What the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates' Branding Says About Their Campaigns

Now that the U.S. is in the thick of Democrats announcing their intention to run for president in 2020, I thought it would be a fun practice to critique the brand identities of the candidates.

As any visual designer knows, the purpose of a strong brand identity is to hook your core audience with striking imagery that will make them want to read more. I wanted to review each of the candidates’ identities by taking a look at their overall branding, as displayed on their website. The opinions and rankings are not meant to judge the UX/UI design of websites; but instead judge the website for the message and audience they are looking for. A bit of a reverse creative brief - defining what the visuals say to me.

Skip to:
Cory Booker
Pete Buttigieg
Julian Castro
John Delaney
Tulsi Gabbard
Kirsten Gillibrand
Kamala Harris
Richard Ojeda
Elizabeth Warren
Andrew Yang

Note: Logos and websites are current as of January 22, 2019. New content will be added periodically as additional candidates enter the race. All opinions are my own, and logos/branding/websites are for inspiration and reference only.


Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg’s website is currently a splash page, but I really like the direction it’s heading in. He is a mayor from a conservative Midwestern state (Indiana), and does a nice job of having a wholesome, safe look without looking boring.

Both the website and logo are simple but well-executed, focused on red, white and blue and smartly chosen design elements (the color blocking of the website is well-done). I often say that the most simple design takes the longest amount of time to create, and I can tell that effort and care went into the creation of this brand identity.

This effort will connect across social classes and across the country; Buttigeig’s brand looks like someone who can both aid and connect. That being said, connecting across class lines does give up some specificity, and this brand identity may end up blending in with others as we get further into the race.

Values I gather from this branding: Moderate. Wholesome. Clean.

Overall ranking: 9/10. I’ll revisit this after a full website buildout, but I really do like this identity so far. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the grey in his logo, which feels unnecessary.

 
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Julian Castro

Honestly, I think this was the type of look that Andrew Yang’s team was going for in their website and branding, but didn’t quite hit. The color blocking and gradients are used to the right effect throughout Castro’s website.

The website and logo is entirely in shades of blue and white, and it works really well. It’s simple without being too safe or boring, and bold without being isolating. It’s rare that I don’t miss some sort of accent color, but the right shades of blue were chosen here, and are different enough that they don’t blend together.

Castro’s logo is simple, but puts an emphasis on his heritage through the accent in his name, which smartly makes it look clean without being forgettable.

Values I gather from this branding: Loyal. Bold.

Overall ranking: 9/10. Similarly to Warren’s branding, parts of this feel a bit generic.

 
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John Delaney

Hands down, this is my least favorite. Although I felt like there was a disconnect between Richard Ojeda’s logo and website, it is nothing compared to John Delaney’s.

Just like Ojeda’s logo, Delaney’s reminds me a lot of Obama’s 2008 logo. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery; but a presidential campaign is absolutely a new time to pave a new road. Unlike Ojeda’s logo (which is too busy), Delaney’s logo feels fairly boring and unexciting, both because of the colors and typography.

There’s also a lot of different colors going on here, in the form of solid blocks of colors (such as the top buttons, quote block and footer on the website), website gradients and overlays, and the colors used in Delaney’s logo. There are at least six (!) unique colors used in his branding and website, which feels wholly unnecessary. And because his full logo is not used on the website (just a sublogo, which is rendered in white only), there’s a major disconnect in the website and the full-color logo itself.

Delaney is the only candidate who uses a serif as a header font on their website, and I don’t think it’s done effectively. The headers throughout the website are too close in size to the body copy, which does not entice the reader to keep reading.

Values I gather from this branding: Hard-working. Connection.

Overall ranking: 3/10. There’s a few solid starts here, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

 
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Tulsi Gabbard

This splash page is very simple, but communicates a lot. Tulsi Gabbard sets herself apart by using her unique first name in his brand identity. Her logo itself is powerful - I’m generally not a fan of gradients because they often aren’t used well, but the gradient is effectively utilized here. The colors are reminiscent of the rising sun as well as her home state of Hawaii; Gabbard also does an awesome job of using those colors in her brand photography on the splash page - something that is often overlooked. I also love the curved edges of the T and I, which draw the eye toward the focal point of the logo. In a one-color logo, I still think this logo will work well.

