Another in a series of posts about branding
I’m on an upleveling journey with Magnolias West and part of that upleveling includes taking that “I’m gonna rebrand my business sometime soon!” idea off the shelf and putting it into action.
I thought about changing the look and feel of the Magnolias West brand for almost all of last year. Especially since I found out that my search results were compromised because my website isn’t responsive in its current state.
I didn’t make the rebrand a priority until things had evolved enough in my heart, in my mind, and in my business for all three of the points in the graphic above to be true for me. Which they now are.
- I have gotten really clear about how I’m meant to serve and what I want to be doing, and my current branding doesn’t reflect that. Nor does it adequately reflect my expertise, experience, and sagacity.
- The people I am called to serve now are — to a large degree — not the ones who are on my mailing list or following me on social media.
- I am developing three simple offers and they need to be expressed, explained, and — in fact — offered! (They are not represented much at all with what I have now.)
There are probably as many (or more) good reasons not to rebrand than there are to begin such a huge undertaking. Contemplating a rebrand is a great mindfulness and self-integrity opportunity. Check in with yourself, your support team, your tribe. You may find that it’s just an element here or there that wants a refresh. Keep it simple, sister.
You might be thinking, “What does a rebrand look like when you are your own designer?”
For the rebrand, I started with the logo.
Just like I do for my clients, in the Unmask Your Brand and Shine Your Light journey, the logo comes first. This is Magnolias West 3.0. Each of the preceding two logos used an illustration of a magnolia blossom that I had made for me by an illustrator friend and a script font for the words Magnolias West. This go-round, it came to me surprisingly clearly one day that I wanted to use a photo of a magnolia that I shot and a handwritten (by me) version of the name. It’s a very deep and personal decision. I want my passion and wisdom to shine through clearly from the very first thing you’ll likely see when you look at my new branding — the logo. This will hopefully set the tone for a deep connection my heart to my reader’s from the first glance, before a word is even read.
Wait, wait — you need the backstory.
When I created Magnolias West, I was combining what I had previously run as two different businesses into one. My coaching practice was one business and my design and branding biz was another. I decided to combine them (handing out two business cards when I met someone was not working out very well; it definitely caused confusion and a break in the flow of getting to connect with someone).
I didn’t know how to name this new business. At the time I didn’t see the amazing synergy that would be created by combining coaching and branding, so I went with a name that didn’t really mean anything (on the surface, that is).
I have been taking pix of my kid with the magnolias as a backdrop since she was a toddler. She’s 29 now. I have a few thousand images of magnolias that I have shot.
This method — DIYing your logo — is not for the faint of heart. Or the impatient.
I controlled myself. I didn’t go back through every single magnolias shot I have. I confined my research to the photos I have in digital format — only about ten years worth to cull 😳. Didn’t get the ladder to climb up to my paper photos file to find something better to scan — such self-discipline! The eight magnolias you see above made it to the final round. And I’ve picked the hero (you’ll have to wait a bit to see it; it’s quite beautiful).
And then the handwritten name, oy! See that sheet of paper up there, the scan of my business name in my best handwriting? I have nine more! I spent about three hours writing Magnolias West over and over and over. I learned a lot.
- I learned to tilt the paper so my writing would be more on a straight line.
- I learned how to hold the pen to get a nice thick/thin calligraphic look.
- I learned how to shape the “g” and the “l” and the “e” to have a nice open counter (the inside shape).
And then I spent 2.5 hours piecing it together. An “M” from this version, “agnolias” from another. Same with the “W” and the “est.” Plus cleaning up the bumpy bits.
If anyone asked me advice about doing a handwritten logo, I’d say “Don’t do it, pick a nice font. Unless you are either an expert in Illustrator tracing and very patient. Or unless you have a big budget to pay someone to do this for you.”
What about you, gorgeous?
What conditions came to pass that caused you to decide to rebrand? Are you considering this but still waiting? Want to talk about it? Let me know what’s going on with you by leaving a comment, or send me an email if you’d like to set up a call with me (no strings, of course).