As a designer, branding and promoting yourself is just as important as promoting the work you create. There’s cutthroat competition out there, and you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd at first glance. You have to be able to clearly and quickly communicate what you do and catch people’s attention to make them want to know more. You’re basically selling yourself…in a professional manner. Designers create identities for themselves that represent their personal style and their work. These identities are translated into marketing tools, such as portfolio websites, in order to form a cohesive and memorable brand.
As a student, I’m currently in the process of discovering my own brand personality. It’s hard because I want to be as versatile as possible, but I need to showcase my strengths and focus in on what type of personality I want to portray. Many of my projects thus far are very colorful, friendly, and fun. I think that I want to create a portfolio website that is clean and simplistic to offset this and make the work stand out. When doing research, I came across a few examples of strong personal brands along the lines of what I envision for myself that I can pull inspiration from.
Jessica Hische has a very simple and clean portfolio website that showcases her work. She picked neutral tones and added a pop of color with the orange that makes little things stand out. I like that her logo is playing off of a bookmark because when you bookmark a spot, you want to remember it. The female silhouette inside is a nice personal touch that makes it memorable. It’s simple, yet it’s really clever.
Adams Creation is a small company specializing in “advertising design and media services,” which they make very clear at the top of their website. I enjoy the name-play of Adams Creation, like the Creation of Adam, whether that was intentional or not. As you scroll through the page, the navigation bar stays fixed at the top and the logo turns into a simple ” a’ ” icon. Again, I love the simplicity of that branding and that they always make sure you know who’s work you’re looking at.
And then there’s always the option of being very image based and letting the work speak for itself initially like on the Peachey Photography website. The photographs on this portfolio are what capture your attention. Then as you hover over them you notice they are links and you can click for more information or for galleries. I also like how this logo almost becomes a stamp, which can be really strong for branding because it could be on anything from packaging to business cards to the watermark on the photos. It’s clean, simple and versatile.
I’m not exactly sure yet what direction my personal branding will go in, but I know right now that I want it to be simple. I will probably experiment with a few different ideas before settling with the one I like best, as a designer should do. I think the hardest part for me will be sticking to the simplicity that I want and coming up with a successful logo and brand that can hopefully be timeless. Minimalism is sometimes more difficult, but when you find the right solution, it really works.