Gabbard smartly sticks to two colors on this splash page, which keeps the website from looking too busy, which can easily happen with using a photo background. I’m excited to see the full version of this website when it comes to be.

Values I gather from this branding: Rising. Powerful. Inclusive.

Overall ranking: 10/10. This may have to be revisited once Gabbard has a full website build out, but this identity has helped a gradient-hater really dig gradients. I can’t find a flaw so far.

 
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Kirsten Gillibrand

Overall, Gillibrand’s brand feels personable and caring, yet proper and conservative - almost motherly. Not only because they’re both blonde New Yorkers, but I’d like to think this is what a younger Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have looked like. It’s overtly feminine while still being no-nonsense.

As a whole, her branding choices aren’t the most bold or exciting choice, but I think it works very well for the type of politician I think Gillibrand is; I’m not sure how it would have worked for anyone else. There’s also great uses of typography throughout her website (which is a one-page site) that give overt calls to action. It’s a great example of a one-page site done well, and shows the power of minimal color.

This is a small gripe, but I wish the website design had stuck with only black and white photos and the hot pink spot color. The orange Instagram tile and a few color photos are driving me nuts!

Values I gather from this branding: Feminine. Polished. Personable.

Overall ranking: 7/10. Everything about Gillibrand’s branding is very OK. It’s not overly exciting, with only her color palette pulling her out of being too safe for me.

 
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Kamala Harris

Harris’ campaign is direct and up front about who they’re working for - the people. She is the only candidate that directly works a tagline into her main logo. My only gripe is that the main logo does not work well in one color; but this is a small complaint for what I think is overall great branding.

The colors are very different and make her stand apart. Even though some of the other candidates err toward unconventional color palettes, Harris is the only one that doesn’t utilize blue. Purple has already proven to be a recent smart choice for progressive candidates’ branding, and Harris makes it work well.

The very bold sans-serif used for her headers balance well with the serif used for body copy. Compared to the modernity of the header font and colors, and body font is quite classic. It really helps anchor the branding from getting too out-there or kooky, and helps in making this a very memorable brand for all the right reasons.

Values I gather from this branding: Risk-taking. Striking. Colorful.

Overall ranking: 9.5/10. The tiniest issue, but I love for a logo to work in one-color and full-color equally; I don’t like that transparency needs to be applied for this one for it to make sense (as you can see in the website example).

 

Richard Ojeda

Although I do like Ojeda’s website design, the logo is not my favorite. The logo communicates Ojeda’s military background through the colors, eagle and American flag, wings, and rough textures; but there’s a lot of elements going on, and they’re not all necessary.

The winged version of the logo on his website feels like overkill; I’d like the wordmark without the wings much better on its own. I do like the concept of the eagle and American flag wings within the “O,” but it reminds me far too much of Obama’s 2008 logo. I think it could have been executed in a cleaner way.

The logo also doesn’t mesh very well with the rest of his branding, which is bold yet clean. The website does not feature any texture or major graphic elements outside of typography and color. The website overall is a good way to show how a tough and masculine message can be communicated without going overboard with graphic elements.

Values I gather from this branding: Bold. Masculine. Rough and tumble.

Overall ranking: 6/10. I like the use of branding on the website, which I think gets his message across. I just wish that was better displayed in the logo.

 


Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s website is playing on all the right trends of the moment, and feels quite different from all typical campaign sites. The website is clean and unfettered, with minimal graphics that work quite well.

There’s not a lot that this website is doing wrong, and I think using light green as a key color is a very smart move. Relying on green and dark blue as main colors make it more striking when red is used as an accent color; this design looks expensive and smart, and makes the calls to action feel important and urgent. The color palette also brings a bit of whimsy to the design, which could easily skew too serious with the imagery and copy.

