Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FINDING MY BRAND (With A Little Help From My Friends)

This week, Penny Sansevieri, author of Red Hot Internet Publicity had a great post on author branding.

Branding is something I've thought a lot about in the last year. I'd like to think I'm making some progress from the days of "designing" my own website, printing out my own bookmarks, and changing my blog template on a regular basis.

One of the areas that Penny emphasizes it that of Consistent Marketing Materials.

Thanks to the fantabulous Nathan Clement (graphic designer, author, picture book illustrator) for help in this department!

Here are a few of the items he designed for me.

Nathan and I began with the "center of the universe" as Penny calls it - a website that reflects my style.  And since I'm a history writer who tends to wax a wee bit nostalgic, I went for the old fashioned photo album look. I knew I wanted some movement on the home page so Nathan came up with the signature that writes before your eyes.

When we moved on to the bookmark, Nathan incorporated the signature into it as well.  I like that!

If you read Blue and its sequel, Comfort, you know that wisteria is a symbol in both novels. I love how, on my website, Nathan included a sprig of it in a blue bottle (also a symbol from the books).  He incorporated a stylized version of the wisteria vine on the website and as an overlay on the postcard below.

For Healing Water, Nathan used the same floral overlay technique as on the postcard for Blue and Comfort.With hibiscus, of course!

Of course I also wanted this blog header to connect to the look of my website and other materials. The incredibly savvy photographer, Johnna Brynn offerred to do that in exchange for publicity I gave to one of her projects.  Nathan sent her a screen shot of the webdesign and Johnna adapted it.  I love what she did with it!

My next project is a bookplate and maybe a brand new business card too.  Because after all, I'm still using one that I designed.  Penny Sansevieri would not be impressed!


  1. Everything looks wonderful--these guys do great work!

  2. Becky, I am so glad for all the other folks out there who have talent that I don't!

  3. Joyce - The design looks great. I don't know if you knew this, but I was a brand strategist for a major corporation. And now that I've retired and write and optimize websites, I could tell you a thing or two to increase your Google rankings. For example, do not let the first line of your site say "welcome." That has no search engine value. Take a look at my site - it is a work in progress.

  4. Thanks, Barbara for the advice. Hmmmm now for updating the website. I'll have to come up with a strategy!

    I get what you're saying about the welcome. I assume google picks up on words that follow Welcome. I know it does't read graphics so my name probably doesn't pick up.

    But I did a lot of behind the scenes SEO so I think that's working for me. I hope so!

    Your site looks fab. So I take it you know html? I lose my way amid all that code very quickly.

  5. I read the article on branding that you recently tweeted and really enjoyed it. One line quoted "“If you don’t know what road you’re on, any path will do.”

    Kudos to you for finding a path with purpose and becoming consistent in your branding!!! I know it took a concentrated and committed effort. Thanks for letting us learn alongside you.