Note: this article was originally written on Jun 4, 2011 and does not reflect what I have learned since then in Graphic Design at BCIT.
I don’t know much about branding and still don’t quite understand it.
What I do know is that on the 2nd of October in 1986, I sent off an application to the government of British Columbia to register the name “Darling Creations + Quilts” and described the nature of business as a Cottage Industry for “Quilting, Sewing Children’s Clothing, and Knitting Children’s Clothing”.
I made many baby quilts and christmas stockings, all for sale, in the beginning of this venture. My, has my focus ever changed from those idealistic dreams so many years ago.
On the 25th of April in 2002, I completed a self-employment course in which I was to make up a business card. Communication is so very key to getting the end result that you are envisioning. I hired a local graphics company (probably my first mistake as myself am a designer and thinking they had more expertise than I did), explained the company name and my business vision, or so I thought, paid a deposit and in turn received a finished product.
The card was very nice, but nothing like what I had in mind. Displayed like a medallion quilt, the company name was the central medallion bordered by lots of uneven squares, and stitches coming out of the quilt on point on all four sides. Now being the perfectionist I was at that point in time, and a good quilting student, I would have never made a quilt with crooked uneven sewing lines where corners don’t match. It was a creation all right but to me it just didn’t look darling.
After several unsuccesful attempts of trying to explain this to the designer, that the words “Darling Creations” were describing the primary part of the business, the words “& Quilts” were a secondary part of the business, and the fact that the designer did not want to change his design because he liked it, I walked away with a bill and no business card.
So now what? I still needed a card to complete the course. Well, I thought to myself, I know how to draw somewhat. I can picture what I want in my head. Lets see if I can actually transfer my thoughts onto paper, and violà.
Through networking I found myself a local graphic artist and forwarded to him my first draft. Back to the drawing board: “too much detail … needs refining and simplification”, he said. So I forwarded to him the next draft, in colour.
Good thing three strikes only works in baseball, or maybe I got some fouls and walks along the way. Colour was going to be very costly as every colour needed a seperate plate he informed me, and some of the detail could still be toned down. Isn’t it great that we have moved to digital these days? So I took the drawing above, outlined the main areas, lessened the detail, and gave the drawing back to him. He asked what two tones of one colour I would like to have. I chose two colours closest to periwinkle blue (which is my most favourite colour and someone once told me that is the colour my aura shines), which also happened to be the most popular IBM colours at the time. I was extremely happy with the results then and am still pleased to this date with the outcome.
My current graphic artist likes the design very much but is encouraging me to add some colour.
This design is also very easily adaptable to different sizings, for gift tags, labels, etc. … taking me back to branding.
Wikipedia explains branding as: A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, colour combination, or slogan.