Values I gather from this branding: Modern. Clean. Serious.

Overall ranking: 9/10. I like this branding a lot - the only thing holding me back from a perfect score is that it feels a little too turnkey for me. If you replaced Warren’s identifying information with another candidate, it would probably work for them, too.

 
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Andrew Yang

The colors of Yang’s website are very bright, tech-y, and has tons of calls to action. There’s a lot going on (not in a negative way), which makes me feel like millennials are one of the main audiences they’re looking for. Unfortunately, I’m definitely not feeling that in the logo (more on that below).

Yang is one of the more little-known candidates, and the design of this homepage pushes toward getting to know him and his policies, as well as information (“The Latest”) on news and appearances, which gives more of an air of credibility.

I like the brightness of the purple-blue and red - they are bright and remind me of the tech industry. The lighter blue does not jive quite as much more me, and would have preferred a different accent color.

On that note, the majority of these graphics feel quite modern and minimalist. However, the wave graphic below Yang’s above the fold picture feels like a more dated element and out of place. The logos are the same story - the “Y” with a flag is a clever idea, but could have been executed in a different way. The 3D effect of this also feels very backwards to the modern, 2D look that is displayed everywhere else.

Values I gather from this branding: Future-focused. Bright.

Overall ranking: 5/10. I like most of the website, even if the logo falls very flat for me. As with Richard Ojeda’s branding, I feel a major disconnect between the website and logo.

 
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Cory Booker

Cory Booker’s branding certainly is bold, but I’m not sure it’s the type of bold he was looking for. Booker’s campaign and political persona is consistently based around being down-to-earth and connecting with constituents, and I don’t think that comes across in this branding.

Color blocking is definitely on-trend in this presidential election, but Booker’s color choices are fairly predictable and aren’t setting him apart from other candidates. The content of his website homepage is focused on Booker’s humble beginnings and grassroots campaigning, but the visual identity feels like it’s clashing with that message. The sans serif used in his logo and website headers is blocky and heavy, and the serif used for body copy feels equally dated. Looking into the sans serif header font, it was inspired by vintage Bulgarian lottery tickets, which feels like an … odd choice. That font paired with the color palette of red, white, black and blue reminds me of constructivist design, prominent in Russia in the early 1900s.

Values I gather from this branding: Bold. Taking a stand. No-nonsense.

Overall ranking: 5/10. Similar to the branding of several other candidates, there’s nothing wrong with Booker’s visual identity. But, I think it was a missed opportunity to do something outside the box, and communicate his morals and policies that are for the people.

 
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What I've Learned in My First Full Year of Business

Although Anchored Creative Studio was founded in 2016 (almost three years ago!) mid January 2018 to January 2019 encompassed our first year of full-time business for me. As the creator of Anchored Creative Studio, I’d always wanted to run this studio as a full-time gig. Lots of things prevented me from doing that, but the biggest one was fear of the unknown.

A little over a year ago, my part-time design job was eliminated. Although I started to apply to other part-time jobs, I realized that I was in the position I’d always wanted - to run my studio on a full-time basis. I was a year of high highs and low lows; of learning so much about myself and the types of people and companies I like to work with; and the boundaries I want to set in order to keep Anchored going for a long time.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned:

  • Lead your clients - don’t let them lead you. This is the big one. Any not-so-ideal client experience I’ve ever had was because I let them lead the process, the contract, and/or talked down my price. Everyone likes structure, and the more structured your process is, the better the chance that it will run smoothly and be successful. I learned a ton this year about standing up for myself and taking charge.

  • Find people who make you feel like you’re not alone. Being a solo business owner is lonely. You spend a ton of your day alone in a coffee shop or home, with your main interactions being with your clients. You don’t have coworkers to bounce ideas off of, or to ask an opinion about a sticky client situation. This year, I found some amazing business besties - both in-person and virtually - and have found it to make a giant difference in finding camaraderie and making the struggle feel a little less crazy.

