julie clyde creative, Uncategorized

Travelling Brings with it Creative Inspiration

Ocean, Bar, Jamaica, travel, lifestyle blog, branding
“Latitude Bar” at Sandals South Coast, Jamaica. Photography by Julie Clyde Creative

I forget how much the ocean opens up creativity for me. Sitting in it on the first day here, I had a few minutes to reflect on the past 12 months at Julie Clyde Creative and realised just how far I’ve come to date but also how far I still have to work on to continually grow and develop this incredible ‘ little business that could’. SO many times I threw this business into the trash, threw my hands in the air and simply gave up. SO. MANY. TIMES. Shouty text is for me to remind myself that was the last time.

It brought up some interesting conversations with my friend, Vanessa, who I’m travelling with. She owns and runs View It Do It which is an incredible live stream business out of Norfolk, Virginia, USA. She can take her high def cameras ANYWHERE in the world and live stream your big event globally.

As we contemplated the end of day one here, we got onto a few topics which had arisen as part of the conference we are here with. There had been some tension and frustrations voiced throughout the day, which I was working my best to not jump in and offer some suggestions. I realised how common these frustrations are and why they actually happen.

When you have an organisation, you need structure. Now whether or not that is a board of advisers for your sole trader or LLC which involes a few friends, your mum and the cat or whether its a small to large comany, having directors, CEO, COO, CFO and what works for your company are imperative.

There needs to be people in these positions who are leaders. They shouldn’t be there because they’re deemed the strongest personality, or appear always in control.
This is a general observation from many businesses I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The companies who thrive and work the best together have been the ones where the CEO works with EVERYONE around themselves. Yes, It’s their ultimate decision on many things, BUT, they are not making all the decisions based on their own thoughts, agenda, ideals and what they want out of it. Even my business starting out, I had my husband as a big sounding board and a few of my business friends with a couple of my non business friends to sound ideas off. They have grown to be imperative to my own decision making and success. A great and supportive team are imperative to any growth be it in life or business.

The second key to your business is not your logo. I’m sorry that’s NOT your branding. It’s your brand MARK but not your brand. Some graphic designers create the most spectacular logos and marks and I really enjoy scrolling through websites and imagery checking those out. While these are part of what you do, in order to have a clear cut message and direction for your business, it’s imperative to your success you have a brand developer come in and work one on one with you and your board to get your messaging spot on.

If you sell toilet paper for example, and it’s the softest, whitest, prettiest designed toilet paper but your messaging says you sell gift wrap, you’ll attract the wrong audience and create a muddled brand for both yourself and your prospective clients.

Recently, one of my brands and I were talking about their brands message and their tag line in particular. For me I know when a message hits home. It’s like a huge light that goes off in my head. He was talking about his photography work and what could he have has his tag (I adore his work so this was a total thrill for me to work with him on this). It started out with bringing nature inside and creating my passion to inspire you. Which don’t get me wrong are still nice, but when he started to tell his story a little more and spoke of what emotion it brings his clients that’s when the light bulb went on for us all. He said “My mum always tells me that my work ‘Puts you there’ so maybe Place you there?”
I was hosting a workshop at the time and every single attendee looked up from their work and literally yelled at him, OH YES! You HAVE got to check out his work over at Russell Pugh Photography. We are still happily working together and I cannot wait to see where his brand and clarity drives his amazing passion and creativity.

Vanessa from View It Do It, when we first started working together’s tag line was “Where Everyone Gets a Front Row Seat” Which in itself isn’t bad, BUT it didn’t allow her clients to understand what it was she did from the get go. She changed it after we had some long branding chats to “Stream You Big Day Live”. Instantly people understand what she does and she is thriving daily.

For your brand to be fully understood you tag line is important but its also your essence and substance behind what you do. It’s your mission and vision statements. Its your commitment statements, key words, colours, font selections, messaging throughout everything you do. This is my passion and being able to watch business men and women realise their message and potential it makes me incredibly inspired within myself. At the end of the day, my clients should be, must be, more successful than I am and if they’re not, then I’m not doing my job properly.

Advertisements
julie clyde creative

What is a Brand Style Guide?

We’ve all seen it. Someone hands you a business card with a great logo, but when you go to check out their website (or other marketing vehicles) they don’t match the look or quality. Situations like this are why understanding the importance of having a strong, consistent brand identity is essential in today’s marketplace. Making sure that your marketing tools have the same overall look and feel not only reinforces your credibility with your customers, but it also makes you stand out from the crowd. So how do you make sure your brand stays consistent? Well, this is where having a well-crafted Brand Style Guide comes into play.

