Design 101: Building a Banner and Company Branding
Maybe you've noticed that I put in my profile that I am a designer. Well, not professionally...I have however taught myself this past year to design my website, banner, Etsy shop, product line, and company branding, so I'd say that I deserve the title! I find it very important to brand your company, and be consistent. I knew when I started my blog a year ago that I wanted Cara Mia Bella to have a certain feel...to be a magical place of beauty, with a vintage look that complements my artwork. So, being that I'm not a professional, I figured out my company branding the old-fashioned way...by months and months of trial and error and now, success! Here is the evolution of Cara Mia Bella's banners and company branding.
This first bright yellow banner contains a tiny bit of vintage and the prerequisite star. My husband and I created the torn edges on the font to make it seem worn and old. However, the color was created on an old computer that didn't portray colors accurately. This shade of yellow was difficult for me to match. But I felt yellow was important as it is one of the least ignorable colors...hence, more sales (hopefully).
This next banner contains my artwork, which I felt was important for branding my company. I liked the way this banner shows my art to look like cards or even a game, thus reiterating my product line. I was still using an all-lowercase font and this time added what Cara Mia Bella sells. I created this using a free-banner website.
Then, I finally bought a new computer, and realized how "off" my colors were! I also discovered Photoshop Elements, which took my design skills to a whole new level. I knew that I needed to incorporate my art in my banner, and one of my favorite pieces is the Healing Water painting of the mother and her children. After much experimentation I decided to just use the two children's image and include the moon and stars (stargazing is a hobby of mine, and I've always connected with the moon). I liked this banner's design and composition, and I finally figured out how to add the star once again. Still, there was something about the font that cheapened the look I was going for. Plus, the colors were not complementary to some of my products.
And then, I figured out exactly how Cara Mia Bella is supposed to look and feel. I came up with this design last weekend, and can now put the quest for company branding to rest. I love everything about this design...the earthy feeling, vintage inspired fonts and tone, the stars...I love it! I used a scan of my actual product instead of a photo, so the colors are more indicative of my products. This is Cara Mia Bella's company branding. Now as I approach the myriad retail outlets in the coming weeks selling my products, I know they will capture the essence of my company and products, and see the professionalism and elegance with which I run my business.
Here is my Etsy shop banner to show how I am maintaining the consistency of my company branding. My business cards have the same look as well. I must say I do enjoy design work. I learned a bit about design from my father who is a digital design wiz. This design is based loosely on an original design he created for my company. I employed some of the same techniques and added some of my own flair.