The Power of Authenticity: My Personal Brand Journey from Concept to Creation

Graphic Designer, Copywriter, Web Developer, Content Designer

Spring 2024

“Design is the search for a magical balance between business and art; art and craft; intuition and reason; concept and detail; playfulness and formality; client and designer; designer and printer; and printer and public.” — Valerie Pettis (typographer)

The challenge at hand was to develop a personal brand identity and translate it into a captivating digital portfolio. In a world where personal branding is ubiquitous, the task was to authentically express my brand through a curated collection of work. The primary goal was to ensure that my portfolio and personal brand style guide reflected my vision, goals, services, and commitment to foster positive change through the power of creative design.

Navigating the balance between professionalism and personal authenticity posed a significant challenge. I needed to create a portfolio website that engaged clients while allowing my personality and unique style to shine through. This involved discovering my authentic voice, defining my professional niche, and finding the right blend of personality and professionalism to connect with clients effectively.

My journey began with comprehensive personal branding exercises, competitor research, and a critical evaluation of my existing brand style guide. I examined typography choices, color palettes, and logo designs to ensure they aligned with my evolving aesthetic and brand identity. Using Adobe Illustrator, I redesigned my logo and selected fonts that captured the essence of my brand.

After exploring various website builders and themes, I opted for WPZoom’s Inspiro Premium WordPress theme for its modern design, content vs whitespace balance, and customizable features. Unlike my previous WordPress theme, Inspiro enabled be to design an eye-catching site that showcased my work and helped clients see if my skills fit their needs.

Throughout this project, I collaborated with peers to refine my personal brand style guide and portfolio, identifying areas for improvement while leveraging my design strengths. Reviewing my existing style guide, crafted in August 2023, I found that the color palette resonated with my love of nature, yet needed a vibrant pink accent for contrast and accessibility. However, the typography and logos no longer aligned with my aesthetic vision, prompting a return to basics.

John Maeda, designer and executive, says “simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” Before I could move forward, I had to embrace the mistakes made in my previous personal brand logos of August 2023 and fall 2022, to remove what wasn’t working and create a logo that transformed my brand into something visual.

Learning from past mistakes, I embraced simplicity and sketched new logo ideas, ultimately selecting the expressive Canto font for its evocative qualities. Complementing Canto with Playfair Display for headings and Raleway for body text, I curated a cohesive visual identity that reflects my brand’s essence and versatility.

Crafting the About Me section was a pivotal step in the process. It was daunting to put on paper who I was as a person, a designer, and a brand. Striking the right balance between professionalism and personal authenticity required input from classmates, friends, and brainstorming sessions with ChatGPT. The result was a narrative that resonated with my audience and provided a memorable and compelling introduction to my brand.

Curating a selection of projects was essential to showcasing my design expertise and brand identity. I chose three projects that demonstrated a range of services and specialties, allowing potential clients to see the breadth of my capabilities. I also included key projects in the Portfolio section to show the breadth of my design capabilities and enrich my brand.

Designing the contact page involved creating a professional yet approachable interface that encouraged audience engagement. This page serves as a gateway for clients and creatives to connect with me and explore potential collaborations. I went through multiple variations, resulting in what I hope is a professional yet casual feel that will inspire clients and creatives to reach out and see what magic we can create together.

“To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry.” — Paul Rand (graphic designer)

The outcome of this project was a professional, creative, and deeply personal portfolio website that effectively communicated my brand identity and professional abilities. Moving forward, I am committed to refining and updating my portfolio to align with my evolving goals and brand identity, ensuring that it continues to serve as a dynamic representation of my work and vision.

Visit my portfolio website.