What Is a Brand Style Guide?
A Brand Style Guide (also commonly referred to as a “brand guidelines,” “brand standards,” or a “brand book”) is essentially a set of rules that explain how your brand works. These guidelines typically include basic information such as:

– An overview of your brand’s history, vision, personality and key values.
– Logo set-up specifications — including tagline usage
– Visual examples of your correct and incorrect logo treatments
– Your chosen color palette
– Your chosen type style(s)
– Business card and letterhead design

If you’re just starting out and you only require a few key marketing tools at this point, focusing on the above areas may be enough. However, to make sure all your bases are covered, you may choose to go with a more detailed Brand Style Guide that also includes:

– Photography style
– Supporting graphic elements
– Design layouts and grids
– Social media profile page applications
– Brochure/flyer layout options
– Website layout
– Signage specifications
– Advertising treatments
– Merchandising applications
– Copywriting style (a.k.a. “tone of voice”)
– Editorial guidelines

These brand rules should be flexible enough for designers to be creative, but rigid enough to keep your brand easily recognizable and stylistically consistent. Occasionally, situations will call for rules to be bent — but never broken. Continuity is key, especially if you need the brand to extend across multiple media platforms.

When Should You Have a Brand Book Developed?
Ideally, your brand style guide should be developed by an experienced graphic designer or marketing agency at the same time your logo is being designed. This will help to ensure that all of your promotional channels are aligned — no matter who develops them for you in the future. Even if you’ve already had a logo designed, you can still hire a designer (preferably the same one who created your logo) to develop a Brand Style Guide that flows well with your existing logo.

Your finished Brand Style Guide should be a user-friendly PDF document that can be conveniently provided to any contact that needs to better understand your brand. Some businesses also include their brand guidelines on their website or via an online link that is only accessible to those designated to view them.

How to Use a Brand Style Guide
When promoting your brand you often need to hire third parties (i.e, advertisers, designers, photographers, printers, etc.) to help convey your company’s image, message and services/products. But there’s a strong chance that these vendors do not fully understand the brand. By meeting with them to discuss your objectives and supplying them with a copy of your Brand Style Guide, they will be better prepared to create tools that work as a cohesive unit.

Here’s a reminder of what often happens when you DON’T provide your vendors with your brand guidelines:
– Inappropriate use of your logo and tagline
– Incorrect used of colors, typefaces and design elements
– A lack of cohesion in the handling of the logo and overall design that gives a piece a cheap or confusing appearance
– Inconsistent messaging that result in poor sales

The Bottom Line
It’s important to understand that your logo is NOT your brand, but rather a key component in your overall brand strategy. How that logo is rolled out into each aspect of your business operations is really where the branding magic happens. By developing Brand Book in conjunction with your logo, you can help to ensure that all of your customer touch-points (i.e, brochures, advertising, invoices, Twitter page, etc) are carried out in a high-impact, consistent manner — no matter which designer, agency, photographer, or advertiser you hire to create your materials.

————————–
By guest contributor, Matilda Jackson
http://brandmakernews.com/top-stories/7209/why-your-business-needs-a-brand-book.html

Uncategorized

The Perfection of Imperfection

After branding Megan Hall Motivation late last year, it solidified many things for us. Our undeniable friendship, business ventures, love of wine but most of all our love to talk.
Megan came to me early in December and put to me a proposal to create a Podcast with her where we talk about topics and share personal stories close to us that inspire us to do and be better. We wanted to find women of inspiration whom we could also interview to share their journeys also.

Fast forward to January 1st and our first podcast was launched on The Inspired Women Podcast. Before the week was up we were also being cast on iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud and a few other platforms. This blew us both away.
After listening back to the first episode I had a major panic of uncertainty and messaged Megs in a panic. “I can’t do this, you sound so professional and I don’t and you don’t want me part of the show”
In typical “Jules freaking out and Megan comes to save the day” she told me to calm down and relax. She had already been sent feedback about our first episode and it was ALL positive. Wait… What? Someone listened? Insert continued mix of above freak out mixed with excitement.
Fast forward three weeks and we now have heard My story, Megan’s Story and on Monday will launch my incredible friend and life coach, Amy Latta. Her story is about being Brave, Silly and Worthy. Three words that are so lost as we grow and are crucial to the whimsy and joys of life.

