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!

August-desktop-wallpaper-free

wallpaper tips.jpg
  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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FREE PRINTABLE WEEKLY & MONTHLY PLANNERS

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Years ago, a friend introduced me to some printable planners she found online that helped with business planning and organization. I loved the idea of printing a new, fresh calendar each week and being able to write down - to the day - what things I need to accomplish and what goals I want to set. So, I tried them out and was instantly hooked. Now, of course, this isn't a replacement for the amazing digital GoogleCalendar (can't live without that one!), but for me, these printable calendars are a great supplement for the day-to-day business tasks. After my first few weeks of using this planner, I found that I wanted to adjust it for my specific needs and preferences, and alas my own monthly and weekly planner printable was born. 

Now, these are not super fancy or complicated, and I am definitely not reinventing the wheel (just search "planner printables" on Pinterest, and you'll see....it's insane). But for me, this particular design that I've redeveloped and edited over the years has really worked for me, and I still love it and still use it to this day, and after all these years am finally offering it as a free printable for you too. Here's what you get:

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1. MONTHLY PLANNER

This calendar gives you a month-at-a-glance, where you can jot down all of the necessary items week-by-week. There's a section for main events and deadlines for the month, a place for specific goals, and notes sections for personal and business. 
 

2. WEEKLY PLANNER

The weekly calendar breaks down the monthly calendar into a week-at-a-time that gives you room to organize your to do list by the day in two sections: business and personal. The calendar also includes a section for noting key events or deadlines that week to keep in mind. And of course, there's also room for extra personal and business notes.

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I hope you give it a try and that you find it helpful to organize your days, and that in the end, it will free you up to focus on what matters because you've planned well and are staying on track. Feel free to leave a comment or post on Instagram how it's working for you. Enjoy!


NEW WORK: GAVIN FARMS BRANDING

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Jenni and I go way back... well, back to about 1.5 years ago when she first emailed me to inquire about designing invitations for her Fall 2016 wedding. She found my Farmer's Market invitation suite on Pinterest and hired me to customize it for her big day. After working with her for several months and wrapping up all of the wedding stationery, she approached me about their next big adventure involving her, her husband Jim, and his brother Matt: branding for their family-owned farm. 

Jenni and Jim are newlyweds living in the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. Jenni is a crop insurance associate, and Jim and his brother Matt are fourth generation auctioneers and real estate agents, specializing in rural and farm properties. So, if anyone knows about farming, agriculture, and working the land, it's these guys. Their love for agriculture, crops, animals, and their community runs deep, so putting more time and love into Gavin Farms is just an extension of who they are and what they are passionate about. And these Gavins are smart business owners who know that really good branding would be an essential part in helping their farm flourish.

From the moment of our initial conversation about their mission, personal style, passion for agriculture, short-term and long-term plans for the farm, and the impact they desire to have in their community, I was stoked to be able to brand a business that I am completely on board with and would personally support if I lived in their community. I have genuinely loved this whole process and am so happy they now have a beautiful visual identity and brand strategy to help them start strong and really shine as the established, stand-out folks that they are.

Jim and Jenni, you guys are awesome! Thank you for entrusting me with your branding and the JOY it has been working with you two. I am excited to see Gavin Farms grow and the impact you guys will make on your community!

If you want to follow along with Gavin Farms' adventures in farming, cattle-raising, chicken-wrangling, veggie-growing adventures, find them on Instagram here. Be prepared for some seriously beautiful inspiration (and possibly the sudden desire to move to Wisconsin asap).


BEHIND THE BRAND
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In this post, I want to dive into the brains behind the branding and show you more of my process that involves not only nicely crafted final logos, but also an entire branding strategy I put together for them that includes our project goals, a mission statement, target market identification, mood board, final collateral, and more. Keep scrolling to read about my process.


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PROJECT GOAL
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The ultimate goal was to develop a strong logo collection and brand elements that represent Gavin Farms as an established, trustworthy family business and that visually communicates their mission to provide quality, fresh, locally-raised products to their immediate community. Gavin Farms has a unique opportunity to be an influential, stand-out force in their town, and we needed to create a brand identity that grounds them as reputable, trustworthy, and a much needed resource for the community.


KEYWORDS, DESIGN ELEMENTS, & COLOR EXPLORATION
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Part of the branding strategy was to establish a list of keywords and phrases with Jenni and Jim. This, along with the visual mood board, helps me stay focused on the goal and helps keep every design element in line with the overall vision. Based on this content, I was able to develop a list of possible design elements and color combinations. Some initial design elements I knew I wanted to explore were: hints of vintage lettering, sans serif/hand-written font combo, clean/monoline shamrock OR hand-drawn/etched shamrock (the Gavins are Irish, so including this symbol was a must!), circular stamp-like layout, neutral palette + muted green. 


