BRANDING THAT STRIKES THE RIGHT CHORD
As a seasoned marketing professional I understand that branding encompasses a variety of design elements. These elements include iconography, imagery, color palette, typography, voice, tone and sometimes... music (more about music later). Strong branding considers the products and services offered by the business when developing all of these elements. They are then presented in unison and harmony – musically speaking, a chord. And, in that, I give you the genesis of my own brand.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. My paternal grandmother was a gifted musician, my paternal grandfather played the banjo and drums (my maiden name translates into "little drum" in Polish). My father's sister played the accordion and I, now, deeply regret not taking the lessons she offered. So it's no surprise to me that I felt compelled to play the guitar. But, because my mom enrolled me in a number of dance classes, guitar lessons were out of the question. So at age 11, I "borrowed" my eldest brother's guitar and Mel Bay book and started to teach myself to strum chords. I've been strumming chords ever since.
Though, make no mistake, I am NOT a guitar player. I do play everyday, including the past 15 years working in a corporate office. I take my "lunch" hour to FEED MY SOUL. Ah! Weather permitting, I would sit outside or walk around the parking lot and play. During the winters, I played as quietly as possible in our Marketing storage room. But, was so truly grateful to find that many of my co-workers enjoyed listening to me play and sing. And, humbled when they communicated to me that it would be fine with them if I was louder.
Hence the name "strumma girl" but I'm not so young anymore so I went with strumma~grl. Being raised in Massachusetts, I have a thick Bostonian accent, so YES, "strumma"; NO, not strummer. And use of the "tilde" – and not a dash or space – is intentional, of course. It's a diacritical mark in the shape of a wave! How could I resist?! Diacritical marks are used to distinguish a character from another of similar form. And, that IS what branding is all about.
The image I use for my logo is a photo of me performing at my younger brother's girlfriend's college graduation party. Had to get one of those in... you know, the classic "my so-and-so's, so-and-so's what-chama-call-it! My son applied color scheme and variety of filters to it in an elementary school Photoshop class. His favorite color is purple, mine is blue and one of his grandfathers was red. It totally works for my brand as such I only tweaked the shades.
If you're still reading, I'll explain to you why this was exactly the right palette for strumma~grl designs. Purple signifies the imaginative creative spirit coupled with a sense of curiosity, independence, dignity and grace. I may not embody these qualities but, I do strive to each and every day. This is why the representation of me in the logo is lilac. The specific shade was my maternal grandmother's favorite color. She remains my hero and biggest fan.
The guitar or "tool" in the logo is blue. Blue is associated with authoritative competence... or confidence without aggression. This color communicates trust, sincerity and dependability; in addition it promotes productivity and mental clarity. I have dedicated myself to developing skills in using design tools and theory. It is always my goal to logically utilize all design tools, learned theory and skills at my disposal to create informed branding.
Last but not least, the burgundy background or foundation. Creativity has been my "passion" for as long as I can remember. I have a deep-seated need to create; as such, I allow creative energies to flow through me in all forms... music, dance, design, prose and poetry. Burgundy gives the power of red a note of seriousness and sophistication. The energy of this color is highly ambitious, projects strength and abundance but, it is moderated and restrained.
I approach all branding endeavors with the same dogged attention to detail as I did when developing my own brand. I have explained here the imagery and color palette used but haven't addressed the typography, tag line or layout. They, too, are quite intentional with purpose and I may expound on them in the future. If you played the animated graphic of my logo, do keep in mind that I said I was in NO way – a guitar player. I'm simply a strumma~grl.