Building a Brand for Yourself in Graphic Design

Building a Brand for Yourself in Graphic Design

Graphic designers spend a lot of time working on projects where the aim is to enhance the client’s brand. This could be through a new logo, website or set of business cards which strive to create a better image for the customer and, hopefully, increase their business.

But do you really spend enough time working on your own brand? Sure, some of you may wince at the thought of equating your free spirited and creative endeavours with a corporate brand, but if you’re working professionally then, believe me, you’re a brand!

The fact is that you’re probably not concentrating on your brand as much as you should be, so it’s certainly an area that needs paying attention to in order to maximize your appeal to clients.

Let’s take a look at how you can brand yourself for the 21st century!

Getting Branded

A successful brand is one that immediately conjures up an emotion or a set of ideals e.g. Nike immediately brings together ideas of success due to the number of successful sports stars who advertise their products.

This nifty piece of marketing is exactly what you need to get to work on to establish your brand identity. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How do you want your style to be described by people
  • How do you want people to describe the process of working with you

The answers to these questions will be unique to every single graphic designer and will form their brand values.

It’s these brand values that you need to weave into every aspect of your work to achieve that instant recognition a brand delivers. And never ever ever forget what your brand values are as the moment they start to slip, so will your success.

Produce Amazing Work

This may sound pretty simple, but many designers fail to follow through on their brand’s promise of amazing design work.

The quality of your designs will be the bedrock of your brand and your brand values, so you need to knuckle down and work really hard to establish those values with work which makes people’s mouths water. And once you’ve mastered this you need to keep on doing it time and time again.

It will feel like a struggle at times to constantly hit those highs, but successful brands demand this type of investment, so never take a shortcut or it will reflect badly on your brand.

Stamp Your Authority on the Market

We all need a bit of reassurance when working with someone new – especially when coinage is changing hands – so proving that you’re an authority in your niche can help your brand curl a reassuring arm round potential clients.

The internet, of course, is where authority is defined in this day and age; the most popular adage you’ll hear slipping out of any online marketer’s mouthpiece is that CONTENT IS KING!

And what this means is that you need to showcase your talent and knowledge by generating new content online. Working in the world of graphic design you’ll, obviously, want to display your designs, but you can’t just rely on visuals to wow clients. You need to go into the theory behind them, so run case studies where you discuss the whole story behind your designs.

By driving this content hard on social media, your own website and online galleries you’ll find that other people begin to link to you. And when this happens you’ll find that your brand becomes more trusted and recognised.

Go the Extra Mile

It may sound like a well-worn cliché, but going the extra mile for your clients really does help you build a solid, reliable brand.

There are plenty of graphic designers out there who meet their clients’ expectations, but the truly successful graphic designers are those who exceed their clients’ expectations. After all, humans love to feel special.

And you don’t have to stoop to ridiculous stunts such as sending flowers to first time clients! In fact, it’s the little things that tend to give the best impression such as keeping clients updated with samples, letting them know of any errors and how you’re planning to rectify them and, finally, thanking them for their business.

This approach allows you to give a personal edge to your brand which people will want to come back to time and time again.

Building a successful brand as a graphic designer certainly isn’t the easiest task you’ll ever take on and it’s a long term position. However, when you start to capitalise and deliver on your brand’s values you’ll find that clients become easier to find and forming relationships with them is less of a struggle.



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