How beautiful is the branding on this men's clothing brand? Photo from Behance.com

How beautiful is the branding on this men's clothing brand? Photo from Behance.com

 I've received a ton of questions lately about my website and such so I thought I'd take the opportunity to let you know some of the deetz.

Here's some info: 

Q. Who coded my site? 

A. I switched this year from a Wordpress template (woothemes are great) to Squarespace, so not a lot of coding goes on.

Why? Because I just felt like I didn't have the technical skill to make changes that I thought should be a lot easier. I'd do something on my wp site and then it'd act up, revert back or other weird shizzle. It was so annoying. I was spending hundreds a month paying someone to correct things and it got old. I also felt powerless.

And I like what Squarespace is doing. Their templates are gorgeous, customizable and oh-so-easy to use. 

N.B. Most of their templates are photo-heavy so you have to have good photos in order to maximize a Squarespace site. 

My go-to guy for hard coding and even weird little quirks on my site is Roberto. He codes my junk. If you ping me and ask nicely I'll give you his deetz. 

Q. Who designed my site? 

A. Um, that would be me and Squarespace. I have creative directed most of my sites over the years and get a kick out of it. I have styled my own photo shoots too. The look/feel of my stuff is entirely my own. (Hahaha God love my graphic designers- they know I am very hands on in the process.)

That said, DIY creative direction is NOT for everyone. In fact, I HIGHLY recommend that unless that is in your wheelhouse that you outsource the creative direction to someone who gets it. 

If you need a suggestion, I have a few, depending on your budget and needs. See below for tips on finding creatives.

Q. Who did your logos? (for LF.com and TCCConsultingGroup.com)

A. Both were done by the amazing people available via www.TheVillageAgency.com.au. You can access their network of creative freelancers by connecting with them online. 

A note about working with designers:

Having a solid brand identity/logo makes the web design piece go muuuuuuch more smoothly. I generally use a stable of three to five rotating graphic designers for other work (besides identity/branding). Some are great for pdfs or book covers while others rock for one sheets and products or web.

It's rare to find someone who bundles together ALL o' dat.

AND that means that if you are gonna get a new website it might not be from the person who did your logo/biz cards. Good web design that is pretty, innovative and CONVERTS is an art...and many of those people are not also branders/graphic designers.

Q. What is this branding you speak of? 

A. Branding means a buncha different things to different people. Ultimately I think of branding as the logo, colors, values, icons, typography, emotions, products/services and general vibe of a business. (How's that for an official definition?) 

Many a graphic designer is good at knocking out a logo but really has no clue when it comes to comprehensive brand strategy. Branding is more than just saying "this color" and "that font." 

If you want more on branding see these slides from my pal/former client Justine Bloome (she is the founder of the aforementioned Village Agency) on branding. 

A rigorous branding effort can build a foundation that informs the trajectory of your business. Rigorous branding can change much more than color palettes. It can alter who is your customer, how much you charge and what people think of you/your company. 

I think it's a good idea to learn something about the concepts of branding so that you can vet creatives effectively and participate fully in any kind of creative work associated with your company. You might decide that you don't need to undergo a full on "re-brand" but having some critical thinking time on your own or with a brand strategist can be a great investment prior to hiring for graphic/collateral/web design. 

I'm pretty psyched to recommend my client Sarah Ancalmo at www.Public-Persona.com for soup to nuts branding, creative direction, styling and design. (Coding is outsourced.) 

Check her stuff out. I am looking forward to doing her full on VIP process once I'm out of the baby woods. 

If you need other branding inspiration/access to creatives, check out my friend Matias' website: www.Behance.com. It's become the world's portfolio/showcase for creatives. 

Please let me know if you have other questions- I'm going to do a separate post about video questions. 

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