How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone - A Book Review

Whew! It's been a busy season. I've been going non-stop since Surtex, working on some exciting new projects, and am finally catching a breath of fresh air and lifting my head up enough to see the sun shining and SO hot here in Seattle this Summer!

I don't know if it's my lack of taking a vacation for 4 years or something in the air, but I'm ready for a refresh. In many ways and in many areas of my life. Both personal and professional. Call me a creative. Call me wishy-washy. Or just call me a girl trying to really figure out what she wants in life because she is so tired of walking the same path for miles on end without any new sites to see. I'm not even to mid-life yet, yet I feel like I'm going through a mid-life crisis. Can I say that? Well, it's happening. And it's scary. And it's invigorating too.

The first thing that's been going on is that I'm ready for a brand/logo refresh. As much as I've absolutely loved the green cartouche shape and my mixed bouncy letters, it's been feeling heavy and not quite right for me anymore. Like I'm wearing clothes a size too small. It's been eating at me for a little while now, and I finally got the internal & external push to do something about it.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen that I've been working through the book "How To Style Your Brand" by Fiona Humberstone. Which, by the way, is absolutely FANTASTIC! I've read tons of books on business, branding, you name it, but this one hands-down takes the cake.

Why? Because Fiona is brilliant. She walks you through the creative process and helps you see your business from the outside while giving you guidelines and parameters to come up with a presence that really makes your business shine. All based on who you are, what makes you different, what you gravitate towards, and (the funnest part) by what season you fall into. It's the first "workbook" I've read in a while that actually made me want to get up and actually do the work. Because the worksheets aren't fluffy and silly nor do they feel like a waste of time, nor just skim the surface. They are poignant and deep and relevant – and for me, pulled the best out of me.

So, I got the book and that weekend went to a new coffee shop I'd never been to, with my printed-out worksheets, and sat there for a few hours filling them out. It was a gorgeous sunny Seattle day and I sat at a bistro table outside. Hours later, I finished and felt so exhilarated and excited for next steps. Again - ready for a refresh!

After the worksheets, I began creating a mood board. Below is the mood board I created for myself with lots of delicious goodies that I gravitate towards. (Believe me, I took tons out too!...and it's a working mood board. Not all perfect and pretty as this wasn't going to see the light of day! But I thought it would be helpful to show you...)

My Crazy Brand Board

Once I started working through the book, I did, however, confuse myself. So when I chose my primary and secondary seasons (Summer & Winter), something just didn't fit right. I couldn't move forward under that umbrella. Sometimes it's hard to see myself so clearly when I know myself and my depths so well. AND with being a maximalist, I end up trying to put every ounce of me in every inch, and sometimes things just need air.

So, with things feeling a bit chaotic and not quite right, what did I do? I contacted Fiona herself and booked a session. Which was a BLAST and cemented my original thoughts that she truly is brilliant.

Our first order of business was to figure out my season. We talked through my worksheets and the mood board I created and discovered that I am the "Winter side of Spring", yet my branding is coming off like Spring/Autumn and isn't letting my art sing. Next up? Whittle down my ginormous mood board. When we finished, it was clean and crisp and cohesive. It truly felt right and a better fit for my business and my art. Don't you think?

My Updated Brand Board after working with Fiona Humberstone

I've been working on my new branding here and there, whenever I have pockets of time in the evenings and on weekends. I got my new logo down to 4 choices and have been going back and forth with Fiona on them. They all feel so different, yet right too, in their own ways. Yet it has been really hard for me to let go of my current logo and the uniqueness that it brings. I'm such a maximalist and my new design options are much cleaner and simpler. Yet, they meet the design brief I set for myself. Which is why filling out those worksheets has been so important! They've been helping me evaluate my work objectively and compare it to the brief, making sure I'm hitting the target I set for myself and not steering off course.

Working through the book "How To Style Your Brand" by Fiona Humberstone

So all in all, things are coming along great. I'm excited and ready for a refresh. I'm sure it's going to take me a while to get things fully fleshed out, especially because a lot of the revelations come when actually laying things out in real-world scenarios. I'll be sure to share my final logo in the next week or so and then after that? New website. Yep. I said it & I'm excited! Stay tuned!

So, I want to know - have you ordered this book yet? Have you worked through it? What did you love? I'd love to hear!

BTW - Fiona's book "How to Style Your Brand" is temporarily sold-out as of the writing of this post. But she is taking pre-orders worldwide, here.