How Josephine Kimberling styled her brand
I think I might be more excited to share this rebrand with you than I can possibly communicate. Josephine Kimberling is a seriously talented surface pattern designer. A true expert in her field and incredibly inspirational at what she does. Add to that a whole heap of loveliness and it was no great surprise that I leapt at the chance to mentor her through styling her brand.
Josephine knew that she had the skill to create her own brand identity, but she was struggling to see the wood for the trees (isn't that a familiar tale to those of us who design our own stuff?!). We worked together on finding her direction and then challenging her to produce her very best work. I think you'll agree it looks incredible. And so much more grown up, aspirational and timeless than what she had before.
Over to you Josephine!
What prompted you to restyle your brand? I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but I just didn’t make time for it. I was stuck wondering if I should do it and lose the brand equity I had built already, and if it would be worth it in the end. Overall, the risk was worth it to me because I just didn’t feel connected to my branding anymore.
I felt like it was suffocating my art instead of bringing out the best in it, and it was giving my business an older feeling and look which is not what my business is about.
Then, I began collaborating with a new company on a fabulous line of products and the timing was perfect to launch a new look at the same time. That deadline definitely gave me the push I needed to get started on the process!
When I made the decision to begin my rebrand, I found your book and decided to work through it to help me through the process.
It really helped show me why I was feeling the way I was about my branding as it didn’t align with my brand and values at all! Light bulb moment.
How did you find the process?
I found the process extremely fun, rewarding and challenging at the same time. I read your book in two evenings, printed out the worksheets and spent a Saturday filling everything out. I eagerly started my mood board and pulling color chips. I did a more thorough recap of my process in a blog post.
The worksheets were extremely helpful for me to really think through what my business is about, what my brand values are, and what I want my new brand story to say. I kept seeing consistent threads throughout the process, which really helped solidify those things for me. It also helped show me the messages I was sending with my old branding and how it didn’t align with my business.
The stripped back mood board. Isn't it gorgeous? As soon as I saw Josephine's colour psychology keywords sheet I understood why she was feeling overwhelmed - there were words in every column! A great indication that you need to get more focused, and as Josephine says, separate you from the business (even when the business is you).
What did you find the most challenging? The most challenging thing for me was figuring out my seasonal personality and whittling down my mood board. I feel like I know myself pretty well and have made tons of mood boards before, so this surprised me. I mostly got stuck trying to distinguish between my personal style and my brand. I was mixing the two together and getting really confused.
Thankfully, I knew I was really stuck and decided to reach out to you to get some clarity.
We figured out my season was Spring/Winter and you helped me whittle down my massive mood board to something much more cohesive which set me off on the right path. Having those two things landed really helped me navigate the process. I kept referring to them to keep me on track through the rest of my branding process.
How long did the process take from start to finish? And how did you manage to fit it in around the day job?
I’d say the process took me about three months from start to finish. I was so inspired and excited to work on it that I did it in the evenings and on weekends, so I could keep my day job going and my clients happy.
I could have chewed on and finessed and reworked my new branding to death, but thankfully I had an external deadline that gave me an end date. Plus my website got hacked shortly after my rebrand was complete, taking my site down, so I had to create a new one immediately. Nothing like imminent deadlines to keep one on track!
Isn't it fascinating to see how Josephine's ideas changed? The postcard in the foreground is her old logo which feels so dated and messy in comparison to her new, streamlined look! The chevron around the unicorn was something we debated over and over, but to me it added a layer of unnecessary clutter and stopped the whole thing from feeling light and forward thinking. I'm so glad she dropped it! Towards the background you'll see other early iterations of Josephine's process.
It’s early days but what impact have you found the branding is having on your business?
I think time will tell on the impact my branding will have on my business. It’s had a lot of impact on me, personally, which is huge.
I feel like my new branding is a better reflection of my business and allows my artwork to shine and not get lost.
It also sends a clearer and truer message, which makes me feel more comfortable and excited to show up in my business and to promote it.
What are your plans for the future? I’ve been wanting to connect with people more and take a deeper dive with them through the ups and downs of running your own business, help others discover more of who they are so we can all show up as our best selves in our lives, and share some life encouragement along the way.
With my rebrand, I started a newsletter called “The Catalyst” where I plan to do these things. I’ve also started selling my art in my Etsy shop. I usually work behind the scenes with companies, so it’s been really rewarding to have the ability to connect with people directly.
Also – my mission from day one has been to build an art brand that is synonymous for quality, style and gorgeous product that speaks to people and inspires them to feel valued and worth it. I plan to continue licensing my work with the fabulous companies I currently work with and to grow my business with new ones as well. My dream is to some day see my art on bedding, home décor and wallpaper.
Where can we find you? You can find me on my new website at www.JosephineKimberling.com, in my visual happy place on Pinterest , sharing behind the scenes on Instagram, selling my art on Etsy and giving updates here and there on Facebook.