quick note- this is a repost of an article originally posted on https://brilliantbluedesigns.com musing about where and why “blue” became so important to me in the branding process. Someday soon I will go into why I am slowly moving away from blue and blue only – but suffice it to say, it has one part to do with COVID-19 and a deep felt need for more variety and color in my life and one part to do with a need to reclaim my own name. Actually- maybe I don’t need to write that other article after all.
What’s the significance of brand stories in brand identity?
I was randomly thinking about how long “blue” has been a part of my branding the other day. Okay, it wasn’t completely random- I was asked at a networking event and I couldn’t answer it accurately. Then, this morning, as I was driving in to Digital Summit conference day two, it hit me. I have associated myself, bright ideas, and letting my light show with blue since the early to mid 1990s.
The color blue is obviously a big part of Brilliant Blue Designs “brand story”
I was what most people would probably call an offbeat college student. I was a good student, but I literally picked my major (psychology) and minor (art) during registration. To call that impulsive is somewhat misleading because I had been evaluating dozens of possibilities for months prior to that moment and had been accepted and given scholarships as a general studies student but at the moment of registration I could not handle the thought of starting my journey as an alleged adult as general studies. (I know you are sitting there wondering where blue comes in, I will get there, honest!) However, as I chose psychology, some inner voice piped up and insisted on that art minor as well.
Hey Jamie, maybe you could have chosen graphic design or web design as a young college student?
Let me be clear here, graphic design and web design were completely different beasts when I signed up for that art minor. If it had been the field then that it is today, my decision making may have been completely different. Then it still involved learning paper layout and early CAD. CAD scared me. I’m not proud of that fact. Web design at that time scared me. They were too code intensive. Ironic now, since I do some code and am no longer afraid of it. (Funnily enough – that young woman who was afraid of intense computer programs? She ended up dabbling in writing code for a text based multi user dungeon for awhile in her free time during college…just because it seemed fun.) I laugh at my timidness now, but hey, that’s where I was then, right? An art minor also fit where I was then, and I’m incredibly glad I had that impulse, because the addiction to creating has never left me. Also, 18 year-olds do not always make the best choices (insert every fun movie party montage ever into evidence). I learned a lot of valuable information with my psychology education that now assists me in brand development and marketing so maybe I need to give that 18 year old me more credit than I usually do, after all.
This brand story, it was supposed to be about blue, wasn’t it?
Anyway, where does blue fit into all this? As a young person in the early 90s, I was heavily into alternative music – enough so that I was a deejay on the college radio station- and my roommate and I spent the summers in Ada working and staying at our apartment, finding ways to amuse ourselves (shoutout to my roommate for being my partner in -not crime- but hijinks in all of this). Well, one of those ways was changing the lightbulb in our front porch light. This is a far more complicated decision than it seems. For two young ladies living on their own, a red light was obviously a no. A yellow light was too close to normal, and we couldn’t have that. Orange was rejected for similar reasons. A blacklight bulb might have been interesting but it would have been useless for actually illuminating the front door. Ultimately, if I remember correctly (and based on powers of elimination based on current light bulb choices) that would have left it to either green or blue. Yes, you may have guessed I lived in an apartment with a blue light bulb shining from the front step. It was a defining moment in my life – where I was truly discovering who I was and what I wanted from life (or at least what I thought I wanted).
Eventually, I left the blue light bulb behind and went off to grad school and got a doctorate in psychology. I worked as a psychologist for 7-8 years, predominantly doing therapy on a daily basis. I had days I felt fulfilled but more days that I felt that something was off or missing. Also, I don’t know if any of you out there reading has seen me do paperwork, but it’s not my favorite thing in the world by a lot – and as a psychologist, there is a disproportionate amount of paperwork. I felt like it was multiplying when I turned my back. For real.
Brand identity development – brainstorming and idea development
Flash forward to a more seasoned individual brainstorming a business name after an exciting career change. This business should embody creation and ideation and the idea of possibility. That blue light bulb actually entered my mind during the brainstorm session. Why that blue light bulb? When characters in cartoons get a big idea, it’s often a light bulb. In my mind then, that blue light bulb became the inner symbol for me for this new venture.
The connection between logo design, brand story, and brand identity
I bet by now you are wondering why my logo has never incorporated a light bulb. I have tried at various points in time to do just that. However, if you do a Google search and pop in the terms “light bulb logo” you will see just what I am up against in trying to make something unique in that arena. Suffice it to say I am satisfied in knowing that little blue bulb is shining it’s brilliant little light within the heart of this company, illuminating the possibilities all the way back from 1996. As many of you know, blue has certainly *always* been incorporated – and is strongly incorporated into my personal branding.
Here at Brilliant Blue Designs I believe every company has a story – or many stories. Those stories increase the effectiveness of a company’s branding because they inform and reinforce the branding. It is easier to keep branding consistent when it is literally part of your story. Blue is an intensely personal color for me that has threads through so many parts of my life. Color is not always this big a part of a company’s story, but it is in mine, and it ends up being a very easy thing for me to keep consistent in my branding as a result.. What plays a big part in yours? Does your brand reflect your story? Would you like help in making your brand more closely reflect your story? I can certainly help you with that – contact me (the button below will show you how) and we can get started!