In celebration of the all-new charlotteargyrou.com, I’ve invited seven brilliant founders to share their expertise in seven areas of creative business. These are subjects I have found especially fun or challenging in my first 18 months since launching Charlotte Argyrou Illustration. “On the Sofa” invites creative, wedding and wellness entrepreneurs to join the conversation, each focused on personal branding, community, tech & SEO, mindset, design for core values, self-belief and uniqueness.
My fifth guest is Becky Lord, founder of Becky Lord Design. We’ve been working together for three months to completely redesign this website. Becky has developed a comprehensive, thoughtful and insightful system to seek out a brief from creative and wedding industry professionals. Some of her clients are muddled and missing clarity in their branding and web design. Others (like me) may have a clear vision, but lack the techy expertise to convert a moodboard into a fully-functioning user-friendly website. In our Live chat, Becky and I discuss how to use design to communicate a business’ core values.
What Branding Tells Your Audience
Charlotte: Can your audience really interpret your brand through colours, logos and layouts?
Becky: Absolutely! We are in a world where visual elements are a huge driving force of our opinions of brand. Just like on a first date, your website should entice the right clients in, whilst intentionally alienating the wrong type of client. The way to do this? Design.
Let’s take the Maddy of Making your Business Shine. Landing on Maddy’s site and you are instantly transported into a world of sparkly vibrance and positivity, despite not having even met the lady herself. Would this appeal to a big corporate company in the City? Nope. But is Maddy targeting this type of client? Not at all. Opting for vibrant pink and bold typography means Maddy is ultimately appealing to the exact type of client she wants to work with and no one else.
By getting your visuals 100% aligned with your ideal client, they land on your website and instantly know you’re ‘The One’!
Charlotte: Do you generally work with people who have a really defined vision of their brand design, or those who are clueless?
Becky: It’s an even balance however, even those that tend to feel they know their brand inside out, still go through a little brand soul searching during the process and quite often changing their path a little.
My process, regardless of the bundle chosen, is designed to ensure that the end visual result is 100% my client’s vision and a huge part of this is knowing the right questions to ask to translate this. Quite often, they tend to be questions my client’s would never have thought to ask themselves.
But Am I Ready?
Charlotte: Do you have a couple of key tips for creative business owners on the cusp of rebranding? When is the right time to take the plunge?
Becky: My top tips pre going down the rebrand route:
- Avoid looking at other logos, instead focus on font styles, colours and patterns
- Define your ideal client. They should be the focus of every element of your new brand; from the visuals right through to how you word social media posts
- Use Pinterest to create your own mood board. To start, pin everything you feel falls in line with your new visions for you brand; type, colours, interiors, fashion before curating this to be more defined and focus on one/two font styles, two-five colours and a definitive fashion/interior style
Choosing the right time tends to fall down to one of two things:
Scenario one, and usually the biggest reason, is when an individual has either outgrown their existing brand or moved in a different direction, whether services, ideal client or both.
Scenario two would be if your ideal client/services haven’t changed but you’re not longer in love with your brand identity. You should ooze with pride whenever you get the opportunity to share a touch point of your business; whether it’s your website, a business card or an emailing a brochure to prospective clients. If you don’t, it’s time to rebrand.
The Science Bit
Charlotte: I feel I’ve unearthed real depth and clarity about what my core values are and who I want to work with. How did you go about turning those ideas into an initial design?
Becky: Designers are problem solvers by nature so the moment we receive your brief, I can guarantee we’re swizzling in our office chair with our brains working at 100mph with excitement, narrowing down a design route for your brand.
How we get to a point of transforming your words into visual elements is a – usually magical – concoction of creative thinking and design knowledge.
For branding, my process forms of four parts:
- The Brief – this is where I ask you every question under the sun to get to know you, your vision, your brand and your plans for your brand.
- A consultation – We natter all thing branding, you and your aspirations.
- Mood boards – Created based on your brief and help us define a visual style for your new identity. It’s a key part of the process as it ensures you get a glimpse inside my head as to what I’m thinking visually
- The brand concepts – The most fun element of the whole process! Here you’d get to see your design options
If you were to peek behind the scenes between parts two and three, you’d find me huddled over either a notepad/sketch book drafting out ideas even before the mood boards are created. For websites, the process is pretty much the same with the exception of the mood boards as you’ll already have your brand in place.
What services do you offer and where can people find you?
I offer three core services:
- Blossom – this is my brand only bundle and ideal for those who will move forward to creating their website themselves
- Flourish – My website only service. This is for individuals who have a brand identity already and purely need a new website.
- Prosper – My branding and web service, both of the above packages combined – the most popular of the three!
That being said, I’ve worked on all sorts of design projects from editorial books to giant dinosaur cut outs!