branding and design and strategy

(oh my!)

The design that changed my focus and (hopefully) the trajectory of Quixotic Chimera

It seems crazy (and maybe a little ridiculous) to me that I’ve been in business less than a year and I’m already looking to slightly re brand myself and shift my main focus within my business. But that’s exactly what’s happening. All thanks to one of most recent (and one of my favorite) design projects.

When I first started Quixotic Chimera, I had no idea how much of my work in logo design and creation would cross over with branding. To be fair, I didn’t know much of anything, so that shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Initially, I didn’t want to venture into that realm because what the heck did I know about branding and how could I possibly begin to confidently sell that to anyone else? But, I did want to make sure I was providing my clients with the very best of what I had to offer, so I did some research (as per usual) and included some branding specific questions in my logo questionnaire for those individuals or businesses who were just starting out and/or didn’t really know what they wanted. Those questions provided me with additional insight as my clients had to dig a little deeper to define what they wanted their brand to look like, communicate, and be about. I was then able to use that information and incorporate that into their brand and logo, often producing something they didn’t even know they wanted until it was right in front of them. Happy client, happy designer = win win for everyone.

Now forgive me as I do a bit of timeline jumping. Rewind back to when I first started and I was plotting out some courses for Quixotic Chimera with my mentor and friend, Dr. Stevie Dawn. At the time, when she asked me which aspect of my graphic design business I wanted to focus on, the answer was easy: custom wedding stationery. So we developed our plans around filling up my prospect pipeline with those specific types of clients. Make no mistake, I LOVE creating custom wedding stationery. If you’ve read my website or facebook, you know that this business started because of the frustrations I felt as a bride. And as a result, it was pretty easy for me to nail down my goal, purpose, and target market/ideal client. I hope I’m always able to create those for happy couples.

Fast forward to the end of November/December. A long time friend reached out to me with a need. She wanted to advertise her business in a program and asked if I could create that for her. Her answer to my next question began a whole new side adventure on a trip I didn’t even know I was on. “Do you have a logo you want to use?” She didn’t (or wouldn’t this be the shortest and most pointless story ever), but she also expressed that she wanted something more for herself and her brand that had expanded beyond what she initially created. In a few short weeks, Courtney and I created a stunning new brand that fit her personally as well as the business she wants to produce.

What I realized during this project was not only how much I loved designing logos as a product of creating or redefining a brand, but I just might have a superpower (credit: Dr. Stevie Dawn) for marrying and highlighting the personal within the professional. THAT’s the part of my business I enjoy the most. Not just logo design, but logo and brand design from the ground up. And guess what? It perfectly aligns with my heart’s desire to ignite this desire to love and respect everyone for how exactly they were created…especially themselves. I get to discover what makes people uniquely them and how that plays into the heart of their business, then bring that to life in their brand and their designs. Um, hell yes.

As a side (but totally related) note, it never ceases to amaze me how God uses the smallest of things to make the biggest difference. IF we’re open and willing. I’ll confess, as a control freak, every time I would hear about the freedom and reward that comes with fully submitting to God’s leading and what He has to offer, I’d twitch a little. But once you make the decision to obey a calling, take a leap, and walk away from a guaranteed (and pretty decent) salary and walk toward zero guarantees of anything, there’s not really anything that I’m not willing to give to Him. I am 100% in the passenger seat, and have been since my resignation from teaching in July. I have absolutely no idea where we’re going or how we’ll get there. What I do have is a whole mountain range of faith and His continual faithfulness and promise.

So here’s to another twist in the road and one step closer to whatever greatness He has for Andrew and me (and thank goodness for another crazy human and his willingness to leap with me).

Oh, and go check out my friend Courtney and her awesome biz, Style: Simplified. It’s easy to create for someone when they’re as bomb diggity as her.

Until next time: Do good. Be dope. Stay weird. Live authentic.