Lindsey and I talked about how we’d like to brand her as a musician and it’s worth digesting the fundamental words we landed on, and where they’ve developed in sketches and brainstorming. Personal, Quality, Attractive, Versatile and Therapeutic.
As a harpist, particular events and gigs are going to be more natural than others. She explained that many of her clients are looking for weddings, funerals, and receptions (amongst many other kinds of events). Clients such as those are looking for someone they can trust since these events are often personal. There was our first word, something that we hoped to convey by keeping the branding intimate. This was also rather attached to the last word on our list which we swung around back to at the end of our conversation: many of her performances are for events that are for, or take place in spiritual and healing environments. A harpist can encourage a therapeutic setting, and it’s something she’s found she can capitalize on for recitals.
Quality, in many ways, goes without saying, but you might be surprised to know that a lot of a client’s impressions come from not just the appearance of a harpist, but the harp itself. Lindsey has affectionately named her harp Apollo, and the name fits; it’s a particularly handsome and high quality instrument in the field, and one might even characterize its appearance as divine. With the harp, of course, also comes the harpist. Another question she frequently receives is what she will be wearing. Many of the gigs she books expect the harpist to remain as atmosphere, and therefore, an attractiveness is an excellent trait to have. It goes without saying, seeing from her photos, that Lindsey is an attractive woman, but it’s also important to consider how to convey such a thing in her branding and materials. Photography will of course suffice to allay concerns from prospective clients, but a cleanliness and respectful color and spacing choices will also need to pair with the images to help package Ms. Warford as an appealing professional.
The final word we landed on was versatile, and it ties nicely into our outline for marketing. Harpists aren’t sought solely for religious events of course, and so keeping her brand flexible enough to cater to those audiences as well as those that might be seeking something more celebratory or corporate is important. It’s a testament to her character and skill that she has and is able to play at such a variety of events, and therefore we need to consider that in the design of her branding. One avenue we developed to do this is to consider how she would like to market herself. With such a wide range of events, we felt it was best to divide some of her many fantastic professionally shot photographs into three thematic categories with slight variation to copy and image in each. I’ll detail those later in compositions.
I mentioned before how Lindsey had already begun this project a while back ago, and it would be a grand idea to thread it together with Monthly Brand this month to help finalize it. I thought I would detail some of the ideas we have already developed, some of her feedback, and how we can take it to the next step.
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When we first began, Lindsey was merely looking for a business card. I wanted to deliver something for her that was indicative of her services, but also something that distinguished her. I started out using the black and magenta that she uses on her website, and introduced Bodoni as a typeface for a classic and stylish feel. At the time I was perhaps looking more to market her as young, rather than professional. Something I was intrigued by was her actual harp, as mentioned named Apollo. I found the style of the harp, and after she explained to me how harps take years to break in and mature into their tone, it’s important for any harpist what specific instrument they use. After all, even though a client will be very interested in the harpist and her abilities, the harp itself is not only the vessel of the sound, but a grand thing of beauty. I therefore thought it would be important to trace the harp in Illustrator so that I could use it as a fundamental graphic, in whatever way that would become.
Later, we developed something a bit more conservative, with less emphasis on style and more direction on her professionalism and Lindsey’s personal tastes. It’s certainly one thing for a person to be objective about a business they run, but if the business IS you (and Apollo), then it’s important to be pleased with the graphics that represent you. Lindsey proposed some changes and some suggestions on typeface. We’re in discussion about those now, but upon hunting for a slimmer sans serif that she is attracted to, it may alter the graphic quality of all the pieces. As always, this could end up being a good thing, but right now it’s important to find a balance and to get something on paper that is a pleasant solution.
Coming back at things with a fresh look, I began sketching, researching and brainstorming. A mind map has helped cull all the ideas together, but through it nothing struck me as clever solution for Lindsey’s branding, nor do I believe that clever is what we’re looking for. Perhaps the thing that I gathered most from that and thought on the matter, as well as drawings of letterforms L and W, was a kind of nurturing, cradling feel to a monogram that may help dictate some of the graphics we have ahead of us. That quality may or may not be fully integrated into the collateral and website etc, but it is a very good place to start and to sink our teeth into Mother Ship that is the branding for Lindsey Warford.
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As a last note, and no big surprise, things are going slower than expected, but mostly in the dictation of my process this month. Less posts, but longer posts. I realize that’s probably not good blogging, but it will have to do for the moment before Monthly Brand gets back on it’s regular scheduled programming.