We then get a glimpse into the incredible work of Rockstars and Royalty in Australia and how Vicky is pivoting and growing her brand into an international powerhouse. She’s creating from a space of truth like no other designer. Her story is also incredibly inspiring!

Today after casting with Katy Blevins Calabrese, Co-founder of Modern Femme, there were words spoken that have echoed with me all day…
“Nothing will ever be perfect, it’s finding joy in the imperfections”
You’ll have to wait to hear her and her story but it was electric for me to be part of her interview and witness her truthfully speak about her journey to date.

The beauty of what I get to be part of, is that I hear and see myself in SO many of these incredible stories and learn from each of our guests. I get to hear my inner critic come knocking and I can now tell them to go away; for today, and tomorrow, all the way to never coming back again.

The confidence it’s creating in me means that I’m also shifting and pivoting. As you’ve seen from my last few blogs, I am now branding internationally from start up business through to globally expanding companies. It is something I take great pride in being part of and I have realized my service within creating truly sets me on fire. I still create Fine Art pieces as my outlet but my awesome clients are keeping me busy!

What does this mean growing forwards? It means learning to be ok with Imperfect Perfection. It means the washing may not get done every day- but most days, It means juggling non work life and life, being present for my family and showing up as my BEST self. It means planning, scheduling and learning about things I haven’
t always been comfortable doing. It means imperfect progress and being ok with failing forwards.

It means getting over myself and pursuing what makes ME happy and listening to my intuition. It means finally feeling like I can provide again and not self sabotage what I build and create. It’s stepping into my potential and enjoying the ride!

iwpbrandmark

Uncategorized

Authentic imagery in your brand

I know I’ve been writing a little lately about capturing an authentic brand for your business, or yourself in life. Your brand is WHO you are not what you are. That does help to know your what and why but the WHO is often the part that eludes us the most.

Megan Hall Motivation and I have been working together a lot recently to authentically brand her thriving business and getting to the WHO of what she does. It has been a journey for the both of us. Even though shes a kick arse motivational mindset coach and entrepreneur, I still managed to make her stop and think whilst we were developing  her branding style guide. These guides need to speak to many different vendors who you work with in corporate life and for them to be able to truly ‘get’ your business and who you are.

Megan is my butterfly of life. She exudes bright, shiny happy light and an energy that is infectious. When I first met her I remember thinking, she’s my person. We WILL be friends. The second time we met I was able to talk to her much more and we hit it off. Now it feels like our friendship is centuries old and that we were never not friends. I love having those people in my life and I’m realising quickly that they are few and far between. However when I find them I keep them with all I have. They help ME to grow and help me realise that it’s safe to be me around them.

So this morning, after two reorganizations of our session due to sickness and hurricane Hermine, we met at 7am. I wanted her to feel safe, enabled to be herself, and to have fun and ignore the camera. In order to do this I need to be a clean slate and create a very open environment to ask questions from a place of no intention. To reflect back and feel how my client is in that moment.

I had my mentee and new addition to JCC (more to come soon!) Jossan Urban on location to enjoy and see how my shoots run. They are filled with love, laughter and a LOT of talking. It is a conversation between two or more people, via some glass (the camera).
Today is the first time I have welcomed my ‘client’ and anyone else back into my work space to look over the images as they are and talk about them all. Say ‘yes or no’ before my own personal cull. I am teaching Joss my version of how I work and want her to see how fun and enjoyable culling of images can be. Especially seeing real time expression while we shoot through to it being captured in a file on my screen.

I can’t show you all the images, but we certainly have a few silly out takes I would love to show you. There will be many many more to come, but for now I will share my favourite image from this morning of Megan in her genuine, smiley, authentic self… No cheese here!
_K7Z7525-Edit

And a couple of fun outtakes- which always happen :p

Megan, you have HUGE things ahead of you. You have an incredible team around you who are here to lift you up and support you, every step of the way. I love the way you love everyone around you, your heart and compassion. I respect that you don’t take rubbish from ANYONE and I strive to grow to be that way too. To my phenomenal friend, you ARE enough and I will find you every life, especially if it means we get to laugh as hard as we do. Here’s to a huge future, love, laughter and hilarity ahead.
Always be you.

Love Jules xxx