Before the days of our ‘media movement’ and magazine launch… before aesthetic Instagram feeds… before Facebook was even a thing… even before the invention of the iPhone… (okay – we’re going waaay back, ladies!) …there was Kyla Getty the graphic designer and branding professional.
The exact date of the inception of my career as a graphic designer is a blurry line. I have been designing since before I knew that design was a viable career! I grew up crafting, doodling and designing. In high school I found my ‘tribe’ working on the school yearbook. I competed in teen graphic design competitions. (#TotalDesignNerd!) I even completed my grade 12 work experience with a local advertising agency. My career path was paved with good fortune and that same agency agreed to hire me throughout my college education. When I graduated years later, I was already knee deep in my professional career.
In total, I worked with the wonderful agency where I found my start from 2001 until 2009. During those fabulous years, I collected a series of business cards with titles that ranged from ‘Kyla Prescesky, Design Intern’ to ‘Kyla Getty, Creative Director’. I had a fabulous job, worked with a group that felt like family, and enjoyed many amazing opportunities to build brands for organizations of all kinds. The highlight was designing the logo for the city that I was born: Surrey. It was the result of a vote by City Counsel then the residents themselves!
As a new mom, in 2009, I realized that flexibility in my daily work schedule was going to be necessary for me and my growing family. I took the plunge and dove head-first into entrepreneurdom with the official inception of GETT CREATIVE Inc. The first year of owning my own business, I learned enough lessons to fill this website with articles! But there’s one area that I have always felt unwaveringly confident and competent – and that is my craft… graphic design and the creation of a brand.
During those years, the concept of ‘branding’ was relatively new when speaking to the general public. 8 short years later, branding is a part of daily life that we are all very much aware of. It seems that today, everyone and their dog has a personal brand … like literally … have you seen @nachocilantro?
I encourage everyone to build their brand – whether it’s a personal brand or a business venture. The best brands are built with thought, consideration, and even love. I am going to share with you a few of my Laws of Branding.
- Create your brand from within. Before the creation of your brand identity, logo and visuals, put pen to paper and map out what your brand stands for. Allow the thoughts and ideas to spill freely. Don’t sensor or filter yourself – you can always fine tune later. Allow your inner self to speak. Let the passion behind your brand come forth. What is at the heart of your brand? What lights the match within you about making this brand a real entity? You will need to harness the passion behind your brand for the hustle ahead! Note: this is a great exercise for anyone with a brand – but especially essential before creating the visuals.
- If it’s not unique, don’t bother. This is building on the above. It’s important to do your research and establish other brands that inspire you – but never to imitate one. Circle around and take lessons from other brands that are having success… and then, using ‘Step 1′, insert your soul to create your own special recipe! If Oprah imitated Barbara (Walters)… we would have missed out on freakin’ Oprah and all that she has to offer! Let your inner Oprah out and trust that YOUR brand can be even more powerful than your muse, once it’s free to shine. Step out from behind your muse’s shadow and trust in the strength of your unique brand.
- Dress your brand for success. Sorry guys, but when it comes to a brand identity, we all judge a book by it’s cover. Now that you have your unique and passion-fuelled brand in check, you must give it the makeover it deserves! Don’t skimp on lipstick! I am talking about hiring a professional to create a strong, impactful brand logo and identity package to set you up for success. If you want to play in the big leagues, you need a visual brand presence that exudes success. You may not be an artist yourself, but we all can tell by looking at a logo if it was designed by a professional. Don’t settle for a logo that is going to send messages to the world that your brand and business is amateur.
Branding is a topic that I feel passionate about. I hope that I’ve given you some things to consider. Perhaps it’s time to rethink your brand? As the marketplace changes, trends change… brands need to evolve. Even the most established of brands needs to have someone at the helm ensuring that what worked then, is still working now.
I Like Her Style Vancouver Co-Founder