Brand Development: From DIY Logo to Corporate-Level Brand Professionalism

Brand Development: From DIY Logo to Corporate-Level Brand Professionalism

Brand Development: From DIY Logo to Corporate-Level Brand Professionalism

Brand Management | Brand Design | Document Design

Edwards Construction Group | 2023

In my short time with Edwards so far, I’ve transformed their brand from a DIY, small-business logo implementation to a modern, major corporate-level look and feel that is competitive with organizations many times their size and adheres to strict brand guidelines for future-forward management and market presence. 

Goal

I was hired by Edwards to improve their Project Proposals to better compete with more established organizations across Central and Southern California. However, upon arrival and review of their existing state of affairs it became clear that the first critical step in rising to the level of the competition was to focus on the brand. 

Their existing logo was designed in-house by non-design professionals and their implementation across materials and client-facing touchpoints was disorganized. See the original brand and implementation below: 

Original Brand

Approach

I worked to develop a new brand concept. I wanted to honor their legacy as a three-decade old, family organization while designing for a modern look and ease of application across mediums. I designed a full logo from scratch and implemented a new “Edwards Blue” that would be more masculine and carry more presence the the simple Cyan color previously being used. I developed brand guidelines and worked with teams to implement a cost-effective transition from old brand to new. 

Results

The result is a corporate-level brand that an organization would normally have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to develop with a team of brand designers. In-house, we were able to design a sophisticated, meaningful brand that led to the upgrade of Edwards’ first impression on all clients and stakeholders. The design transformation, from old to new, speaks for itself as a successful endeavor. 

 

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Katie Novo

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Small Business Brand Strategy & Launch Campaign – Santa Maria Valley Wealth Advisor

Small Business Brand Strategy & Launch Campaign – Santa Maria Valley Wealth Advisor

Santa Maria Valley Wealth Advisor Small Business Launch Campaign & Branding Strategy

Small Business | Campaign Design | Brand Strategy

Santa Maria Valley Wealth Advisor | 2021-2022

I created a branding strategy for a local Wealth Advisor with a unique challenge. Their situation was such that they had to incorporate the parent brand of their main office in a big city in Orange County while creating a presence and messaging that would resonate with a small country town in the Central Coast of California. 

Goal

My client was moving her business from a large metropolitan community to a small, “rural-esque” community on the Central Coast of California. While still technically operating under this big-time corporate entity, she had to establish her name and create a presence in her new home town that would resonate with a tight-knit, ranching and wine community. She would need to include her existing parent brand with a newly established local brand somehow.

Approach

I started by examining the parent brand and their online presence. Their current website did not lend itself to her needs. She would need to begin creating content and marketing strategies relevant to her small-town, local market. The existing website was non-extensive and could not be altered. 

We decided to create a “satellite” website. This website would allow her to establish her new brand but link back to the corporate site to ensure a clear connection between the two entities. She would be able to tailor her marketing and content strategies to her new audience while also have the luxury of backing up her credentials with this major, corporate wealth advisory group with a proven track record. 

We created a sub-brand that would lend itself most obviously to her focus on this geographic area and community while including the brand stamp of her parent brand. The brand would be called “SMV Advisor” and would be accompanied by the tagline, “Your Santa Maria Valley Wealth Advisor.” Her brand aesthetics would include herself (to introduce her to the community by face), her family, and scenes of the Central Coast hillside. 

I created a branded website, I created Instagram and Facebook pages with coordinated branding, and I created a Mailchimp email marketing account and designed branded templates. I designed and ordered a full event booth with pop-up banners and give-away tchotchkes with her face and brand all over them. I created various targeted direct-mail materials and coordinated their release with USPS through their direct-mail program. I branded document templates so that when she gave in-person presentations that even her hand-out materials would be precisely coordinated with her brand and with the desired, professional but friendly aesthetic. 

Results

My client was very pleased to achieve a corporate-level, professional looking brand across all public and private-facing touchpoints. The brand, while maintaining a clean and pleasurable aesthetic, achieved a warm, Central Coast, family-oriented feel and established her as a friendly new face in the community. 

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Katie Novo

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Old Orcutt Small Business Saturday Community Event Design & Promotion Strategy

Old Orcutt Small Business Saturday Community Event Design & Promotion Strategy

Old Orcutt Event Design & Promotion Strategy – First Annual Small Business Saturday

Event Design | Process Design | Campaign Design

Old Orcutt Small Business Saturday | Fall-Winter, 2021

I helped a local business owner to create, promote, and execute a large community event to begin to establish herself as a leader in the community and to make more connections for her wealth advisory business. I used years of community event planning expertise to set up the communications and promotions infrastructure, create a brand and a look, and get her set up to run the event for years to come.

Goal

I was contracting as a marketing consultant for a local Wealth Advisor who wanted to establish herself in a tight-knit community that she was relatively new to. Her target clients would include local business owners and community leaders so she came up with the idea to throw a first ever “Small Business Saturday” event for the public. However, she had not planned and executed a large community event of this nature before. 

