Today's guest is Julie Ostrow. Julie is an amateur cocktail magician and plant-obsessed designer located in the windy city. She is the founder of Juost Design, a mini creative studio that specializes in brand support and development for a variety of small businesses and events. Julie loves to experiment with various design processes and has an affinity for all things paper. Visit juost.com and take a peek at what she's up to!
With her own upcoming wedding, in this post, Julie details below her approach for applying branding principles to the planning process.
You may have heard the word “brand” as it relates to your big day. But what does it mean and where do you start? First off, take a deep breath! Even as a Graphic Designer, I felt overwhelmed by the task of having to curate one clear vision for such a special day. However, honing in on your brand is actually quite fun and will make the rest of your planning feel a whole lot easier. Follow these steps to get started.
1. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything out there. Stay calm! The most important thing you can do from square one is to focus on you and your partner. Remember—this day will be the most special and unique to you if you follow your heart and vision.
2. Start by creating a pin board specifically for your wedding brand. Most brides will categorize all different pieces of inspiration separately, which will definitely serve it’s purpose down the road, but for now I highly recommend establishing a single board. (At this point in the process, don’t put any restrictions on what you pin.) Here’s a look at some of my initial inspiration:
3. Once you’ve established a good amount of visual inspiration, look through all of the different pieces and write down any connections you may see. For example, when I did this exercise, some of the main words I pulled were: gold, greenery, wood, contrast, simple and rustic. I like to refer to this set of words as your brand insights. (Note: narrowing down your list to no more than 10 words will help you as you move forward with the process.)
4. For me, the next natural step was establishing a color palatte. Looking at various swatches in context of some of the inspiration you pulled may help guide this process. Keep in mind the various roles that color will serve in your big day. Your save the dates and invitations will rely heavily on color, so make sure that the swatches you choose are evoking the right mood for your guests (after all, these are the very first impressions that they’ll have of your big day!) Below are the colors I selected and some of the photos that helped inspire them.
5. Start thinking about any specific elements that may be important to you. This will be incredibly helpful as you dive into your save the dates (and later, invitations). For example—for me, these elements were an ampersand as well as simple greenery. However, there are many ways to interpret elements such as greenery or flowers, so be specific with your approach. Something loose and illustrative will let off a more rustic vibe, while something crisp and sharp will come off as more modern.
6. Now that you’ve got your brand insights in addition to your colors and any special elements, you should start to feel your brand growing. As you continue pinning inspiration (now is a good time to break your boards out into categories), start to be a bit pickier and ensure that your inspiration is looping back to the foundation you’ve just established. Here’s a glimpse at one of my categorized pinboards that adheres to my brand:
7. As you continue working through the various stages of your planning—from save the dates, to flowers, dresses, signage, decor, and music (even the napkin color used at your reception)—always refer back to your brand to make sure you're staying consistent.