Portfolio

Personal Brand

Overview

It’s no secret that designers tend to have trouble branding themselves.

Whether it’s colors, fonts, or logos – we are always tweaking or perfecting something.

And I am no stranger to rebranding myself.

Here’s the thing though – every time you rebrand you lose any subconscious real estate you’ve staked in someone’s head. So I actually DO NOT RECOMMEND that you do this as often as I have.

But no one was there to tell me no, and I’m stubborn and probably would have done it anyway.

So here are a handful of my personal rebrands along with a little history on my journey as an entrepreneur.

Old illustration + old name

Let’s start with the first round of my personal branding that I could find.

This is not the first time I created a brand for myself, but it’s the earliest one I could find in my project archives.

First, I drew a head and shoulder view of myself and gave the illustration some dimension by adding a badge shape and my name. I’d also change up the illustration based on my hair.

(Shout out to my OG name!)

I chose a pretty coral for my brand pop, with minty green and gray neutrals to balance the bright pops of color.

I’ve always loved using bold colors in branding, and one might even suggest that I don’t know how NOT to use bright brand pops (but you maybe haven’t seen Seeking Simplicity yet).

Montserrat was the font of choice, used in multiple styles and weights to establish a visual hierarchy on the page.

Emerald + Silver

I’m not sure at exactly what point I decided to move from the coral/turquoise combo to rich emerald green, or even why I did it but that’s what comes next.

Well, I did it because I wanted a change. But like most rebrands – I didn’t need to do it and I probably shouldn’t have. At that point, I felt comfortable changing so often because I felt like I had never built an audience that would recognize me anyway. I don’t know how true that was, or if it was just imposter syndrome.

Either way, I spent a lot of time for very little return until I realized I needed to do what I always hammered on with clients – know your audience.

But I digress. I rebranded, and trust me, it was not the last time.

Retro Analog

At some point around this time (maybe 2019?), I decided to shut down The Fanciful Academy.

But I had a ton of branded assets that I thought I was still going to use so I rebranded my personal stuff to match the branding for TFA. This time I leaned into systems and went super retro. I designed a 90s-style boxed website to match. It was adorable!

Client Dashboard

Unfortunately, as much as I tried, it just wasn’t flexible enough to keep using. So I went back to emerald + silver.

Isometric Neon

It was around this point that I knew I needed more help. I needed to figure out my audience, my message, and my positioning.

So I stopped trying to figure it out on second-rate self-study courses, and I hired a coach to help me nail down the stuff I was missing.

With all my new knowledge and a mentor to help, I finally had a grip on things. But I did the damn thing I always do – I rebranded.

I wanted a nod to my very first business – Neon Lights Studios.

And since I was exclusively focusing on building systems, I decided to license some super fun isometric illustrations of customer journeys and automation.

But as perfect as the offer was, as perfect as the messaging was – I had made a huge mistake by eliminating the branding arm of my business.

This is ultimately why I decided to step back and look at what I was actually doing when I boxed myself into what was the right choice at that time – exclusively building systems. I was working a lot with development for WordPress, and it just seemed like the right choice. I was in chronic pain, and I wasn’t convinced that I could be creative for someone other than myself.

Between the pandemic and a total hysterectomy, it was what I needed at the time.

Before deciding to work with a coach, I put myself in the “I made websites” box because that’s what conventional business wisdom said to do.

Niche down.

Pick an offer and sell it.

All great advice, as long as you’re choosing something that you really want.

But I was just doing what I thought my health would allow at the time.

Not what was good for my spirit.

It wasn’t until mid-2022 that I realized I still wanted to help people elevate their businesses with premium branding.

When I realized that I missed branding, AND that my circumstances had changed to the point that I felt comfortable being creative for other people, it felt like going home.

I love being able to take someone’s business and brand the hell out of it.

So my personal brand evolved one more time before I finally found a path I was happy to be on.

Client Dashboard

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Northern Lights

I rolled back to the emerald color palette and added the hot pink brand pop and royal blue accent colors to tie all of my personal branding through the years together.

When I got married, I changed my name and dropped the middle initial. None of my names were available, and I had niched down into solely building systems so I used the handle @natashamakeswebsites for a few years. 

To allow me to open my focus up to more than just systems, I changed my handle to @natashakcozad.

I created an updated monogram to match my updated branding and tie in my new social handle.

Most importantly, I found my true message – I help creative professionals elevate their client experience with premium branding and easy systems.

I created the Constellation of Service to aid designers, copywriters, photographers, and other creatives in mapping out their client journey.

Now, I guide clients through my newly revamped System Elevation Framework to help them go from being overworked and overwhelmed to breezing through their day like they had a Time Turner stashed away.

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