  • Admit your mistakes and learn from them. If you want a job that’s without confrontation and conflict, being a business owner is probably not for you. In this year alone, I’ve dealt with a ton of issues that require having tough conversations with clients - including out of scope requests, lack of payment, and ending professional relationships. From all of these situations, I’ve learned to do a postmortem check and see what I could have done better, and what processes can be put into place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

  • Find clients that fully trust you. This piece of advice may sound obvious, but took me awhile to really understand the nuance of it. Of course anyone who hires you will place some amount of trust in you, but there are still clients who attempt to drive the entire creative process through endless tweaks and lack of commitment to a specific direction. They should be able to trust your expertise, and create a true collaboration.

  • Learn to say “no.” Perhaps the toughest lesson. I struggled with saying “no” to clients that I thought wouldn’t be a good fit all year, which resulted in rough client relationships and forced me to further examine my need to take every client that inquires with me. I also struggled to say no to existing clients, going over the set number of revisions, or adding in additional deliverable that weren’t included in the original scope. I’m now less afraid of setting up boundaries, and more confident in my own voice and skills.

  • Trust your gut. Whether it’s for a creative direction, choosing a logo, or accepting a client - It’s usually always right.

  • Create passion projects. I’d often put off passion projects, citing that I was too busy, and they weren’t directly connected to an income stream. But spending more time on passion projects has not only reinvigorated my creativity and allowed me to take risks, but also helps create portfolio pieces to attract my ideal client. It’s something that I’ve found is necessary to make time for.

  • Know that time and experience brings answers. As one of my favorite songs says, “take your time, don’t live too fast / troubles will come, and they will pass.” Letting time pass and gaining experience brings clarity. Don’t respond to that email immediately, and table a project if you feel stuck. All will come.

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Where to Find Quality, Affordable Fonts and Typefaces

When I first got started as a professional designer, the most stressful part of the job was the sheer number of choices that needed to be made on each and every project. Working primarily on new brand identities, it’s common for me to still spend lots of time weighing the pros and cons of two intensely similar Pantone swatches before finally deciding on one. When it comes to fonts and typefaces, these choices can be detrimental in properly communicating the mood and feeling of a brand, and need to be chosen well.

To avoid scouring all of the Internet each and every time I work on a new brand, I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite resources. To be honest, it’s rare that I download a new font or typeface these days, and probably only do so once every month or so; and that’s usually for a specific client request or mood that I can’t quite hit with my existing library.

When it comes to fonts and typefaces, I encourage that quality always trumps quality. Because I have created a client niche among entrepreneurs and nonprofits, there are about 25 - 35 typefaces that I use within about 90% of all projects. While something new and unique is necessary from time to time, I recommend finding what works and works well for the types of projects you create, customize when necessary, and use them well.

 

Have you gotten this far and are wondering what in the world the difference is between a font and typeface? A typeface is a system that contains many variations that are called fonts; kind of like how you learned in geometry that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. For example, Proxima Nova is a typeface. Proxima Nova Light is a font within that typeface.

 

Adobe Typekit

Many designers probably use Typekit the most because it is included in their Creative Cloud subscriptions, and it’s definitely not to be overlooked. Typekit partners with a variety of foundries to provide a large variety of fonts and typefaces for download. I love Typekit because it includes typefaces that can be rather pricey to purchase outright, but can be downloaded for free with a CC subscription. There’s unfortunately a cap on the number of fonts that can be synced on a CC subscription (you can also sync more for an additional fee), but it’s nice to have an opportunity to clear out those fonts you’re no longer using.

Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel is a pretty magical website that features mostly free fonts, all of which are licensed for commercial work. This means you can use any fonts from this website for branding projects as well as products or packaging that might be printed en masse. The website isn’t incredibly user friendly, but is worth the bit of effort it takes to learn to navigate it. I’ve found some pretty incredible free fonts on this site (a few personal favorites) that I now use on a regular basis.

Creative Market

The majority of what you’ll find on Creative Market is not free, but don’t let that dissuade you. It’s a great place to support small business owners and find super unique fonts and typefaces, as well as other graphic design resources (such as illustrations, mockups, Photoshop brushes, and more). It’s a great place to head to if you’re especially looking for a unique handwritten font or typeface.

