Design Debrief: Skopós Branding with Emily Elliot
I recently had the joy of working with Emily Elliott to design the logo and branding for her upcoming magazine, Skopós. Afterwards, I had a chat with Emily to ask her about her experience finding and working with a designer, and the design process itself!
Hi Emily! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a mid-twenties creative lass who loves telling people’s stories, celebrating their achievements, learning about their passions, and growing with them through their hardships. I love being outdoors whenever I’m not working my 8-5!
And tell us about Skopós. What is it and how did it come about?
Skopós is a magazine that aims to encourage women to live a life of intention and purpose. It will be filled with stories, features, and testimonies about real women who are doing real things, with the goal of encouraging and empowering them to use what is in their hand, in the season they’re in. It came about around ten years ago. I wanted women to have a platform to share the good, bad, and everything in between, knowing there is power in their story.
What made you decide to take the leap, make the investment and hire a designer to create your brand and work with you on Skopós?
I’m all about making sure this isn’t “The Emily Project.” While I could write for it and take the photos, or do some design, it was really important to me to be able to foster the gifts and talents of others. Also, other people have different skills and ideas and creative ability - and when it all comes together it’s beautiful and diverse and different!
Once you had decided this, how did you go about finding a designer?
Funnily enough, my colleague and I were talking about designs we found “aesthetically pleasing”, and she showed me your Instagram profile. I didn’t look at anyone else - I just decided to get in touch and see what happened. This whole process has been a “one step at a time” journey - I haven’t had a plan, and still don’t!
Before we met, what did you expect from a designer and the branding process?
I had no expectations actually. I was hoping for a straightforward process where I could say, “These are my ideas, run with it,” and then be provided with a logo and brand identity that fit into the style I had in mind. I wanted it to be a collaboration, but I also wanted the designer to have freedom.
Did you have any goals for this branding project? Or a specific aim?
Yes - I needed the masthead (which is also the logo), and a colour palette. You were amazing and also provided me with things I didn’t think of - like a favicon, and a few tips for social.
Now having been through it, how would you describe the branding process?
In my mind, I was hoping it would take a day or two - ha! But that’s only because I was so eager. The branding process was thorough. I didn’t expect a moodboard, but it was actually fantastic to start with it as what I thought I wanted, I didn’t actually like. From there we were able to refine some of the colours with a second moodboard, and I fell in love. After that, playing with type and placements was easy and straightforward - I appreciated seeing the masthead ‘in action’ for the first time. This, again, also helped me to see what I liked and didn’t like.
Did you have a favourite part of the branding experience?
Yes! When you first said you wanted to meet in person to ‘present’ the brand, I thought, ‘No! I just want to see them and get on with this,’ haha. But this ended up being my favourite part. The emotions were high, and having you describe your thoughts and ideas as you walked me through the brand, and I saw it in action for the first time, was fantastic.
How about a least favourite part?
The waiting ha! I am impatient at the best of times, let alone when I’m working on a ‘big, exciting project’ - I just wanted it done and in my hands! But of course, all of the best things take time, and you were wonderful, and the end product is more thorough than I could have imagined. You provided me with collateral I didn’t know I needed, and I am so grateful!
You told me what you expected from a designer and the branding process before we met, has this changed at all now that you’ve experienced it?
No - I still want a beautiful collaboration where you are free to let your creative juices flow and design what you feel. I want you to feel empowered and fostered to be able to use your gifts and talents, no matter what that looks like.
What advice would you give to somebody else thinking about working with a designer on their brand?
It is so imperative. I studied design and communications at university, but my work experience is in communications. While I could have designed a logo and brand myself, I didn’t want to - I knew I was out of touch and practice. Not having to think about all of the possible options was a relief - leaving the process and brand in Hollie’s creative hands was the best thing I could have done.
Use a designer, and trust them to come up with the best possible representation of your brand. Find someone you trust, and a designer whose work you like the look of and connect with. Work with them to describe your brand, your vision, and how you want people to engage with it - then leave the creativity up to them.