In true Dana fashion, I rushed my rebranding…and that’s something I 10000% do not recommend.
When I thought about rebranding, I went from 0-100% REAL QUICK. As in like 1-2 weeks quick. I know, I already sound crazy. I’ve always been this way though: When I want something, I get it/do it/whatever. I did the exact same thing when I rebranded to The Champagne Edit. I think I just get SUPER excited, and really am such an impatient person. Once I have a small idea in my head, I run with it. Maybe ONE day I’ll learn.
The difference between 2018 and 2020 is this: I wasn’t in love with The Champagne Edit when I was rebranding. I just knew I hated Pink Champagne Problems even more. So I went with it anyway. There was no logos, no new colors, NOTHING. Just a name change and a new layout. I’m actually surprised I stuck with it for even 2 years.
In early 2020 (pre-pandemic), I started getting the same feelings: I didn’t love saying my blog name when people asked, there was nothing “branded” about my brand. And I just really hated saying The Champagne Edit. I knew I had officially grown out of what was my “brand” for so long. I think that was the scariest part — would it be weird to disassociate myself with the term “champagne”? Would I be able to come up with another name/brand/identity?
Long story short, I launched It’s Casual as soon as possible because I felt like I needed to. We were in the middle of our stay-at-home order, I was bored, feeling uninspired, and wanted to do way more with my brand. I had no reason to be The Champagne Edit anymore…it just wasn’t me. Even though I was happy with the launch of a new website name, I knew it wasn’t 100%. Here are some of the reasons/thoughts behind why I decided to hire a graphic designer…and what I got out of it.
something was missing
While I was always really, really excited about It’s Casual, I knew something was missing: A real brand direction. It was clear. Nothing POPPED when it came to my brand. I really enjoyed my colors that I put together (after hours of searching on Pinterest), but something still felt off. Colors were not enough. When I went to create my newsletter, I had nothing to tie back to my blog or my brand in general. When I went to create my Instagram Stories, nothing was cohesive. Branding was clearly the missing link.
get good recommendations
I sought out a graphic designer, and stumbled upon Emma of ESM Creative. And man, I feel lucky I did. I looked into her recommendations, realized she worked with Allie on her gifs, and decided to shoot her an email. After seeing what she offered, looking at her past work, and chatting with her via email — I knew I wanted to work with her! While I don’t recommend jumping the gun — maybe seek out a few options — I just had a really great feeling about Emma!
My biggest recommendation is make sure you trust the person, which I know can be hard when you don’t know them. Make sure they’re good at communicating right off the bat and truly understand your needs and goals. I was lucky to hit it off with Emma right away!
it’s ok to not have a clue
When I started the design process, Emma had a pretty standard one. First, I filled out a brand questionnaire that gave Emma an idea of where my head was at. It included basic questions, weird/random (well, so it seemed) questions, and more!
I will be the first one to admit, I was DEFINITELY all over the place. I truly didn’t know WHAT kind of branding I wanted. The only thing that was a must: keeping my color palette (I’m just SO in love with the teals, golds, etc). I think I would tell Emma almost every email that I really didn’t have a clue what I wanted…yet she kept sending me edits that were getting us closer to a REAL BRAND. That’s when I realized it was ok to just spew out random thoughts and bounce ideas off of her — that’s what she is there for and what her expertise is!
Even though I seem vocal, sometimes I’m not…even if I want something. I don’t know why, but I get nervous that I’m inconveniencing someone whenever I ask for changes or tweaks to a project or for help with something. I made it a point to MAKE SURE I spoke up if I wasn’t 10000% happy with the direction of my branding. While I pretty much loved most of it, I knew that if I didn’t speak up and make small adjustments to my branding, I knew I would kick myself later on. I’m honestly SO happy I did because there’s not one thing I would change about my branding. From the colors, to the logo, to the watermarks, to the secondary shapes, to the newsletter and Instagram Stories…I LOVE IT ALL! When you’re doing something that is important to you, SPEAK UP (especially if you’re paying for it)!!!
At the end of the day, working with Emma has been one of the best things I could have done for It’s Casual. Not only does branding allow me to have some ground to build upon, but also makes me motivated to continue to grow this brand and just do things I want to do with it.