So, what do you think? What are some of your favorite resources?

 
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How to Create a Visual Brand for Your Wedding

As a graphic designer, the first thing I did after getting engaged to my now-husband was dive into the process of creating a visual brand for our wedding. While my husband was busy crunching number and making spreadsheets, I was looking at fabric swatches and building Pinterest boards (one of the many reasons I love him is the ways in which we complement each other so well). I was really thrilled with how the visual brand we chose to create was so well-woven throughout our wedding, and came up with a few pieces of advice for others:

  • Ask questions to figure out how to brand your wedding. Treating your wedding like a business may sound unromantic, but it’s necessary if you want to create something cohesive and striking. Ask yourself questions like: what do I want my guests to feel when they attend my wedding a reception? Is my wedding meant to be whimsical; romantic; classic; modern?

  • Create a moodboard. If you’re struggling with creating a visual brand for your wedding, creating a moodboard can be really helpful to figure out what you want to communicate on your wedding day. Putting this moodboard somewhere nearby where you do your wedding planning (like the background of your computer, or printing it out and pinning it next to your desk) can also help.

  • Narrow down your colors early. There’s a lot of different ways to figure out your colors for your wedding day - my favorite (as you can guess) is to gather your colors from moodboard and question exercises. Many others choose their wedding colors based on their favorite hues or the season of their big day; there’s no incorrect way to go about it, but it’s important to make sure the colors you pick are cohesive with the overall mood and tone you’re looking to set with your wedding.

  • Follow through in all areas of the celebration. Wedding colors and themes are generally most evident in paper goods like invitations and the colors of decorations; but there’s plenty of small touchpoints to make, like ceremony programs, centerpieces, signage, and your wedding website.

Here’s a peek into how we did this with our wedding:

Our Moodboard

It’s incredibly easy to be overwhelmed at the outset of a wedding, with the multitude of decisions that need to be made. As a design professional, it was really tough to narrow down decisions about our wedding since the world was our oyster. Making a cohesive moodboard was incredible helpful, and we printed and hung it up in our living room, which was a great tactic.

Our wedding was in autumn, but we ended up going with a more modern, simple approach to our palette as opposed to autumn tones. Here’s how I would describe the brand of our wedding:

  • Minimalist and simple

  • Neutral with pops of greens, greys, blues, and blush

  • Rustic and geometric elements (wood and gold)

Save the Dates

Our save the dates were the first touchpoint guests got to learn about our wedding. I loved how these turned out, and they were fairly in line with the brand we landed on, although you can see the more refined version in the invitations. We ended up using the state of Ohio (where we were married) and the “Anna + Jacob” logotype more prominently later on.

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Invitations

I loved how these invites turned out. I was inspired by the multicolored neutral invitation suite featured on our moodboard, and wanted to create something similar. I’d never seen an invitation suite use multiple colored papers, and I really loved how these turned out

I printed these through LCI Paper (RSVP return envelopes and vellum overlay) and Printswell Fulfillment (everything else) and designed them myself.

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Captured by our fantastic wedding photographers,  Photo 243

Captured by our fantastic wedding photographers, Photo 243

 

Day Of Materials/Mood and Feel

Below are a few more items created for the day of our wedding, as well as a few captures of us + our guests, which we feel really shows how we wove our minimalist, rustic/rust-y, neutral color story throughout the whole day. From my dress to his suit to our table decor, we really just couldn’t be happier about how it came together.

All items and decor created by me unless noted otherwise.

My 3 Favorite Tools to Ensure a Great Client Process

For a long time in my business (maybe too long?), I wanted each and every client process to be unique. I chose to spend a lot of time writing out personalized responses to every potential client, and would often already be exhausted by the time I’d landed the client. Earlier this year I realized exactly how many hours I spend each week simply on emailing, and knew I needed to invest a little time and money in my client process.

