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Why Designing Branding For Yourself is HARD

So I wanna be a serious designer. And it doesn't really matter what kind -graphic, product, UX or UI- a designer needs branding. How else can you showcase yourself?

I only recently made an Instagram account (I was on a detox but I felt that I really needed to "put myself out there" and The Gram is the best platform for this). So I came across someones Instagram feed yesterday which was just beautiful. It made me look at mine with disgust. I knew I could do better.

So this morning at 5.30am I woke up. Not by design but because the cat came snuggling (I've since forgiven her). And then my head started whirring with ideas for my branding. I spent an hour in bed willing myself to go back to sleep but it wasn't happening so I got up.

A Morning of Loathing

And then the difficult part started. If you design branding for yourself, you have to know yourself, your values, how you see yourself and how others see you. You have to ask "Who am I?" and "What am I doing here?" Those are hard questions! Especially if you have to translate the answers into colour, typography and a design system...

I spent all morning trying to make a colour palette work that just didn't inspire me. I ended up questioning my life choices when I couldn't make it work.

Colourful Brighton beach huts

My Thought Process

After lunch, I scrapped everything and started from scratch - with a Brighton beach hut inspired colour palette. I consider myself quite a serious person because I consider everything carefully (read: overthink) but I couldn't get on board with a "sophisticated" colour palette. I felt stifled by it. Because I am also a bold and optimistic person who loves life, even when it's a bit crap.

Immediately as the new colours hit my artboards, the shapes and typography seemed to fall into place. I knew I wanted a clear font but anything too familar seemed boring. I went for a sans serif font for my "main font" (it's called "Mostra Nuova") and a decorative font for my "accent font" (it's called "Lust" which made me giggle, and I loved that!).

Overall, I aimed for a simple design with high impact through the colours because I know the less elements, the clearer the design. And that's me, straight to the point but kind. In future, I may use lower opacity backgrounds to tone the noise of the designs down a bit.

Regarding my logo, I knew that for now I didn't want to redo it because I had just created it, but I revamped it with my new colours.

Seeing as the whole "project" was inspired by an Instagram feed, I then set out to create 9 posts so I could reset my own feed. I was able to apply the things I'd learned from my Graphic Design Masterclass and was even able to design a bit of sneaky post-overlap on the grid. Check it out:

(I can already see some small tweaks I could make if I had slept on the designs but I was too excited, as always. Feedback welcome, as always.)

And that is how I spent a day pouring over colours and fonts - and the best thing?? I made it through the day without a nap 🤯

Now I just have to rebrand the website...but it can wait a little while (at least until next week?)

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