Being a good designer usually means being up-to-date with the latest trends and aesthetic know-how. It takes some practice to get there, but once you do, however, you will notice that a majority will be studying and incorporating similar styles and ideas to their designs. This brings you to your next big problem: now that you’re an “in-the-know” designer, how will you set yourself apart from the pack?
Looking through a wider lens, we see companies that manufacture and sell similar products, yet a solid few rise up from everyone else. These few have a thorough knowledge of their brand, from how they want to look, all the way down to how they want to communicate with their consumers, so much so that they associate an entire identity with both the product and the company involved.
Thankfully, branding doesn’t only work for large companies. Building your own brand as a designer is readily available to you, all you need to do is start. With a bit of consistency and effort, your whole design business will have a professional and unique edge everybody will want to try out.
- Branding is also applicable at an individual level and can help separate one designer from the rest.
- Understanding how you want you and your designs to be perceived as can help you define your niche.
- Continuous learning and creating will be able to enrich your experiences as a designer, and integrating these creations into social media and into discussions with both clients and fellow designers alike can help you grow your brand and your reach on a closer level.
Choosing Aesthetics That Resonate With You And Your Audience
When you are a designer focused on building and growing their brand, you cannot be all over the place. Being a jack of all trades is great and achievable, to an extent, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be one.
Your design portfolio needs to emphasize three things, namely: who your target market is, the look and feel you want for your designs, and how you want your market to perceive you and your work. These three should mesh together to form a rock solid focus that will set your intentions and skillset as a designer apart from the rest.
One good way to do this is to try and envision how you want your portfolio to express your work. Do you want you and your designs to come across as edgy and bold? Or do you want your work to lean on more pastel colors and chalky textures?
Knowing this, you can then choose a market whom you think will likely be attracted to your style. Research will help a lot in this aspect. You can then sift through designs popular with your chosen market and combine them with your chosen style.
Of course, what is important is that your brand is something you embody, and is something you can communicate well with your chosen audience, otherwise, your branding will cause you more problems than solutions.
Nourishing An Online Presence
Living in the Information Age means that the online world is just as important as the physical world, especially when it comes to communication. Your online image will be your gateway to making first impressions, and hopefully, to making them last.
You need to set up some designer accounts on top designer platforms such as Instagram, Dribble, and Behance. Combining a consistent posting of designs with the previously mentioned “resonating aesthetics”, your design spread will only be able to gain you exposure and followers, but they will also have you gain respect for their coherence.
Participating In Communities
Don’t stop at simply posting your work on Instagram. Hop on Twitter. Join discussions on Facebook. The world is not purely work. Your clients and fellow designers are people, too, so it’s important to get to communicate with them outside the confines of projects and deadlines. Jump into conversations, ask questions, and share your expertise.
Remember: your designs are not the only ones that make up your branding. The way you interact with communities, sometimes even with ones outside the design sphere, define the brand that you are growing for yourself. Your brand is not only your product, it encompasses your entire philosophy and approach to your work and your art.
Jumping Into New Adventures
Participating in activities outside design, such as wall climbing, scientific research, or maybe wall climbing, can help give you a fresher perspective in the long run. One-time adventures can soon turn into hobbies, and these hobbies can help you find that niche you’re looking for. Plus points if you learn a useful skill, such as programming, during one of these activities.
Your clients have their own adventures, too, after all. They are going to appreciate a design that fully understands their needs based on your understanding of the adventure to be had.
Creating As You Breathe
Of course, being a designer, you are constantly creating. To be able to hone your personal brand, however, you must create as though you’re breathing, and you must show the world that you are. Clients like seeing work that is “simply what you do”, or that is an expression of what you can do without the deadlines.
Most importantly, the best designers exude so much of their design philosophies that they constantly live it. Posting raw sketches and alternate designs for projects are concrete ways to do this, as they give insight on how you process design.
Writing blogs and making videos can also help you express the style that you want to emulate and make others experience, as well.
Whether you like it or not, you bring your brand around you wherever you go, most especially in professional settings. Hold your head up high and continue creating!