Finest Moments in Brand Design
Have you ever sat down with a beautiful magazine, ogled at the paper stock, reveled in the way it felt in your hands, and casually embraced it with wonder? Maybe that love of paper products is a form of shared graphic design fetishism, but maybe not. If not, feel free to leap-frog onward to the visual gratification below as I reveal some of my most recent work for Ava Stationery, a project very near and dear to my designer heart. (Choose your own ending game begins here). However, if we share this tactile obsession, join me in my love of paper as I take you on the journey of how Ava Stationery came to be, and how powerful of a role branding played in the process.
Ava has been a brainchild of mine for quite some time. A lofty dream that began by browsing weathered paper products in antique shops soon sparked copious amounts of inspirational Pinterest hoardings. Upon making my foré into the fantasyland otherwise known as the bridal industry, a goal of creating wedding stationery soon seemed within reach. I simply had to start designing. Sounds easy enough, right? It turns out that turning a true love into a day job can be a beautiful mess. Here's how to avoid (some of) the chaos.
Creating a company is about so much more than designing a beautiful product line, or tailoring your products to the demands of the market (although this is certainly very important). Branding is an important process that must be prioritized. If it isn't, your company has missed the opportunity to identify the story behind why it began in the first place, what it stands for, who it is catering to, and why they should care (and that's some powerful stuff, right there). Without a strong brand to grow the roots of your business while you're out making it come to life, your hopes and dreams are essentially hanging by the arbitrary threads of an undefined brand. They may easily fall victim to customers' demands, the pressures of daily life, and the sheer disorganization that can quickly arise as a result. Essentially, your company will build up a weak immune system and a plethora of customers that are as confused about the "why" behind your brand as you are.
"When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind."
Ava is about stationery, but it's about so much more than that. It's about the emotions that flood the soul on the most special days of our lives. It's inspired by the fuzzy feeling of receiving a heartfelt thank you note, and the nostalgia of receiving a letter in the mail in today's world of email inundation. Ava's product line is about the small details that render stationery special: beautiful monograms, personalized details, and custom calligraphy.
Without asking the tough questions, ie "who exactly am I marketing to?" And "why should they care?", I would have been missing out on the valuable information I needed to entice customers and inform them about my brand. Throughout the branding process, I forced myself to answer these questions, and have now integrated these as a standard procedure with all of my branding clients. I've learned that even established businesses have a great deal to benefit from it, for the purpose of re-directing or solidifying their efforts on all angles of the enterprise, from production to promotion.
To leave you with a lasting thought, the brand design & styling process ensures a consistent look & feel across all brand elements, and is essential to any successful brand. Fostering a consistent message and frequently hitting home runs with it is extremely important to ensure that your brand remains top of mind in an authentic, human way. Everything from your chosen fonts to the paper stock of your business card should convey something magical about your business, and for this reason, a striking amount of detail and attention goes into brand building. Whether your customers exhibit paper fetishes or not, quality design & branding goes a long way to positively establishing your business in today's saturated marketplace. It's a big world out there. Make sure you carve out your own piece of mind within it.
View the full project here.