Don't say I didn't warn you. No, I didn’t redesign the website…at least not since the last time but I did FINALLY decide on a logo I love. The new design can stand alone, and it fits perfectly with the beach image I love. It’s taken a lot of work, and been utterly frustrating at moments but I am so happy I listened to my gut on this one.
I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking things – like the font or the color red. Every time I thought I was done I would immediately think what if the font size isn't big enough; what if people can't read it, or worse...what if they don't like it. The truth is I am not going to be able to please everyone – and I know that – so why shouldn't I please myself? Branding is never that easy but maybe it should be.
Whether you're a small business owner, or a middle manager for a large corporation or an individual contractor, freelancer, or consultant, branding is all about defining your mission - including what the benefits are of working with you, and features of your services. That I can get on board with; what I have a hard time following is this belief that every small business must follow a rule book to the exact letter as everyone else.
Maybe, this is where the 14-year-old non-conformist teenage girl who is still deeply embedded in me takes over. To be frank, I think forcing businesses or individuals to do things that aren't authentic to who they are or what their business stands for is a waste of time and fake. Insincerity is something prospects and clients see a mile away - as my mom likes to say.
What does this all have to do with a new logo? Simple: I didn't force the brand to develop a logo before it was time. For me, I needed to live with the color palette, the image, and see where it took me. I’ve played with fonts the most. I believe branding is a living, breathing thing and it shouldn't be trapped inside a box because "that's the way we've always done things" or because someone somewhere in time decided I needed to complete A before moving on to B.
Here's a secret: I don't like being told what to do, or when to do it - especially if I know what needs to get done. In the case of the logo for Tabula Rasa, I wasn't going to force something I didn't feel just to check it off a list only to turn around six months later and redesign it. I knew all along the logo needed to be clean, fresh, and simple. So, why was I making it complicated?
I knew I wanted the beach image as part of the logo, and I knew I wanted a white background and the font to be red (white paper, red pen). Everything until now felt forced, and I don’t force solutions. In my experience, it’s a waste of time and creativity energy. So, I sat with the ideas spinning in my head, played with them on paper and online when time permitted. And then one day, BAM it all came together.
It’s not a complicated design but it fits our unique personality, and that’s what gives small businesses an edge over competitors. The truth is if someone likes you and what your brand stands for they’re going to do business with you – regardless of the number of followers you have on social media.
I knew my vision for Tabula Rasa – White Paper, Red Pen LLC would evolve over time but I don’t think I was prepared for it to progress so quickly in a short period of time. Still, I am a big believer that things happening for a reason. So, whatever the catalyst was for the logo to suddenly come together I am grateful and I know it arrived at the exact right time.