you or what they think defines you. Sometimes it’s easier for others to express that than it is for you to come up with it on your own and can really get your creative mind flowing.

Also your logo does not have to be an exact, literal, representation of you. I know personally I wanted to do something that signified something “hand drawn” or “hand made.” In my sketches I had drawn hands, pencils, etc. But through critique I realized that I could show “hand drawn” without a literal hand or pencil. Post critique I decided to go in the direction of using floral elements. I originally had some hand lettered script among it but I realized that it felt too dainty to define me as a person or an artist. So instead of the script I did a different form of brush lettering using watercolor pens. This felt like a much nicer juxtaposition and balance with the floral elements. Below is currently where my logo stands design wise, it is definitely subject to change after further critique and inevitable editing/redesigning.

logo-as-of-021117

This past week in portfolio class we had the pleasure of having a girl who graduated from our program come and talk to the class about what the professional world has been like for her and what we should expect. Her name is Caroline and I was lucky enough to have her as a roommate last year before she graduated and moved on to work at ESPN. One really important piece of advice that I took away from the talk she gave was that in your branding process, especially with your logo, you shouldn’t fall so in love with your design that you’re so attached to it and can’t let it go. Sometimes you may be so set on an idea that just isn’t working and you waste your time trying to make it work when in reality it would be best to just scrap it and find something else. This goes for all your design work but is especially helpful to remember when focusing on branding. When something isn’t working, don’t force it.

She talked a lot about our portfolio review at the end of the year when we present our portfolio sites to potential employers and then meet with them. As stated before I was lucky enough to have her as a roommate last year so I was able to watch her go through her whole portfolio process first hand. From sketching her logos to coding her website to applying to jobs, I got to see what it was like every step of the way and I am very thankful for that because it got me starting to think about all of this stuff at a very early stage. It was so incredible to see that all of your hard work really does pay off.

The branding and portfolio process is definitely a really stressful and scary one, but it is also a really beautiful and exciting one to watch yourself grow and move onto the professional world.