NEW WORK: FISCHER FAMILY FARM BRANDING

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WHO THEY ARE + REASON FOR THE REBRAND
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Sadie and Andy of Fischer Family Farm are a husband and wife duo who own and operate a small family farm in Wisconsin. When Sadie contacted me, they were unhappy with their current branding and were in need of a big change. They were at a crucial turning point in their business: They had recently changed their business name (formerly known as Lonely Oak Farms, a common name which was shared by several other farms in Wisconsin!), and they needed to differentiate themselves amongst the many up-and-coming farms that were popping up all over Wisconsin. Being an established business for 7+ years, they have developed a host of loyal customers, including supplying meat to seven local restaurants, and they needed a strong new brand design that would communicate the strengths of their farm and preserve the trust of their customers.

Their mission is simple: provide honest, quality, locally- and ethically-raised meats to their community, as well as a direct connection between the farmer and the consumer by telling the story behind the food. They pride themselves on integrity and transparency, which honors their farming history and allows them to pass down their values to the next generation, ensuring that things are left better for those yet to come.   

So, with the name change and desire to continue serving their community with the same unique service and products, a quality well-crafted rebrand was crucial to the success of their business.

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TARGET AUDIENCE
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FFF serves a wide demographic, ranging from the ethically-conscious restaurant who values close relationships with their food sources, to home chefs learning to craft quality recipes; From young, health-conscious parents to the young millennial passionate about health and social responsibility; From curious novices trying this lifestyle for the first time, to elderly folks who desire to eat the same quality of food they grew up with. 

The FFF customer delights in supporting local farmer’s markets and local farmers, they value shopping small, care about where their food comes from, and eat organic whenever possible. Overall, they genuinely value the story behind their food, and they appreciate the hard-working farmers who provide it.


BEHIND THE DESIGN
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One of the driving forces behind the farm is that it is run by a small, hard-working family, so the goal was to showcase FFF as an established, trustworthy business that has heart and integrity, while giving a nod to the history of pure, wholistic farming practices. The new brand design needed to visually communicate their farming roots, as well as their commitment to honesty and connection.

As far as hierarchy, it was important that "Fischer" was supreme, with the supporting text nestled below. Also, the design needed to feel new and fresh, yet still grounded in order to keep it from feeling too modern to progressive. Therefore, the vintage-style typography and supporting elements help communicate authenticity and a sense that it's been around for a long time. The main colors are black and white, which communicates simplicity and timelessness. I also added in bits of a cheerful, sunny yellow shade that is dispersed in small ways throughout the various designed pieces, to communicate feelings of warmth and friendliness.

In addition to the primary and alternate logos, I designed two submarks: a badge and a monogram. The badge is a nice, circular design that can be used anywhere as a supporting element (social media, packaging, etc.), and the brand (the FFF monogram) is intended to feel more like a well-designed cattle brand.


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PROJECT SCOPE SO FAR
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I love taking branding elements and carrying them through all kinds of different collateral, packaging, and mediums. So far, here's what we've accomplished:

• Logo collection: primary & alternate logos and submarks
• Egg carton stamp
• Egg carton sticker labels
• "Good Morning Beautiful" hand-lettered stamp

This was such a fun project to work on, and I've loved seeing how they are already using their logo in their social media and website. You can check out behind-the-scenes pics of their life on the farm here. 


Interested in developing a beautiful and holistic brand identity design of your own?  


REFLECTIONS: A LOOK BACK ON 2016-2017

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If you're on the internet at all, you're probably seeing a lot of talk about resolutions for starting strong in the new year. In my corner of the web and in my inbox, I've received a whirlwind of goal-setting tips, webinars, blog posts, and challenges to reflect on the past year in business, and I'm always inspired by them!

I'll be honest though - I'm not really good at setting goals. I love the idea of being a Type-A person, super organized, having a spreadsheet and a process for everything, setting "big dream" goals and achieving them, but operating out of this type of mindset just takes a lot more work for me than your typical "go-getter" entrepreneur. 

