When it comes to designing, whether it’s a personal brand, a rebrand, a logo design, or even just a brochure, everything that is effective will always follow a design process. When it comes to personal branding however, it can get slightly more in depth as you have to express yourself through design, and you must truly know yourself as a designer to effectively accomplish this.
First and foremost, with the design process it all begins with research. The research portion of design is vital and this is because without having the proper knowledge and background of the subject matter that you are designing as well as the problem you are trying to solve, your design will most likely not be effective. Every choice made in design requires a purpose and a meaning behind it which is why research and discovery is vital.
Once you have established your insights (research / problem defined), it is time to start ideating and designing. When it comes to a personal brand this is the time to make sketches, iterations, and then finalizations of a brand mark that describes you as a designer. This is also around the time that you should be figuring out what types of paper, printing processes, and production costs that you will need to use in order to create business cards, forms, envelopes, cards, and other deliverables that are associated with your personal brand. Just as the design is important, the process by which they are made is just as important because there are many factors that play into the process that a designer will choose, such as time of completion, cost, and accessibility for example.
Along with all of this it is very important to stay consistent with your brand across all mediums such as: business cards, resume, letterheads, cover letters, thank you cards, website, and anything associated with the brand itself. This allows for easy recognition of the documents through brand, so keep consistent with your typefaces, colors, and stick to one brand mark / brand identity.
It is also vital to make three forms to help with your branding. These forms are the print specification, print estimate, and preflight checklist. These forms will allow you to receive quotes on your production costs, and allow the vendor to know how you would like your cards produced.
Once all of your designs are completed, and before you have started producing them, I would suggest making some high quality mockups of the designs to get a good idea of how they may turn out after they are produced. This not only gives you a good feel for what they will look like, but also provides you with the knowledge of knowing if the design will ultimately be functional and accessible. On top of that, it also makes as a great piece to add to your process documentation if you are documenting the process of how you made your brand and want to share the stages from the beginning to the end with your peers. An example of a mock up is below:
If you are able to code, a website is extremely valuable to a personal brand. This can act as an online portfolio and an introduction to you as a designer. This can also show potential employers that you are proficient in coding which is a very sought after skill, and is a very powerful skill to have when it comes to looking for jobs and internships. A good website can help you stand out among the competition and is a very helpful medium to express yourself as a designer with.
An Example of a meaningful portfolio website page:
Although the left side may be mistaken as more of an “artist” the point that I am trying to make with this example is that this designer expresses himself and what he does in an impactful way through imagery. This alone makes him unique to his brand and how he presents himself, as a designer and as a front end developer.