Hi. I’m Michelle, the redhead behind Lone Red Design.
When I opened my design studio several years ago, I worked as a one-stop-shop for all things design. I did it all.
After years working in marketing communications and advertising, I had done a little bit of everything and continued to do so after I officially opened my doors to my own business.
A logo here, a brochure there. No cohesion. No continuity. No clarity.
Entrepreneurs often asked me to design their “logo and business card.” They were convinced that if they were armed with these two pieces of brand identity, they’d set the world on fire.
But, I knew better. I felt as if I were sending them and their brands away half dressed.
What they needed was a complete, pulled together Brand Identity.
Yes, a logo is important. It will no doubt be a part of every marketing piece you use in your business. It will most likely become the most recognizable element of your visual brand.
Sending my clients off with nothing more than a logo and a business card was like arming them with only one amazing dress and nothing else. (No great shoes or perfect earrings to finish off the look!)
And the rest of their closets were empty.
Building a complete visual brand package is like building an incredible wardrobe—one that allows you to feel confident and stand a little taller.
When you have a cohesive, classic wardrobe, you no longer stress out right before a big meeting. You don’t waste time and energy pulling together the right outfit because every piece goes together perfectly and sends just the right message.
It conveys your personality, charisma, and style.
The same holds true for your Brand’s Visual Identity.
A complete visual identity should include a color palette, the right typefaces, graphic elements or textures, and a style guide you can use as a resource for all your marketing materials moving forward.
You should have at your fingertips every marketing element you need to create your perfect brand presence. And from this foundation, you’ll build everything else, i.e., your website, brochures, packaging — all your marketing collateral.
I’ve witnessed time and again how a polished, complete visual brand identity opens my clients up to bigger versions of themselves. As they work through the creation process of developing their own unique look, they discover the clarity and certainty they’ve been looking for.
The right visual branding gives them the confidence and tools they need to step fully into every opportunity.
Do you know your brand’s unique style?
Isn’t it time you stopped getting your marketing materials off the rack?
I can help you build a brand identity that makes a statement. Let’s set up a call to chat about you, your visual communication, and how we’ll put together the perfect look and style for your brand.
A Few More Questions Answered
I’m not sure I understand what visual branding is. why is this important for my business?
First, let me explain what “brand” means. This is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days and some people are confused by it. I once heard it described like this: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” I think that’s brilliant. Your brand isn’t any one thing. It’s not your logo, your website or the displays in your brick-and-mortar store. Your brand is held in the minds of your clients, customers and anyone who comes into contact with you or your business.
Visual branding is anywhere you communicate visually with your clients or customers. This does include your logo, your website, your email template, your packaging … any touch point you can see. It even goes as far as the clothes you wear and the way you wear your hair. I leave that kind of styling to the experts in those fields.
I believe it’s essential to ensure these visual touch points match the look and feel you want your brand to project. A high-dollar law firm shouldn’t use a whimsical typeface on its website; a trendy boutique shouldn’t use Times Roman for its print communications.
Visual representations of your brand should communicate to your ideal clients your essence, style, and core values.
While we don’t have direct control over how people feel about our brand, we can try to project what we’d like them to feel. Consider how you want your prospective clients to feel about your business when they get to your website. For example, do you want them to feel a vibe openness, friendliness, and professionalism? Do you want them to experience your funky, creative side?
Your visual branding gives them a taste of who you are without you saying a word.
who are your clients?
My clients are service-based entrepreneurs and small business owners who are building amazing businesses. They’re so passionate and busy doing what they love to do that they’ve never made time to stop, step back, and consider their visual branding as a whole. They’ve patched everything together, which resulted in an inconsistent look and feel. And they don’t love any of it.
My ideal clients are ready to expand into bigger versions of their businesses (and themselves) and play a bigger game. They know they would attract more business opportunities if their visual communications looked more professional and matched the image they want to project. They also know they would feel more confident. They have a vision of what their brand image should be, but they don’t have the skills or time to get there.
how do you work? what can I expect?
Before I pick up a pencil or move the first pixel, I help you get very clear about your ideal client and what style you want your brand to project.
We’ll start with a Visual Brand Clarity Questionnaire. This is an opportunity for you to get clear about what you’re looking for and how you want your business to show up in the world. This is not something to rush through. I like to have my clients sit with this for a while. Often this is the first time they’ve really stopped to think about the image their businesses are projecting. They get excited when they realize they can build and create that image.
I also ask my clients to create a Pinterest board to share with me. They use this to save all sorts of images that inspire them. I ask them to pin anything from logos and website designs to color palettes or artwork. I’ve even had my clients pin photos of themselves on vacation and their new car they love. All of this gives me a good idea for the image and style they’re going for.
Then, I get to work creating your new look!
Throughout the process, you’ll have an opportunity to schedule up to three phone calls or face-to-face time (via Skype) to brainstorm, ask questions or make sure we’re staying on the same page.
My goal is to make sure you walk away with a visual brand you love.
can i just get a logo design?
While your logo is one element of your visual brand foundation, and an important one for sure, it is only a piece of what makes up your overall look and feel. As a visual brand stylist, I look at the whole picture. A great logo design is fantastic, but if you only have the logo and not the other design elements in place to support it, it’s like having one fabulous dress that you feel amazing in and the rest of your closet full of clothes that make you feel a bit frumpy.
The best visual communication creates a look and feel that goes well beyond the logo. Your brand’s visual identity includes the right typefaces, color palette, graphic patterns, and the effect they have when they all work together to create the overall style.
I’m really busy and overwhelmed. How long does this process take? I need a website now!
My business coach says, “Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. ”I couldn’t agree more. When you slow down to really give your businessthe thought and focus it needs, the benefits can be huge. My clients have usually been too busy reacting to take the time and attention to get really clear about what they want their brands to be, or their images to look like. They’re always thrilled with the results once they do.
With this said, creating your visual brand foundation normally takes between four and six weeks. If we’re also creating your website, then you can expect the process to take between eight and 12 weeks (and depending on how complex) from start to finish. Trust me, it will be worth the wait and you’ll be so happy you took the time your business deserves.
i’ve never invested in my business like this before. how can i justify this expense?
Making the leap to invest in yourself and your business in a bigger way can be scary. I know this firsthand as an entrepreneur and business owner, myself.
What I’ve learned along the way is this: To grow your business into the vision you’ve dreamed of, you must step out of your comfort zone and into the realm of possibility. That scary first step is what conjures the magic that will take your dream to the next level. I’ve seen this in my own business and with so many of my clients’ businesses.
When you create a more professional, consistent visual brand, you will attract higher paying clients, and you will have the confidence to pursue clients you might ordinarily have shied away from.
In other words, what may feel like a big investment right now will end up earning you more money as your business expands into the business it was supposed to be all along.