I'm a simple gal. I'm not looking to build an empire or grow an epic power team. I just want to run a sustainable business that brings in the income we need, serves my clients' needs, and fulfills me creatively. But even on this small scale, I realize I could definitely grow in organization, goal-setting, marketing, and time management (to name a few) and that doing these things will help me run the sustainable business I desire. 

With that said, I figured before I set any goals, it might be a good exercise to first look back and reflect on this last 1.5 years of full-time business and review some highlights - both big wins and things that need to change - and celebrate how far this little business of mine has come.

A Look Back at 2016-2017

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  • Taken on a slew of freelance design projects like custom event and wedding stationery, hand painted signs, Etsy shop products, publication design, music album cover design, event branding - all which have all helped my business hit the ground running as soon as I quit my day job to run RDD full-time in June 2016. So very thankful for all of these opportunities.
     
  • Completed 9 big branding projects for some pretty stellar clients 

  • Realized my Etsy shop / wholesale / product-making days are over (for the most part), as my business has organically taken a focus on Brand Design, allowing me to start exploring a more specific clientele and not be all over the place with my offerings.
     
  • Participated in several styled wedding shoots with some amazing vendors in the D.C./Virginia wedding industry at places like Republic Restoratives Distillery, George Washington's River Farm, and the National Mall. 
     
  • Have also been exploring the idea of letting go of my wedding stationery design offerings in order to be more one-track focused with by branding services, which I've grown to absolutely love more and more with each branding client.
     
  • Implemented the One Logo Concept Solution with my branding clients in 2017. This changed my life and my business, and I'll never go back!
     
  • Designed an Egg Stamp that caught the attention of a lovely past client, which spurred on 3 additional branding projects that have propelled my business to the next level, and I'm forever grateful for her!
     
  • Tightened up my Client Process to include a defined Brand Strategy in the logo design process, which has helped tremendously in building trust with clients, setting expectations, and has made me a better designer.
     
  • Quit Social Media in September 2017 for a month, which has turned into 4 months and still going strong to this day. Have enjoyed less noise and distraction and more clarity and "present-ness" from this break.
     
  • Finally invested in Adobe Creative Cloud like a good designer should (I was formerly working in CS4 all these years, can you believe it?). LIFE CHANGER.
     
  • Continued designing and posting free printable resources and art, which has helped drive more traffic to my website and bless others. (Though I know I'm a bit behind on this, I owe you like 5 months worth of monthly wallpapers!)
     
  • Attended a few networking events (Rising Tide Tuesdays Together meet-ups and another D.C. Entrepreneur Group) which have been a fun source of education and networking with other business owners.
     
  • Found an abundance of free online education resources like Spruce Rd. Design, Elle and Company, With Grace and Gold, Shanna Skidmore, Creative Empire Podcast, Rowanmade, Melissa Yeager, Being Boss, and Paul Jarvis (to name just a few!) which I'm forever indebted to and grateful for in helping grow my business and inspire me.


I'll be honest, this exercise was really good for me! It's easy to get discouraged as I see all the things I need to be doing, all the goals I have yet to accomplish, and the progress I wish I had made. But reflecting back and remembering all the great things I've been able to do in my business was really encouraging, and I'm reminded I've had some pretty sweet opportunities I've been a part of. I've grown a TON, learned a lot, and worked with some amazing people around the USA.  As always, the Lord provides. So, thanks for your ongoing support and interest in this business of mine. I'm excited to see what 2018 holds.

I encourage you to make a similar list - What were some of your biggest wins from the last year? 

(Photo source here.)


WHY I'M TAKING A MONTH-LONG SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK

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Starting Saturday, Sept. 16th, I'm taking a break from Instagram and Facebook, and I wanted to briefly share why I'm giving myself this challenge. I recently listened to a couple podcasts by a pastor/author who I highly respect, and I was challenged by his commendation to think more intentionally about how we use our phones. I won't dive into the details here (you can listen his two-part series here: Part 1 and Part 2), but he basically lays out several reasons why we default to our phones: We have these cravings inside us for what's new. What's pretty. What's entertaining. What feeds our egos. And we want an avenue that allows us to avoid responsibility, hardship, and boredom. BUT, he says, there's a better way to spend our time and much better things to set our minds on. (You just gotta listen to the podcast for yourself. It's such good stuff.)

