- Katelin Kinney
I've been told many times that whether you're a designer, photographer, illustrator or another field, it's important to brand yourself...especially if you're a creative. Maybe you're looking for a job, doing freelance on your own, or looking to just gain more followers and get noticed. Whatever your position, it is important to brand yourself. Think of yourself as an entire company- what do you stand for, your characteristics, your talent/services you offer? When you present yourself to potential employers or customers you should be presenting a fully thought out visual brand. It's true that most artists will have a particular style that is recognizable in their work, but that should also be carried over into a website/online presence, business cards (any physical collateral), logo and design in general.
I'm currently in the job searching mode. For me branding was most importantly a presentation tool for potential employers. I decided to create a portfolio box to hand in to agencies in person when I was ready to start applying. My logo is a mirrored combination of two K's for Katelin Kinney. The legs of the symbol are broken up into three colors corresponding with my three skills- photography, retouching, and design. Since my symbol and serif font look very rigid and clean I wanted to add in some handwritten elements to the boxes so they still had a creative handmade feel. The inside of the lid of the box served as my cover letter.
Inside the box were three square cards. On the front was the title of the skill and on the back was a description of what I brought to the table with this skill. These cards were two pieces of super thick printer paper spray glued together so that they were very sturdy and substantial when the employers picked them up. Textures, weights, and materials are just as important to think about as the visuals. You want your presentation to make an entirely memorable impression.
Under these cards at the bottom of the box was a business card and a usb containing digital files of my artwork. I love these usb's. Just another way to customize my package and show my branding. Plus they looked really clean and professional since they were glass.
Whatever your reason for branding yourself it is definitely something that will elevate your image. Branding is also not a process that should be rushed. List out ideas, sketch, sketch, sketch, then sketch some more. In the end it should be a cohesive story you're telling about yourself to customers, employers, and fans. My logos have changed over the years when they no longer accurately served their purpose. You'll evolve your branding image throughout time. So get at it and have fun creatively showing the world your story and your skills!!!