Your Creative Partner
Choosing the right creative talent to represent your brand is a big decision. Browse our portfolio of client work to get a taste of what Left-brained Creative (LBC) brings to the table in terms of branding and graphic design capabilities.
Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. It should be recognizable (this occurs over time with consistent brand marketing), inspiring trust, admiration, and loyalty among your consumers.
However, your logo is not your brand. Your brand is the gut feeling (aka perception) people have about a product, service, or organization. According to brand expert Marty Neumeier, “Your brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.”
Furthermore, your logo portrays the meaning behind the thing (aka company) it symbolizes. The late Paul Rand said, “What it represents is more important than what it looks like.” Now, that’s not to say that your logo shouldn’t be gorgeous. It means that the feelings your logo invokes in the hearts and minds of consumers is more important than it just being pretty.
This is why choosing a logo and brand expert is so important to the success of your business. Sure, you could choose a $50 logo from one of the million logo websites on the Internet. But would you be gaining access and insight to a branding expert who dedicates the time to fully understanding how you want to present your business to the masses? Nope. You’d be picking something that looks pretty and hope that it accurately represents your brand.
Op-Ed Wisdom: As someone who has seen it happen over and over again, please don’t cheap out on your logo. Even if you you roll the dice, chances are it’ll bite you in the butt and you’ll end up needing a designer down the road to alter your logo in some way. Why wait until you’re trying to order new vehicle graphics or embroidered hats and realize that a one-color print job costs a fraction of the price of a full-color job? Invest in a good logo designer from the beginning—even if it’s not LBC, although we hope you choose us! It will save you a lot of time, trouble, money, and heartache.
Here at Left-brained Creative (LBC), we take the time to listen to how you want to be perceived by your audience. We help you suss out the meaning your logo represents. We also have loads of real-life experience and know that you’re going to need a one-color logo, a full-color logo, a logo that looks great on dark backgrounds, a tiny icon (aka “favicon” or site icon), and maybe a few alternate orientations (like a horizontal logo versus a square-shaped logo).
Partner with LBC and you’ll gain the insight and knowledge you’ll need to strategically and intentionally build a brand that accurately represents your business. Below are a few custom logos we’ve worked on—all of which adhere to national copyright and infringement laws.
We here at LBC focus on marketing your brand (as a whole) by reaching your target audience and meeting the needs of consumers via your awesome products, services, or advocacy efforts. I’m about to get a little “op-ed(ish)” now, so if you want to skip the commentary and go straight to the gallery, click here.
Op-Ed Wisdom: Consumerism is getting a bad rap these days. Our constant desire for more has landed many of us consumers (myself included) in heaps of debt. Anthony De Mello posits that in order to change the world, you must first change yourself. And in order to change yourself, you must seek to understand with no judgement, no commentary, no attitude. We must simply observe, study, and watch without the desire to change what is (De Millo, 1990).
I’ve studied visual communication design for nearly two decades, always being on the execution (design) end of marketing. As I progressed in my career, I began to learn more about the marketing side of the business, and how to strategically maximize profits. The more I learned, the more it felt like manipulation. The more I felt icky about learning how to position products to seem more desirable to specific consumers.
Which led to that little panic feeling in my chest that worries if I’ve led myself down the wrong career path. But if I observe this feeling (and consumerism as a whole) without judgement, I can see that consumption in itself is not inherently bad. Humans have always consumed, bartered, and traded. Design and marketing are just tools in a toolkit to promote different consumer options.
What makes consumerism feel icky is our greed. It’s our lust for more—more money, more stuff, more status—that leaves us feeling discontent. Consumption is never going to go away. The only way marketing won’t feel icky to me is to shift the goals of marketing.
If the goal of marketing is to promote a product or service, then we’re using the tools in our toolkit and the avenues of communication to present an option to consumers. However, if the goal of marketing is to increase sales revenue, then greed is fueling our intentions. If greed is fueling our intentions, it’s much easier to slip into subtle manipulation tactics to get consumers to buy more, whether they need it or not. Ick.
