Here's How To Make Your Life Easier...from Nancy Ruzow

So, you have a company. And you work with a fantabulous person like Danielle Hughes to help you uncover your brand identity.

For me, that came in stages. Danielle first uncovered my personality brand and wrote my about page, which I also applied to my Linkedin profile. I loved it so much I hired her to rewrite most pages of my website. So what’s the next step for you non-designers out there? Brand visuals.

Branding, identity design, and logos play a huge role in the perception of your company. They send signals to potential clients and help guide their decision-making process.


Brand visuals are more than just your logo.

When working to create a brand, I like to start with your logo, your colors, and your lettering (font) choices. The word, ‘logo,’ comes from the Greek word, logotype. Logos means word and typos means imprint. Logo design is used for identification.

  • Most brands use both words and symbols in their logo, like Adidas.

  • Other brands have a logo that’s a wordmark, without a symbol, like Google.

  • Lastly, some brands are so well known, they have no typos (words) and just a symbol, like Apple.

A logo should not literally describe what a business does, but rather identify the business in a way that’s recognizable and memorable. There are no car logos that have an image of a car, most clothing logos don’t have images of clothing. That’s where smart branding and a strong brand identity design come in.


To create brand visuals...

If you’ve worked with someone to dig deep on your personality brand (ahem, Danielle again), I review those materials and come back to you with discovery questions to develop your visual strategy.

  1. If you haven’t done the brand discovery, we set up a couple of calls (I love Zoom so we can share visuals back and forth) and we dig deep together. Questions snowball into ideas.

Both of these ways allow me to create or tweak a logo. While we’ve discussed colors, I like to start in black and white because I find color to be a distraction for most people. We discuss the type of logos (as mentioned above) and I come back to you with some visuals and lettering treatments.


Making an impact

When real estate maven Martha Eidman came to me, she had a tagline and was interested in the water being part of her logo. She definitely wanted words and a symbol. We started out with the two visual and type treatments on the left. The final is on the right. The logo has a home, it has the land (green lines, sand (gray line), and sea/beach (blue line). She felt the emphasis had to be on her last name, with her first name not getting lost. The logo had to work vertically and horizontally (she was supplied both), it had to work tiny as an Instagram icon, and large enough to be on a sign outside of a home. We created her brand guidelines to help her staff, and any designer that comes after me, to keep her on brand. After creating all logo versions needed, I designed her print materials, her social media templates (in Canva so she could edit them herself), and we’re now working on her website.


Representing myself

Just like my black-rimmed glasses and t-shirt are part of my brand, everything that represents you is part of yours. Your brand can be the uniforms people wear or the things they say when they answer the phone. It can be the music you play in your office or store or the snacks you serve in the meeting room. Whatever it is, make sure you consult professionals to nail your brand — it will make your life easier!


Nancy Ruzow