AN HONEST ASSESSMENT & FIGHTING FOR BETTER THINGS 
I realized it's time I take an honest assessment on how much time I spend on my phone - social media, specifically - and the possible implications of giving in to the constant pull to entertainment, mindless scrolling, watching other peoples' lives through their social feeds, spiraling in and out of discontentment and comparison, checking my followers, likes, and mentions, and always defaulting to my screen rather than other things that are much more real than the virtual world I can so easily get sucked into. 

Our phones are amazing and so incredibly useful and helpful, and even social media has it's place and many wonderful qualities of it's own. But it's way too easy to cross the line between letting my phone work for me and letting my phone rule me. It's a lifelong fight for balance that will probably only get more difficult to manage as time goes on in this fast-paced, high tech world, so sometimes I just have to put limits on myself and form new and better habits, in order to fight for the better things: being more present, thinking of others more than myself, and directing my worship and affections towards the good God who made me rather than the superficial, passing things of this world.

DON'T GET ME WRONG
I don't write this post to toot my own horn and make you think, "Wow, Rebekah really has it all together! How disciplined and mature she is! How noble!" NOPE. Neither do I write it to preach at you and make you think you should do the same. We are all in different places and struggle with different temptations, and this is one of mine. On the contrary, I know that sharing this exposes my own weakness, selfishness, pride, and self-centeredness, but also in hopes that by forcing limits on my life, the Lord will use it to change me and make me a person who loves Him more and loves other people more than myself. And I write in hopes to encourage and challenge anyone else that finds yourself in the same boat as me.

BUSINESS AS USUAL
I'll still be blogging a bit, sending my email newsletters, and doing good work for my lovely clients. I mean, I still have a business to run. Just no Instagram and no Facebook. And I believe it can be done. After all, for a looooong time, people have been running successful businesses without it. 

SOME GOALS I'M HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH  (In no particular order)
I made a list of reasons why I believe this will be good for me, as well as some things I'd like to accomplish. I'm not setting any hard and fast rules, and I don't expect this to fix all my problems. But I do want to work on training my mind, my default habits, and my affections to reach for and desire better things. And for me, cutting out some of the distractions - like Instagram and Facebook - is a fine place to start. 

  • Get more work done by reducing distractions throughout the day

  • Read more actual books - like real pages that are filled with wonderful stories and truths

  • Reduce the amount of mindless noise around me

  • Remove the temptation to aimlessly browse

  • Give myself the opportunity to think and just "be" in moments where I would normally run to my phone for a quick fix of entertainment

  • Force myself to find other creative ways to market my business, and prove that a social media feed is NOT the end-all-be-all to success. I really believe I don't "need" it as much as I think.

  • Find inspiration, creativity, and ideas in new ways, rather than on a screen

  • Be more present with my husband by spending less time looking at my phone

  • Be a better friend. Not just a friend who "likes" and comments on your posts, but who actually shows up. Calls you. Loves you. In real life.

  • Fight the comparison game and choose to be more content with who I am, where I'm at, and the life God has graciously given me

  • Remove unnecessary anger and despair from my mind. More often than not, I leave my social media feeds feeling angry, frustrated, discouraged, and critical of others and the world. I don't want to live that way. 

  • Fill my mind more with God's Truth and words that matter, rather than the plethora of varying opinions around me. There's a lot of noise out there with all kinds of "wisdom", advice, and worldviews that are straight up tainted with human error and faulty opinion. I need to fill my mind more with what's true, honorable, and right, so that I can identify and call out faulty logic and error when I see it. I need wisdom!

  • Set up my mornings to be refreshing, edifying, slow, and not wasteful.