“But Kelly, that sounds like judgement!” I don’t mean to come off as a judgy-Mc-Judgerson. We need individuals who are unapologetically ambitious. We need those who are motivated for more in order to get things done. All I’m saying is, if your marketing goal is to make more money, call someone else. But if your marketing goal is to spread awareness for your product, service, or mission, let’s chat!
Because the truth is, if your product, service, or mission solves a consumer need, it will sell itself. If we develop a promotional marketing plan that spreads awareness about your kickass product, service, or mission and market to those who would benefit the most, sales are going to increase naturally. Ick-free.
Source: De Millo, A. (1990). Awareness. Center for Spiritual Change, New York.
AIUM Event Branding
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) is a professional association that hosts several annual events throughout the year. Previously, each event had its own logo identity separate from the AIUM brand. However, each event had become so segregated from the AIUM brand that the audience didn’t understand the full breath of courses offered by the association, and instead saw the events as separate entities.
To alleviate confusion and increase the AIUM’s value proposition, we aligned the annual events under the broader AIUM brand umbrella. Each event had its own distinct artwork and visual elements, but we removed the unique event logos and marketed the event as an AIUM event. The event branding was also carried throughout the other promotional materials (i.e., website graphics, program guides, social media graphics, etc.).
By aligning the events under the AIUM brand, the results impacted more than just the individual campaigns. By creating unified branding, the AIUM became an association that offers many events, instead of many separate events offered by an association. The results increased the AIUM’s brand awareness and strengthened brand equity.
Full Disclosure: I completed this work prior to starting LBC as a full-time AIUM brand and communications manager. I’m including it in my portfolio because (a) it showcases my work, and (b) it best illustrates the sort of comprehensive brand audit services LBC has to offer.
AIUM Brand Guidelines
Along with rebranding the AIUM events, we got serious about defining the overall AIUM brand. Like many longstanding businesses, we got caught in the cycle of doing things the way they’ve always been done. And along the way, we lost touch of who we were as a company and what our members and prospective members need from our organization.
After a lot of sentiment surveys, consumer research, and soul-searching, we were able to clearly define what it is we stood for and retool our offerings to best meet the needs of our audience. Below are a few sample pages from our brand guidelines.
AIUM Membership Campaign: Renewal Components
Many membership-based organizations are cyclical in their membership campaign strategies. The AIUM renewal campaign begins roughly 3 months prior to the member’s renewal date and includes a series of print mailings, email reminders, and a custom cover tip-in on printed JUM journals.
AIUM Membership Campaign: New Member Welcome Components
New members are welcomed to the AIUM with a personalized letter from the organization’s president, a new member welcome brochure, and a series of emails encouraging new members to take full advantage of their member benefits.
AIUM Membership Campaign: Membership Acquisition Brochures
The AIUM’s new member acquisition strategy includes brochures specific to the organization’s student member and regular membership categories, which were marketed heavily at annual events and on-site workshops and training events.
Full Disclosure: I don’t always like to toot my own horn, but I want to be clear about my role in rebranding the AIUM membership materials. The majority of the text and the desired cadence of touch points was largely directed by the AIUM (aka the client).
My role was to design each print and digital component of the campaigns; as well as, manage the vendors and overall production, execution, and implementation of processes. Needless to say, a personalized multi-channel marketing campaign is a complex initiative (and strategic investment), and LBC experts are here to guide you along the way.
We understand that your business may not need a comprehensive brand marketing solution (or maybe the need is there, but the financial resources aren’t there). We get it. Therefore, LBC is happy to provide graphic design services on an à la carte basis. Perhaps your company already has a full-time marketing person and you’re just looking for help designing your campaigns, or maybe you’d want to test us out on a small design project before investing in more comprehensive brand work. We are here to help.