Over the next few weeks, I am going to be going over some of the questions I ask when I take on a new branding client. These questions are designed to pull out both your core values as well as your actual design aesthetic. I thought it would be fun to share with you my answers to some of the questions and how it influences my own design.
What is your favorite item in your home? Why?
This was a hard question for me to answer. My home is filled with things that I love and cherish, from photographs of my 3 year old son to the basket of knitting projects I keep by the couch to work on when I have a spare moment. However, after a good hard look around my house, I finally found my answer.
My very favorite item in my home is the big farmhouse table in the center of my kitchen/dining room. It is a fairly new addition to my home. My husband built it for me a few months ago with my son’s “help”.
As you can tell, we use that table a LOT.
However, you may be asking yourself what my table has to do with the design of my brand.
The things that you surround yourself with can tell you a great deal about your design aesthetic, and the reasons that you love them can tell you a lot about your core values.
Design Aesthetic –
Casual with a bit of polish
For instance, the look of my table is a bit worn and a bit casual. It is not perfectly polished around the edges, but instead shows the process in which it was made. The lines of it are classic though, and the finish is light, which balances how heavy and substantial the table is. I would not like the style of it as much if it were all sharp lines and edges, or if it had tons of fancy finishings, all the bells and whistles so to speak.
When I apply this line of thinking to my brand, I can definitely see that I gravitate more towards imperfect, “hand-made” elements such as hand drawn fonts and balance them out with more polished elements like sticking with simple, clean lines and choosing photographs that highlight a single subject.
I appreciate classic lines and am not usually swayed by the next big trend. I lean more towards light colors but I also look for balance between light and heavy elements in my design.
Core Values –
Home and Relationships
When I think about the reasons that I love my table and how it translates into the core values for my brand, the first word that comes to mind is home. The table represents the very best parts of home to me, which are the personal connections that I have with the people there. That is a value that I have literally built my brand around.
My table for instance is the place where we have family meals and we entertain friends over dinner. Even after the dishes have been cleared, you will usually still find some of us ladies there, drinking a cup of coffee and catching up. Sometime you will find us with knitting in hand as we work on our projects together in our own little knitter’s circle as our kids play nearby.
As the old adage goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home and my table lives at the center of that heart. I spend the majority of my day here. The same holds true for your brand, especially in regards to your website. It is great to have something pretty, but at the end of the day, you need to have something that functions properly for it to be of value to you.
One of the reasons my husband built me this table is because the one we had before it was far too small. I can’t tell you how many times we knocked things down off of it trying to juggle ingredients and bowls and spoons while trying to make breakfast and the three of us could just barely fit at it while eating at the same time. It was a nice table for two people who used it occasionally, like we did before we had our son, but definitely not for a family.
Now we use our table for everything. It is the platform for building Lego towers and molding Play-Doh creations. We mix muffin batter for breakfast here and chop veggies here for a snack.
This is the first year that I have homeschooled my son and there is almost always some sort of experiment going here (who knew making rain clouds out of shaving cream, food coloring, and water would be so much fun?). When I am in the beginning stages of a project for work, I find myself spreading my papers out on the table and working from there so I can see all of my notes.
Our table has become something much more than just a pretty piece of furniture. It now is a pretty piece of furniture that adds value to my space. You should be able to say that about your brand as well.
It is amazing how much you can learn about a person (or a brand) from the things that they cherish in their homes. What is your favorite item in your home? Why? After seeing how I broke my favorite thing down, what can you learn about your brand from yours?