Approach

I started by guiding them through what an event like this could look like – what makes sense for a first time event, what might be too ambitious, what the ultimate goals were and how to focus on those. We created the concept for the one-day event and while she and her volunteer began connecting with contacts and resources, I created a full brand and campaign look and feel for the event. I jumpstarted their communications infrastructure by setting them up with a WordPress website, Google suite, and Mailchimp accounts.

I designed the website as a landing page with a “Small Business” participation sign up form. I integrated Mailchimp and created an automated email workflow so that as soon as a small business or vendor signed up they would receive a series of instructional emails that would see them through the process – from welcome, to registration processes and fees, to reminders and final event preparation.

I created print and social media promotional assets, such as banners, posters, postcards, instagram posts and even the day-of event materials including a detailed “Small Business Vendor Map.” The assets I designed included graphics that tied into the local community so that the materials seemed intimate and personal to the community. To be more specific, they included a custom map graphic of Old Orcutt as well as the Old Orcutt Water Tower graphic. 

I designed the Small Business Vendor Map to help the flow of visitors so that they would be incentivized to visit not only the main, obvious vendors, but also those tucked away in the further regions of the small town. I sketched images for main businesses and tried to make the map as fun and interactive as possible.

Results

The event was a huge success. We saw hundreds of families (a large count for a small town) come and participate exactly as designed – visiting every region on the Small Business Vendor Map and competing for raffle prizes. More importantly, to my client’s benefit, she received rave reviews by all of the small business owners that participated for the way the event was run, from start to finish – from the registration and onboarding process, promotions for the event as well as each participating small business, and for the number of participants and the huge amounts of foot traffic each and every vendor received in an otherwise sleepy town.

My client gained a huge number of new contacts and established herself as a successful volunteer and leader, capable of executing on her huge ambitions for the community. 

Even better, the infrastructure remained in place so successfully that in the subsequent year and beyond she was able to take the event and run with it without having to undertake a huge amount of set up or adjustments to the process.

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Katie Novo

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Fishing Armory Small Business Logo Design & Print Design

Fishing Armory Small Business Logo Design & Print Design

Fishing Armory Small Business Logo & Print Design

Small Business | Logo Design | Print Design

Fishing Armory | 2017

An entrepreneur out of Arroyo Grande on the Central Coast of California creates a hand-crafted fishing lure that’s sure to catch the attention of its target market. With a new product and no brand they came to me for help. 

Goal

The Fishing Armory approached me to help them launch their brand new product – with a strong brand. 

Approach

I studied the product and considered the goals of the business owner. The product itself having a strong visual quality, I decided it would be featured within the logo. While this was an usual approach, it worked well in the end and lent itself to strong product recognition alongside branding. Finally, I chose a type and color scheme for the logo reminiscent of old army planes. 

Results

The logo was an instant success with the business owner. With no revisions necessary, I got right to work helping them prepare branded materials such as product tags, a catalogue, a custom drawn and designed “From My Cold Wet Hands” T-Shirt (clever phrasing created by yours truly), and other print materials as necessary.

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Katie Novo

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Central Coast Party Factory Small Business Logo Design & Brand Development

Central Coast Party Factory Small Business Logo Design & Brand Development

Central Coast Party Factory Small Business Logo Design

Illustration | Logo Design | Brand Development

Central Coast Party Factory | 2017

A local entrepreneur launches a party rental company and sets their sights on an upscale clientele desiring safety, cleanliness, and quality over cheap, discounted services from its competition. Looking to set themselves apart, they reached out to me to give them a look and feel to reflect this level of quality and professionalism and set them apart from the crowd.

Goal

A first-time entrepreneur is busy building their party rental inventory and infrastructure and only considers the brand as an afterthought. Approaching launch date, they came to me for help with a logo. 

Approach

I conducted an interview to get to know them and the vision they had for their new business. In researching the local landscape of party rental businesses it became clear that nearly every one pulled from the same brand playbook – busy, bright colors, clashing and most of all, unprofessional. My advice to this client was to stand out by doing less. A simple concept with clean lines and a simple color palette would be the first logical step towards separation from the local competition. 

I played with several concepts for the the brand stamp. I worked with a balloon animal, a pinata, and other usual party suspects. Not satisfied, I went back to the client and dug a bit deeper. In learning about their kids and the vision for their future in the business as well I asked if they could send me some photos of the kids. 

One in particular stood out. A boy with a large grin and happy ears would make a perfectly classic, mischievous character to be the face of the brand. I sketched a logo version of the boy, found a big-top type and created a vibrant, but simple color palette.

Results

The project was a success. I surprised the client with the new logo with his son as the centerpiece and they became instantly emotional with happy tears. Love at first sight. No edits necessary. I created an asset package of various versions and file types for them to hit the ground running. 

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Katie Novo

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