Once I dove into how I could streamline and automate this process, I found a few things - a) it’s wayyy cheaper than I thought, and b) my clients LOVE working with these programs, mostly because they make things incredibly easy. There’s little to no learning curve, and my clients don’t need to sign up for their own accounts in these programs. I was worried that using multiple new programs in the client experience would complicate things, but it’s done quite the opposite.

To Get the Client: 17Hats

An example of 17Hats’ client portal

An example of 17Hats’ client portal

17Hats is a CMS (customer management system) created just for small/entrepreneurial businesses. There’s a lot of similar CMS systems (Dubsado and Honeybook being two of the most popular), but 17Hats ended up being the best fit for me. All of these CMS systems have a myriad of uses, but this is what I use 17Hats for the most:

  • Automating workflows. For example, I have a full workflow that seamlessly takes potential clients through the inquiry phase - after filling out a form on my website, 17Hats triggers a follow up email with a few more questions to ensure they’re a great fit. If it seems like they are, all I need to do is review and hit a quick “approve” before 17Hats sends another email to set up a phone meeting. Something that used to take me at least an hour to do now takes 5-10 minutes.

  • Invoicing, contracts and proposals all in one place. Instead of creating PDF invoices for clients who wanted to write me a check and sending others a PayPal or Stripe link, I can keep track of everything all in one place. Those check writing clients can easily print invoices and others can pay online - no excuse for lost invoices! You can also set up 17Hats to automatically send reminder emails when invoices are nearing their due date. Also, a client can quickly approve a proposal, sign a contract, and pay their invoice in one fell swoop - no more going back and forth with clunky PDFs each time you are landing a new client.

  • Client portals. 17Hats automatically creates a client-facing portal, where all of their invoices, questionnaires, etc. can live; it’s also a place where you can upload files (such as final deliverables). It’s amazing to give clients a single URL where they can always head to if they can’t find a file, or need to print out an invoice for any reason.

Want to check out 17Hats? You can take 10% off an annual plan by using this link!
Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link, and I get a little something if you sign up.

For Client Onboarding/Project Management: Asana

I’d heard people raving about Asana for years, and I’m kicking myself for exactly how long it took me to try it out. Asana is a free tool (there is also a paid version for larger teams) that is truly amazing for organizing both client experiences and your own business to-dos.

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Above is a screenshot of my current Asana board. On the left, I’ve organized personal, business and client boards, all of which are displayed on this calendar view by due date. It’s a great way to eliminate a to-do list, and get a visual idea of what’s coming up next. You can also view each individual board on their own and as more of a checklist. For me, I love this as a central place where I can keep track of blog ideas or social media posts.

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And the client experience is just as awesome. As soon as a client has signed off on a project, the first thing I do is built out and send over their Asana board. It can be viewed as a checklist (pictured above), or as a calendar, showing what is due when. This way, there’s never any confusion about what comes next - you also have the ability to assign each task, clearly setting boundaries about who is responsible for what task.

For Client Offboarding: Loom

Loom is one of those products I didn’t know I need until I found it. Loom is a video recorder that operates as a Google Chrome extension, and is amazing for recording and sending videos to clients. I personally use it when I’m sending over drafts of work to clients, and want to include a rationale of some of my design decisions (I personally prefer to do this via video instead of phone call, so they can check it out on their own time); as well as for offboarding. Especially with website clients, I’ve found videos to be the best way to communicate any final steps and walkthroughs of how to edit their site.

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I also love Loom because it operates via Google Chrome extension - which means you just need to click one button in your browser to start recording. You can also upload it right to your general channel or a folder where you can store all your client’s videos. It’s incredibly easy, and eliminates the need to find a place to store those giant video files. And best of it - it’s totally free!

What do you guys things? Any favorite client tools you can’t live without?

Branding: St. Demetrios Preparatory School

Formerly St. Demetrios High School, this historically Greek high school located in Astoria, Queens, was re-examining its visual identity after losing its traditionally Greek audience to more suburban schools. In an effort to attract more families from the neighborhood and of non-Greek lineage, we engaged them for a full brand strategy and rebrand.