  • Fight the need for an "escape" from responsibility. Put that dang phone down and do the laundry. Plan good, healthy meals. Meditate on God's Word. Organize those receipts. Put those boxes away, finally. Stay on task. Be productive. Follow through. Hug my husband. Love my neighbors.

I imagine this list could go on forever, but let's just start here. If you'd like to join the challenge with me, by all means, come 'on. Feel free to leave a comment on how you'll spend these next 30 days. 


Ok, bye Social Media. See ya on the flip side.


NEW WORK: SARAH LINDEN PHOTOGRAPHY BRANDING

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My sister Sarah is a woman of many talents, and photography happens to be one of them. After dabbling in food photography for a couple years before she had her first child back in Spring 2016, she took a break to refocus a bit. As many great businesses are birthed out of the necessity to fit specific needs and lifestyle of the business owner, Sarah is no different. She started taking portraits of her son, her friends' kids, and families in her neighborhood, and it wasn't long until a business plan was formed. Since launching Sarah Linden Photography just a few months ago when she found that their was a need for quality portrait photographers in her neighborhood, Sarah has had a booked schedule and has worked hard to develop her craft by workshops, hard work, and practice. With all of this momentum, she and I talked about her need for strong branding to really set her apart and give her big impact in her corner of the world. 

In this post, I wanted to share the design process, as well as the final logo collection, simple website design, and beautiful stationery (photographed by Sarah, of course). 

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BEHIND THE DESIGN
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Sarah's target market is moms and young families in an affluent North Texas neighborhood. Though she lives in the suburbs, the location is a bit out in the country compared to much of the Dallas area. Think big stretches of land, lots of trees and foliage, and beautiful big homes. Her clientele are typically young moms between the age of 25-40 who value high quality living, beautiful things, their families and children, and capturing memories in a beautiful, lasting way. Sarah wanted a brand identity that appealed to the stylish, young mom with simple type, a bit of whimsy, and a minimalist, clean approach. We chose a color palette of soft, undersaturated pink, paired with charcoal and white. I used a script font and customized it to create a more custom look with playful letterforms interacting with one another. For the typography on the stationery, we chose a clean, serif font with a bit of whimsy and movement for a softer, feminine appeal.

The whole package included the logo collection (main logo, alternate logo, monogram, and badge), social media icons, a simple Squarespace website, a tagline, and stationery (business card and thank you card/envelope set).

I love the final result - it is all so simple and feminine and feels timeless rather than trendy. Which is totally what Sarah is all about - class, timelessness, natural beauty, real life, clean lines, and simplicity in her photography approach and her beautiful work. I really believe we accomplished all of that in her branding, providing a beautiful supplement to her amazing photos, her personality, and her business.


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Be sure to go check out Sarah's beautiful work on her various online homes, and if you're in the Dallas, Texas area, specifically Lantana/Flower Mound/Highland Village, hit her up for your next portrait session. She is booking fast for the Fall, and you don't want to miss your opportunity. Go grab a spot! You will absolutely LOVE her. 

Sarah's Website / Facebook / Instagram


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Interested in creating a brand of your own? Send me a message, and let's get the conversation going. 


FREE AUGUST DESKTOP WALLPAPER

Happy August, everyone! I know, I skipped July... sorry for those of you waiting for the July download. But these days are going by so FAST. However, after a busy month of moving and house projects, I'm back in the swing with your monthly desktop wallpaper. August's wallpaper is filled with purpley, mauvey goodness with hints of ocean surf and whimsical texture, and it's ready for download RIGHT. NOW. Enjoy... and share with your friends!

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  1. Open the file in your browser.
  2. Save to your computer.
  3. In System Preferences (Mac), select "Desktop" (on a PC, select Windows Icon > Settings > Personalization > Background)
  4. Find the downloaded image on your computer, select it, and make sure to select "Full Screen".
  5. Image should immediately appear on your desktop.

BONUS DOWNLOAD!
If you're on Instagram and you like to separate your photo feed by month, here's a version of the background that you can upload. Make sure to tag #rebekahdischdesign or @rebekahdischdesign so I can see your feed! 

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