October is Branding Month here at Sage Wedding Pros. We want you to learn more about Branding Specialists; so, we are featuring one each Friday. Today’s branding specialist is Cathy Olson, owner of Love-Inspired. Cathy LOVES design. This is evident in the fact that each time I email her with questions on branding she is quick to send back a very energetic response. (It makes me smile.) She is creative and talented… and we love her work!
Designing since 1999
What is your design specialty?
Love-Inspired specializes in bridging the gap between the usual, corporate graphic design approach, and wedding industry aesthetic. I have a background in both worlds, which makes me identify in a different way with my clients. My original background is working in the corporate world designing for such big companies as Disney, Apple, Costco & Walmart – designing branding, packaging, and front-end website design. After later getting into the wedding industry, designing stationery, I quickly realized – not only is the design aesthetic completely different than the corporate world, but the wedding industry’s clients and professionals are completely unique. Wedding designers may not understand the marketing/business/consumer side; while Corporate designers may not understand what makes an engaged couple’s emotions respond. It was then I realized that we fit perfectly into that niche market – the space in between Corporate and Wedding! We use our experience to combine successful strategies from both. Another way we are a rarity is that we are graphic designers that also do website design. Usually a designer is one or the other, we are both! This provides you with a fully integrated experience for all of your needs.
Describe your design style. How do you get inspiration?
It actually brings me a lot of joy to not be squeezed into a single design style. I love being well-rounded in design aesthetics, so that we can match anyone’s desired style/look. I love the challenge of doing a Victorian style one day, Art Deco style the next, then Minimalist Modern the next. My favorite challenge is when a client wants a mix of styles. You’d like a Vintage-inspired Modern? How lovely! I love combining styles to come up with a completely new one that speaks to the facets of a company.
My biggest inspiration is my clients. It may sound cheesy – but why look outward for inspiration, when you have the real thing right in front of you? Thus the name of our company, Love-Inspired. We focus on what inspires the wedding professional; your loves, passions and strengths. We focus on honing in who YOU are, in hopes to attract clients who LOVE who you are. That’s our greatest inspiration, and that’s why we do what we do. We emphasize growth for businesses, cultivating the beauty of what’s really there, inside. We come up with design solutions to show this beauty to the world effectively.
What should a client expect when they hire you to do their branding?
My process may be a bit different than others, but it seems to work for my busy clients! Being a small studio, we are definitely very email oriented. Lots of my clients are not local to San Diego, so dealing with time zones & busy schedules, it’s a super easy and effective way to communicate. We virtually meet you! We have get-to-know you questionnaires, tough and fun questions about your business. There are times when phone calls are needed to “talk it out”, but for the most part we are very easy to work with, and do not demand a lot of your time. We start by getting to know your business, then working up a proposal. Once you agree to the proposal and decide to hire us, we schedule the design. At any time you can send us inspiration photos, websites, or logos you may come across that catch your eye. Once the design concepts are complete, we send them to you to review. We work on revisions from there, to narrow down to the final design. Once approved, we either provide final files, or start on coding if it’s a website. The last piece is when your company gets rave reviews on your new branding, your company finally starts getting the clients you want, and you really LOVE what you do. 🙂
Give 3 tips on what a small business should do before they hire a designer.
1. Look internally and decide what kind of company you want to be, and which direction you are heading.
2. Decide exactly what type of clients you want to work for, and what type of weddings/events you want to be involved in.
3. Do some comparison shopping, check out design styles, and check out pricing to see if they are the best fit.
Featured work from Love-Inspired…
We always have a blast when designing anything for Audra René Studio, which is probably why we’ve done so many things already, and the work continues! We started off with a logo and business card design. It grew into a full website, window graphics, postcards and collateral pieces. We are even designing Gift Certificates for her for the Holiday season! For her style, she wanted to stand out amongst her competition, to display her unique approach to hair, beauty, and the client experience. She believes in making all of her clients feel the most beautiful they’ve ever felt. She does this by combining over 10 years of experience, her unique style, and her professional, lovable, positive attitude.
We followed her inspirations and style, for her branding. We used a warm palette to soothe the senses, and to make you feel at home. We used a modern and classic design style to speak for her approach in beauty. We infused all of this with a bit of feminine details to give it that extra somethin’ somethin’. Her branding completely reflects her company to current and future clients, and our design has grown her business leaps and bounds since it’s launch. She continues to grow her business with us, as her new branding is opening new and exciting opportunities for Audra René Studio. It’s such a blessing to work with such talented clients! We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the future.