Branding yourself is always difficult in any field, but it is especially crucial for designers. Our brands are not only our identity as a business, but is an introduction to who we are as designers. It is crucial for us to showcase not only a keen design eye, but to infuse a certain amount of personality and uniqueness.
Creating a brand standard for yourself can make designing a portfolio and resume significantly easier as you have something to adhere to. Typefaces, colours, and consistent motifs can already exist in your personal identity and carry throughout all your work as a signature. Sometimes you can’t properly recognize your style until someone else points it out to you. However you have to know who you want to appear to be professionally, and cater to the aesthetics you hope to continue to produce.
Personally I have been muddling through a personal identity assignment for college. The class then brainstormed (on behalf of each student) dominant personality traits and quirks to better inform our aesthetic choices, including typefaces and colours. My list was filled with pleasant contradictions which, although completely truthful, made it rather difficult for me to choose a direction.
Our instructor encouraged us to start with a wordmark and move on from there. I scoured type foundries, both reputable and not so much, with very limited success. I tried playful typefaces, refined ones, even combining the two. Unfortunately I had little to no success. Upon further reflection—and with more than a little help from others—I decided to take a more icon-like direction.
One thing I have noticed while perusing Behance’s most appreciated “personal branding” projects is the uniqueness. While some are a combination of intials, a clever mix of streamlined design and icon integration, playful and fun, or have a hand-rendered feel, all of these designs are eye-catching and unique.
While I am still struggling with pinning myself down to a typeface and a couple of lines, my research and brainstorming has helped me to at least figure out what I am not and who I hope to be seen as a professional designer.
Here’s an article that lists in painfully simple words how to at least begin the self-branding process. I strongly recommend at least skimming this article if you are thinking of branding yourself, or possibly even rebranding yourself.
Have any tips to create a brand for yourself? Hoping for a little direction? Comment below and let me know what you’re thinking!