The Most Important Step In The Branding Process


Cody and I both studied graphic design at Portland State University, and not to toot our own horn but, the Portland State Graphic Design program was named #1 graphic design program on the west coast and #6 in the nation! It was a lot of hard work to graduate from that program so we do like to talk about our credentials and hard work.

The emphasis on research was one of the most crucial phases for any project We learned that research is more important than the actual design part. In order to have a design that is effective, it has to be 100% completely thought out and the design will be crafted to reflect that thinking process. This step cannot be skipped, and this step also can take a lot longer than designing.

One thing we've noticed lately around the internet is there are a LOT of designers, new studios, and people starting a business that skip this part of the process. There seems to be mood boards made and logos created that are just based off of trends and visual aspects. This can hurt your brand more than help it. Colors, fonts, and logos are not an effective way to build a brand, and this can happen to new business owners that are looking for a cheap way to make their business look cool and stand out. In the long run, they will end up having to rebrand. Which ends up in a loss. 

That's why our studio puts a huge emphasis on the research process.

We like to call it storytelling.

To us, storytelling means to discover, explore, and document our clients brand and businesses. This part of the process helps you define your business on a deeper level which can help your business stand out, feel completely unique, and last for many years. An example of one of our branding projects that turned out really successful was Caitlin Brehm's SEO & Content Strategy business. This logo is going around Pinterest boards and has even been copied by some other designers.  We believe it's so popular because its unique and definitely stands out. The reason why is because of our well thought out storytelling process.

When we first started working with Caitlin, we started with the storytelling phase. During this phase we did research on her brand, her target audience, and gave her materials to help drive out her ideas and who she really was as a person. We also spent a significant amount of time talking to her and getting to know her on a personal level. The importance of this part is huge when it comes to creating a brand that will be timeless and will last for years to come. Due to my analytical nature, I really really enjoy this part. The best part about this phase is that I can develop original unique ideas based off of all the documenting and research we did. I can create an entire brand identity based off of the original story.

Caitlin's story was beautiful. Together we discovered the keywords behind her brand,  what her purpose and values were, and who she was as a person. She has a brand that is unique because we used parts of her personality to tell her story. She wanted to get to know each of her clients with a holistic approach, create a safe inviting space for them to tell their story and not be overwhelmed by techy terms or sales pitches. 

From there we imagined where you have meaningful conversations with people, and that was sitting down with them for a cup of coffee. This image and idea of getting to know someone over a cup of coffee made us feel cozy, inviting, and rustic. We took parts of who caitlin was, and parts of this idea to develop a logo and strategy for her brand that would allow her audience to be drawn to her because they trusted her, felt safe to talk about ideas, and didn't get confused by salesy copy and techy concepts. We wanted to help her create a brand that would invite people in and get comfortable.

Each part of the design was carefully though out and hand crafted to create a completely custom brand and experience! Here's what caitlin had to say about her branding -


"I decided to work with State of Mind on my brand because I was friends with Lexi and Cody, but even if that wasn't the case, what made the process of working together so wonderful is that the whole time it was a conversation—nothing clinical or calculated.

They presented me with several logo concepts and we talked through each one to figure out what I liked/didn't like about each one so that we could find a final logo that felt best to me. In the end, we were able to blend several ideas and the entire process felt so wonderfully collaborative! I love my branding and feel confident knowing if I have any questions or want to make a slight adjustment later on, State of Mind will have my back."


Are you a business owner that's been in the game for a few years? Do you know your audience and your story but need help crafting a brand that represents that? Are you ready to step it up a level and take your business seriously? 

We can help you. We specialize in branding that emphasizes a story. Right now we are taking on new branding clients.

Simple Branding Package - $1500 (normally $2100)

If you are looking for a more simple branding package, we are doing a special right now on branding that includes research/strategy, storytelling, logos, illustrations, patterns, fonts, colors, a brand style guide, and 2 marketing collateral materials of choice (business card, letterhead, thank you cards, blog graphic templates, social media graphic templates) 


click here to check out our media kit to learn more about working with us and our packages.

This offer is only for the month of February and we've only got 2 spots left! So call dibs if you are ready to create a brand that will be completely unique and last for years to come. 

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