musings | branding & cohesiveness

lately i've been thinking a lot about how i can create things that are new and different while still maintaining a cohesive style or "brand." i think it's important that when people see creative work, they can associate it with a particular person. even when it comes to artists, i prefer that they have a unique signature to their work. of course it's appropriate for creators to grow and develop their products, but i still think that there should be something signifying and recognizable.

but what do you do when you want to try something different? i'm not saying i'm going to start selling tea cozies or fimo beads...i still want to stay in the realm of stationery. but i'm pondering how i can try new styles and techniques but still have people see my stationery and think "oh gosh that looks like isavirtue!" (no one ever has or likely ever will say that but a gal can dream :)

i think i've found some direction on this topic however. while reading a frankie article about australian book cover illustrator allison colpoys, the topic of cohesiveness came up. she was developing a new look for a collection of childhood classics. allison described how, before she began, she had to develop a set of "rules." i understood these rules to mean defining features that would tie normally disparate books together. The books were of different story lines, characters and by varying authors but the design elements, the illustrative style and the positioning and fonts held them together.

which means i need some rules. a list of key factors to refer back to when i feel that i'm getting off track, or want to try something new. i'm going to list some ideas/"rules" here, but i would also love to hear your opinion as sometimes you're too close to something to really see it properly!

1/ stationery is carefully crafted by hand and all products are templated, cut and folded.
2/ each piece maintains an attention to detail and are imbued with pride.

3/ clean lines, simplicity and obvious statements.
4/ cohesive palette, rounded corners, embossed inks, thick cardstock

5/ products and brand provide a sense of nostalgia for a lost art
6/ encourages letter writing, personal heartfelt sentiments and thoughtful gift giving.

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