Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Building a brand

As you may know, I run a small business called Paper Pattern Silk. I sell mostly at local craft fairs, the farmer's market and online on Etsy. I tend to operate on a part time basis, but really want to buckle down and focus on building a sustainable brand and client base. So I thought, I should start writing down my goals and thoughts in my blog so I can keep track of them as I work towards building up my business.

My main goal for now is to build up a recognizable brand. I need to develop a logo, which I am working on. It's silhouettes of lupins. I chose them because they are my favorite flower, they have an interesting shape, and here in the Maritimes it is commonplace to drive by hills and fields just full of these beautiful flowers. They bring up fond memories for me, and I love them.

Next I am trying to figure out what colors to use as my main business ones, on displays, on my business card, and on my website. I doodled a very lackluster lupin in photoshop to get an idea for some colors, and have made a small chart of them:

I have such a hard time narrowing it down to just a few colors. Color is pretty much the reason I create anything, it is my inspiration and excitement in the art world. There are just so many possibilities, and each one says something so completely different about your business. I really want to make a good choice that reflects me and my work.

Paper Pattern Silk sells pocket mirrors, illustration & photography prints, jewelry, handpainted silks, knitwear, pretty much everything. I'm not one to stick to one medium, I like to dabble in many. This makes it difficult to make branding decisions that will affect so many variables. The illustrations tend to be very delicate, with children and whimsical elements. The jewelry, however, takes on a more contemporary, modern design focus. I also need to leave room for my surface design career to come, which is a large deal of why I chose the name. After I graduate I intend to freelance design wallpaper, fabric, greeting cards, etc, while still making art, silks, and my other handmade items.

It's so difficult to find a happy medium between my various styles, I want to be taken seriously as design focused, but don't want to lose the whimsical fun side either.

My goodness it is going to take a lot of thought to decide on my colors..