In this article, Meg Harrop talks about what exactly a Brand Stylist is, how the work they do differs from that of other designers, and some of the reasons to hire one to work on your branding for you.
Your brand represents the heartbeat of your business. It tells the world who you are, what you do, and what products, services, and standards they can expect from you.
There is, of course, more to your brand than the visual elements, but everything works together, hand in hand to spark an emotional connection in your customer.
With your brand being such a complex thing, it’s important to work with the right person to help you bring it to life in visual form – a Brand Stylist.
A Brand Stylist is a Graphic Designer, but a Graphic Designer is not always a Brand Stylist. I know that just sounds like semantics, but there truly is a difference I promise!
A Graphic Designer may indeed be extremely talented at design itself and may be able to create a very attractive logo for you. However, something that looks good isn’t always what your business needs.
A Brand Stylist will root all of the visuals they create for you in strategy. They specialise in this complex process of building upon the foundation of your vision and values to create a brand system that has depth and meaning, and strikes the right chord with your audience.
A Brand Stylist will know what questions to ask you in order to tease out your brand story and vision. You will not need to have a fully formed picture of what you want your logo and branding to look like because there will usually be a discovery process where you look at your brand strategy together.
Your brand strategy just means outlining why you do what you do, why your customer should care, and how you want to make them feel with your brand amongst other things.
Often we are so close to our own businesses that it’s hard to know the correct direction to go in with your visuals, especially when you’re not a designer. Hiring a Brand Stylist takes all the guesswork out for you, they will be trained in creating designs that are emotive and compelling.
All of the research and discovery that is done first will inform the direction your visual branding should go in. It’s a problem solving exercise of matching up a brand style that represents you and what you do, but and also attracts the correct audience!
Each and every design decision that is made will have a reason behind it, from the exact tones and shades of colours, through to the fonts that combine beautifully together to give off the perfect vibe.
You know that branding is so much more than a logo and a colour palette. Your visual branding needs to be consistent across the board, from the graphics you post on social media, to product packaging and stationery, to the way your brand is represented on your website.
Things need to work together seamlessly and when you hire someone who isn’t well versed in creating a full system, you run the risk of having parts of your visual brand that jarr with others.
Customers will be able to tell when things don’t blend together well, and the result is a visual brand that feels amateur and unprofessional.
I hope I have helped you to understand the benefits of hiring a designer that is also a Brand Stylist to work on your branding for you.
It’s important to note here that some designers do indeed work through some strategy in the beginning, but don’t necessarily call themselves a Brand Stylist. It is of course up to each individual designer which terms they use to describe their work.
The easiest way to find out if the the work they’ll do will be strategic is just to ask. If you love a designers work and they don’t talk about their process on their website, reach out to them and ask politely if they could explain.
As long as there is some discovery and research done in the beginning, and the work you have seen details more than a logo and colour palette, then the designer should be able to deliver a fully formed, strategic brand design for you.
If you’re launching a new business or considering a rebrand you can see the details of my Signature Brand Design Service here.
Meg is a brand stylist and designer for small businesses. She’s passionate about helping people build their business dreams into a reality with intentional, thoughtfully crafted brand identities.
After working on branding with corporate clients, Meg longed for a more fulfilling way of life. She set up her design studio, Lemon & Birch, in 2016 to bring her branding design skills to the small business community.