Let’s Do This

Let's Do This Hand Lettered Art Print

I’m back from my blog break and I want to start the new year with total honestly. A few months ago I realized that I was in a rut. I was feeling like I didn’t get enough accomplished during the year. I had too many ideas and didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in or where I should put my time and energy. I have always felt confident in my design work but I was feeling a little lost managing everything. 

I didn’t feel like I was reaching my ideal clients and I was getting worried that my site wasn’t portraying my services the best way possible. I was posting quality content to my blog but it somehow felt random and focused on the short-term. I decided that I needed help, I didn’t want to feel lost in my own business anymore.

That is where Ashley of Your Super Awesome Life came in! I told Ashley my concerns and she had me fill out a business assessment. Once I answered some questions on paper, we had a Skype session where we talked through what was working and what was not and what I really wanted for my blog and business.

I was actually a little surprised at how well she communicated and understood what I was going after even though she isn’t an insider to my business or blog. I felt totally comfortable talking to her and suddenly everything that was spinning in my head made sense again.

At the end of our first session Ashley helped me to come up with an action plan that covered the main points we discussed and mapped out all of the steps to begin making my goals a reality. We wanted to get really clear on what I wanted my business to look like moving forward. All of my goals suddenly seemed so attainable.

  • After our first session, I updated my services page, I still have some work to do here, but I think it’s a much more clear representation of the design services I offer. I’m currently taking on clients so feel free to reach out!
  • I created an end of the year reader survey to find out what y’all want to see more of here on the blog in 2014! If you haven’t taken it yet, the survey is still open. Until I take some time to review all of the responses, I’m going to take it slow and post content here very intentionally.
  • I’m also starting to reach out to blogs to guest post on, so let me now if you are looking for some guest contributors in 2014!

A few weeks later we had a follow-up call to make sure I was on track. I still have a lot of work to do to accomplish the actions we came up with but I feel like I’m back on the right path! It wasn’t easy for me to reach out for help but this year I really want to take my business to the next level and after Ashley’s sessions I’m ready and confident to take on 2014, so let’s do this!

2014 Let’s Do This art print available for sale on Etsy.

Sprucing Up Your Branding

With 2013 coming to a close, you may want a fresh start for the new year, one with new ideas, new goals and new looks – including a spruced up look for your brand. An updated look for your business can give you the new beginning you are looking for in 2014, but rebranding (even when you don’t have a huge following) can be a lot of work.

Sprucing Up Your Branding Worksheet

Before you invest on a new logo, website, web copy, professional photos and business cards and set up meetings with designers and copywriters and photographers, take a moment to ask yourself these few questions and write your answers on this worksheet I created for you.

1. Why do I want to rebrand?

A fun new logo is always exciting, but ask yourself why you want to rebrand. Are you adding new offerings? Are you trying to reach a different target market that your brand doesn’t appeal to right now? Or do you just need a freshened up look?

Knowing why you want to rebrand is one of the most important things about the rebranding process. Knowing the goals you have set up for your new look will help your designers and developers with their job, and you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for in your redesign.

2. Is my customer changing?

If you’re doing a rebrand because your customer is changing, you’ll want to do a profile on who your new customer is going to be. Get to know everything you can about your new customer so you can direct your rebranding efforts specifically to them.

For example, if you’re a photographer who has mainly worked with babies and seniors in the past and you want to rebrand to target brides specifically, you’ll want to find out everything you can about your new ideal customer – what types of photos she likes best, what blogs she reads, where she finds most of her wedding inspiration. When you know all of the specific details about your ideal customer, you’ll know exactly how to talk to her, how to form packages around her wants and where to market your rebranded business.

3. What do I want my new look to say about my brand?

Having a clear idea of what you want your look to say about your brand will always help your designer when you’re getting the branding process started. Having a few examples of brands you admire can help your designer and developers envision the direction you want your look to go.

One way to paint a clearer image of what you want your brand to portray is to start a pinterest board full of brand inspiration. Include pins of colors, patterns and styles that inspire you in your brand, along with images of your ideal customer. This will give you a reference point for all of the design and branding decisions you make in the rebrand process and also comes in handy when making branding decisions down the road.

THE WORKSHEET

Download the Questions For Rebranding Worksheet to write your answers out!

Asking these questions about your new brand image are important in creating a brand that lasts – the more you know about where you want to go in the future will help you with your rebrand right now.  And if you’re all ready to start the rebranding process, make sure you check out Ciera’s great packages – check them out here.

Are you thinking about a new look for 2013? Share how you want to update your brand in the new year!

Stately Type – Hand-lettered US Map Prints & T-shirts

Kickstarter really has some amazing stuff y’all! I recently came across Stately Type, a project by graphic designer David Lesue. It’s basically two things: first, it’s a big 20″x 16″ letterpressed map of the United States where David hand-lettered the name of each state within the distinctive form of its boundaries.

Stately-Type-Hand-Lettered-US-Map-Letterpress

Second, it’s 50 individually designed hand-lettered t-shirts—one for each state in the union. David designed each one to reflect the identity of the state it represents—matching the shirt color and graphic color to each state’s personality.

Stately-Type-Hand-Lettered-US-Map-Shirts

The inspiration for this project came from my love of hand-lettered type and my fascination with the iconic shapes of state boundaries. By combining those two elements, I’ve come up with something that looks stunning—maps of the individual states and of the US as a whole that feel very personal, distinctive, and hand-crafted. -David Lesue

 Stately-Type-Hand-Lettered-US-Map-Tote

David has actually reached his goal but if you like this project as much as I do, head over to his Kickstarter page to support it, he has lots of amazing rewards for those who back his project!

Stately-Type-Hand-Lettered-US-Map-Web

 

There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For

Even though Thanksgiving is only one day out of the month, November always gets me thinking about everything I am thankful for. I like to slow down, appreciate the small things and the wonderful people in my life. I’m thankful for having a creative career and being able to do what I love, my boyfriend of eight years, family, friends, the blogging community and for you guys, my readers! Remember, there is always something to be thankful for and I hope this design can be a little reminder for you this month!

These new designs are available for download over on WhimseyBox’s blog! Hope you enjoy November’s design for your devices!

There Is Always Something To Be Thankful Quote Over Park Photograph

Photo by Allison Lehman.

Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!

Party Animal Streetcar Invitation and Decor

Back in March I designed this invitation for little Cameron’s first birthday party. The party was really just for the adults and they requested a New Orleans theme with a kiddie twist. Below are how the invites turned out and Coco Photo Nola‘s photos from the event, it turned out SO cute, I can’t get over it! And this design is now for sale in my Etsy shop!

Childrens Birthday Party - Streetcar Invitation by CieraDesign.com

Birthday Party Animal Streetcar Invitation by CieraDesign.com

Aninal Themed Birthday Party Table Decor

Aninal Themed Birthday Party Cupcakes

Aninal Themed Birthday Party Zebra Balloon

Party Animal Streetcar Cake

Aninal Themed Birthday Food Spread

Aninal Themed Birthday Party Monkey Cake

Aninal Themed Childtens Birthday Party

Party Animals on a Streetcar Cake

Aninal Themed Birthday Party

Event Coordination: NOLA Partyology / Event Photographer: Coco Photo Nola / Venue: Sobou

Shop party animal decor:

 

The animals were illustrated by someone else, I illustrated the streetcar and designed the overall invite.