I spend a lot of time thinking about branding. I counsel businesses on the best way to leverage their existing brand, or help them launch a new brand; I discuss personal branding with entrepreneurs and bloggers on a daily basis. I'm constantly dissecting branding that I see on packaging, billboards, or online. I'm a brand-a-holic.
But, as it often happens for creative types, I haven't been practicing what I've been preaching. My own personal brand was non-existent, I had several websites scattered across the internet, and I definitely wasn't being consistent with how I presented myself to the world. Something about shoemaker's children, right?
So I finally sat down and took the time to really assess myself in the same way that I would a client. After hours of figuring out goals, audience, and voice, I developed a few branding prototypes. The hardest part of the entire process was, naturally, deciding on font combinations. I have about 500 fonts on my computer, and even more through TypeKit, so to say I spent days agonizing over my choices wouldn't be far-fetched. In the end, though, I'm quite happy with the final product.
I really wanted to incorporate my initials as a stylistic feature, and Julias Dream was the perfect font choice! Both a and f are difficult letters to work with when you're using scripts, so much of my time was finding the right combination--without having to resort to creating them myself. Since they are a standard font, I can reuse the initials as a brand mark in other materials without issue.
Raleway has been one of my favourite sans serif fonts for a while now; it's clean lines and readability make it stand out when combined with a hand-drawn script font. It's also a commonly used font, so it should display correctly on most computers.
The colour selection was the easiest detail for me. I love combining rich colours with charcoal grey, so it was only a matter of finding the right accent colour. In the end, I colour-matched my favourite dress in order to use its dark periwinkle.
Although I now have hundreds of rejected branding ideas sitting on my computer, I am very happy with what I've come up with! In addition to changing the physical branding, I also made a few more changes to my website:
- updated my URL from jesuisley.com to ashleyfisher.ca (and set up a permanent redirect for the old URL!)
- re-worked the navigation to make it easier to find blog posts by subject
- imported the posts from my wine blog and created a category for it (cutting down on costs for me, and ensuring that all of my writing is in one place)
- verified all link destinations, and updated anything outdated
- checked all metadata for SEO purposes