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Nonprofit Design: John F. Kennedy Library & Museum's New Frontier Network

We love working with organizations that make a difference, and the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum's New Frontier Network (NFN) is definitely one of those. The NFN approached Anchored to create new donor materials (both corporate giving and individual membership pieces) for the organization, which focuses on young professional membership of the library and museum, as well as new stationery pieces with the NFN’s existing brand.

Working with brands to reconnect them with their audience is one of our biggest passions, and it was a pleasure to work with an organization that is doing so much good. Scroll below to check out a few items we collaborated on, including letterhead, business cards, thank you cards, and an individual membership pamphlet.

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Branding: Carbon Elevation

Carbon Elevation is a Colorado-based health and wellness company that focuses on women’s nutrition and fitness. It was a pleasure to work on this brand (fun fact: my first client to come through finding Anchored on Pinterest!), creating an identity that is simple and bold at first glance, but integrates tons of fun details (such as the stamp with the elevation of the founder’s town, and a topography-inspired element of meaningful mountains to her family).

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Branding: Latinos for a Fair Judiciary

In advance of the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice in summer 2018, Latinos for a Fair Judiciary (formerly Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary) took the initiative to refresh their brand identity and refocus their audience to young, politically active Latinos. Wanting to stay away from stale tones of red, white, and blue, and build on the popularity of bold progressive political campaign branding, we drew inspiration from bold Latin colors and strong typography in order to make this fun and vibrant brand identity.

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Introducing: the new Anchored Creative Studio

I usually don’t work with brand-new businesses, mostly owing to my belief that you need to work through a few struggles of business to really define your audience and realize what’s important to the business you’re building. And I’ve realized lately that this is no less true for my own design studio.

I’ll likely look back on the summer of 2018 as one of burnout and growth. After starting Anchored Creative Studio in May 2016, I went through varying degrees of full-time employment with other organizations and working on Anchored on the side; working part-time freelance on other projects outside of Anchored; and working part-time in-house at a nonprofit while working on Anchored. In January 2018, I made the decision to make the jump to full-time with Anchored, and quickly began to take on most projects that came my way, as a way to stay financially afloat and grow my business.

After about six months full time, I began to drown a bit in work. Client work began to bleed into my free time, and I found that there was a clear divide in my projects - work that I was passionate about, and work that was simply a means to keep my business running. Being pulled in both directions, I found that the projects I wasn’t devoting enough critical thinking into the turnkey projects, and wasn’t devoting enough time to the projects I was passionate about.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve put a pause on new projects, as a way to finish up all existing ones and take the time to examine both the clients I take on, and my process behind all client work. This has resulted in a new visual brand for Anchored Creative Studio (which I think speaks more to myself, what I offer, and my audience), as well as updated offerings. Here’s a list of what you can expect:

Updated brand packages. Based on past experiences with client needs, I’ve reformatted my branding packages, and have also made pricing more transparent. I’ve also introduced the Two Week Brand - an immersive experience to get your brand and website off the ground in just two weeks (!).

More of a focus on nonprofit development work. I’ve always passionately worked with nonprofits, and have continually enjoyed creating designs for them - and not just marketing materials. Earlier this summer, I learned that a nonprofit I designed a foundation grant proposal for was awarded the top prize of a $2 million grant (!!), an idea popped into my head that I’d somehow never thought of before. What if I focused on proposals, individual and corporate giving donor packets, and other reports for nonprofits? It’s a niche I haven’t found many others with experience in, and I’m ready to help nonprofits communicate with their audience on a direct level.

Resources for small and growing businesses. It’s a goal of mine to equip those organizations who may not be ready for an investment in a full-fledged brand with resources to start out with a DIY.

More focus on the importance of audience and process. I’m all about transparency, and I was to fold more of me and my experience into the narrative. I want to share more about what works and doesn’t work in my business, and hopefully teach others along that along the way.

If you have any feedback, questions, or want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to hear from you :)

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