design

My spinning journey

I never thought I would be one of those people.

You know, those spin class people. Those intense Type As who sport shiny lycra from head to toe and obsessively show up to workout on a bike that goes, well, nowhere.

And while I keep my lycra to a minimum, as of January 2019, I am one of those people.

Keeping fonts fab

Lately I have been asked a ton of questions about fonts and how it they can support a brand, so here is a tidbit to help your brand shine. Of course, fonts alone do not make a brand, but great typography can absolutely help to create a brand that is engaging and inspiring. And 100% profesh.

And while it is sooooo fun to play with fonts and there are thousands of really amazing ones out there, but I’m putting you on strict typography diet. You need a maximum of two fonts to effectively design all of your branding elements (business card, postcards, website, etc.). Remember, with every font you also have bold and italic options for adding emphasis, so you are not as limited as you might think.

When to rebrand

So you have a business.

And that business is doing okaaaay, but not really as awesome as you would like it to be. And - le sigh - every time you look at your website or business card you feel something just 'isn't right'.

Sooooo.... is it time for a rebrand?

Well, let's first define rebrand. A rebrand is creating an entirely new look for your business, with new messaging as well. This includes a new logo, graphics, website, photography, copy, and a fab new marketing strategy. It can be a Big. Effing. Deal.

Meanwhile, you can also do a refresh.

YOUR BRAND PROMISE

Hello Brave Ones,

I wanted to get back to some branding basics, so here is some juicy stuff for you!

When creating a brand for a product or service, I believe you must have three ducks in a row.

Together these 'ducks' are crucial to brand development and will formulate your Brand Promise. Your Brand Promise is simply what you have promised to give to your client or customer when they purchase your product or service.

When developing your Brand Promise, here are the three 'ducks' - and they all start with P.

CHARGE MORE

This past Sunday I got schooled in some business basics.

One of my ongoing freelance gigs is quite unusual - I design and create presentation boards for an Interior Designer, Annie, who designs for upscale retirement homes. The process looks like this: after Annie has selected all of the fabrics and materials she wants to use in a home (which can be dozens), I help her pitch the look and feel to the client by creating large boards that tell a visual story of the new home. I spend hours cutting fabric with pinking shears, gluing wallpaper samples, adding pieces of wood or laminate, layering them together, adding custom-designed labels, and mulling over how the materials should flow together so it is completely clear how everything will fit together visually. I have been designing these boards for over 20 years after my teenage boyfriend suggested his mom - Annie - hire me for one of her projects. Decades later, we still work together, and rather seamlessly, too.

THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS CARDS

Some people think business cards are dead. I could not disagree more.

We live n a world of high-tech digital platforms and supersonic hype, there is still one traditional piece of promotional material every entrepreneur must have:

The business card.

Humble and small, simple but mighty, the business card is here to stay. And you need to know how to make it work for you. Just because you can quickly design and order cards online, doesn’t mean the task should be taken lightly.

MILLION DOLLAR BRANDS

I have been writing, writing, and writing! And it is longer than expected!

Ever wonder what it takes to make your brand look like a million bucks? And generate millions of bucks? Then this content is for you.

This new ebook training book will help you achieve CLARITY with your brand, along with super simple practical tips you can actually execute. It is part of my MARKABEE MAP 1:1 coaching program that launches in January!

WHAT IS BRANDING?

Let’s get back to basics, shall we?

Most people think a logo is a brand. A logo, on its own, is not a brand. It can be part of the foundation, but a logo alone does not tell your entire company story.

A brand is actually what other people perceive to be what your company stands for, and how it makes them feel. It can be a correct perception or a skewed perception. It is up to you, and the creative team you work with, as to how you tell your brand story.

CHOOSE A BUSINESS NAME YOU LOVE :: PART 2 OF 2

2017 UPDATE! I have since decided to change my company name to my actual name, Alana Ruoso. Oh, the irony! But read on to see how I worked through this process. And check out this blog post here where I announced the name change officially.

In PART 1 we looked at what happens when a client is stuck coming up with a name for their business that they LOVE.

Today in PART 2 I’m going to tackle the second most common obstacle I see with clients and the company name game - they can’t stand their existing name and they don’t know what to do.

PLEASE, NO AUTOGRAPHS

Here is a post I recently wrote on using your signature as your logo. If you are in brand development mode, this post is for you! Many peeps might not agree with me at all, but this is my design story and I'm sticking to it :) What do you think - yes or no or mayyyyybe? (Post is a longer read so grab your coffee for this one).

While your logo is not your brand – it is one component of it – you will always need to begin with a great logo in order to get your fab visual identity rolling.