Gavin Farms Mood Board

MOOD BOARD
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The imagery for the mood board is not just a bunch of pretty pictures. I carefully curated each image to reflect an aspect of Gavin Farms' vision and communicate a brand look and feel that not only represents it's essence but also appeals to it's target market. You'll notice many hands interacting with animals, land, and food, representing GF's care and integrity; An emphasis on the earth and the ground, representing real, natural food sources; Work boots and hands holding soil, communicating that GF is about real people growing real food; and of course, explorations of type and layout that will tie everything together in a beautiful logo identity.

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MISSION STATEMENT
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"Gavin Farms provides quality, honest, locally raised beef, eggs, and produce to our immediate community in a way that is transparent, easily accessible, and trustworthy. We are a family business who is passionate about agriculture, and we work hard to care for our animals, crops, and land with integrity and honesty in every part of the process. Gavin Farms' overarching desire is to be a force for good in our community as we encourage and equip individuals to know their farmers and have access to homegrown, clean, and quality food, from our farm to your table."


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TARGET MARKET
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Gavin Farms' customers are individuals who put high value on the quality of their food, knowing their food sources, eating clean, and living active, healthy lifestyles. They most likely represent a post-college young adult generation (20s-30s) as well as a more grounded, middle-aged generation, approximately ages 40-55, all of whom live in Sauk County and are passionate about having relationships with and supporting local farmers and businesses. They enjoy the outdoors, farmers' markets, adventure, investing in their community, and simple living.


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PROJECT SCOPE SO FAR
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What started out as a logo design turned into a more extensive brand build-out. 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
• Meat packaging labels
• Egg carton stamp & mini egg stamp
• Address stamp
• Canning labels
• Hat design
• Website mockup (future project)
• Business card mockup (future project)
 

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Cheers to Jim, Jenni, and Matt! (and go give them some love, guys).


Note: All imagery on the Mood Board was sourced from Pinterest and Stock photo websites, and I do not claim ownership of any of them, nor do I intend to use them for commercial purposes. They simply serve on the Mood Board as inspiration images for the project, much like a Pinterest board would be used in curating images for project ideas. 


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


MINTED NEW YEAR'S CARD CHALLENGE: VOTING IS OPEN!

If you've been following RDD for a while, you know I like to participate in the occasional Minted Design Challenge when I can. I love the Minted business model - they sell all kinds of stationery, art, home and paper goods, all made by independent artists around the globe. This is awesome for so many reasons, one of them being that it gives designers from all backgrounds an opportunity to put their work out into the world, giving them a platform for their art and a way to make a living, as well as be a part of an amazing community of artists.

Minted holds several design challenges throughout the year, so there's always an opportunity to submit all kinds of fun art, invitations, photography, fabric patterns, product design, etc. that anyone can vote on. I recently submitted a few designs for their latest New Year's Card Design Challenge, and I'd love for you to take a look. If you like what you see, feel free to vote for me! Just click on the links below:


 
 

 
 

IN THE SHOP: FATHER'S DAY 2017 PRINTABLE CARDS

Guys, Father's Day is THIS SUNDAY, and if you're a sometimes last-minute planner (like me) and aren't really feelin' spending your Saturday browsing the endless card aisles at Target, I got ya covered.

In my shop is a fun little collection of hand-lettered, sweet, and light-hearted Father's Day printable cards that you can instantly purchase, download, and print right from the comfort of your own home. Yay!

Guys, I am convinced that printable cards are THE best. Why? Here are just a few reasons why I love them:

  1. They are inexpensive: Only $3.50 per file, and you can print as many as you want.
  2. They are fast: Within one button click, you have an instant download you can print immediately at home or send to your local printer. Procrastinators, unite!
  3. They last forever: Once you have the PDF, you always have the PDF. Save and use again next year!
  4. They are handmade & original: Need I say more?

In this quirky collection of Father's Day cards, I've included a little something for everyone: the traditional, strong father, the quirksy hipster dad, fathers, fathers-in-law, and even some generic cards that are versatile for any man in your life that adorns the name "dad." Simply click on each card to take you to my shop. Hope you find something you love.


FREE JUNE DESKTOP WALLPAPER

June 1st... when did that happen?? This month's desktop wallpaper is now available for download. Happy Summer, everyone!

June desktop wallpaper

wallpaper tips.jpg
  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! 

June Instagram Divider