What Brand Is Your Therapist?

I was pleasantly surprised last year when I was approached by a new client looking to introduce herself to the psychotherapy industry through branding. She was starting her own practice and wanted to make sure clients searching in the area would be drawn to her practice through the proper introduction of herself online and with her business cards. I thought how rare it is in a social service industry like psychotherapy to understand the important role that personal branding plays in the general’s perception of your services.

Today I came across a Forbes article tackling this very topic: “What Brand Is Your Therapist”. I agree to an extent with  Lori Gottlieb when she said “I couldn’t imagine hiring a branding consultant to lure people to the couch. Psychotherapy is perhaps one of the few commercial businesses that doesn’t see itself as one, that views financial gain as unseemly when connected to the delicate work of emotional insight. Moreover, the field is predicated on strict concepts of authenticity, privacy and therapist-patient boundaries. Branding was the antithesis of what we did.”  But I have to retort by saying that a therapist or lawyer or realtor who can communicate trust and competence through their personal brand will win my business time and again.

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Glad to be a Grad

Megan Grieser design for graduation celebration

Megan Grieser design for graduation celebration

This past weekend I took a beautiful drive down to Charlotte, NC to celebrate a good friend’s grad school graduation. His wife threw a surprise party for him, so while he thought I was home watching their 10 month old during his ceremony, I was really pulling together the party which would surprise him upon their return.

As I worked my way through my to-do list which his wife (my amazing friend Megan who trudged through grad school with me at Savannah College of Art and Design) left for me, I was elated to see “Attache thank you tags to water bottle favors.” You see, Megan is also a graphic designer and when she plans a party – surprise or not – she too leaves no detail unattended. So in the midst of planning a surprise, working full time and raising an adorable young lady, Megan took care of branding the party.

All my love to the talented Megan, the graduate Eric and their little lady Elise. Thanks for the memories and the water bottle favor!

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Just Breathe

Sometimes life comes at us hard. For me, it’s been a rough and tumble couple of months. My work load increased, I moved (2 miles from where I was), my weight increased, free time decreased, and my dog died. It was evident in the bags under my eyes that I was taking this all a bit hard. My boss sent me to a baseball game one afternoon just to get me out of the office. I was drinking wine like fire drinks oxygen. Six hours of sleep a night and right back at it in the AM. Not a sustainable routine. A lot of other minutiae type crap was also happening – but I don’t need to go into it. What I need to do instead….. just breath.

So I will breathe – next Thursday. Specifically. Until then there is too much to do and too much to plan and another couple of months of travel, coordinating, blood, sweat and nails (home improvement projects anyone). But on Thursday, I will breath. I will practice yoga. I will drink lots of water and I will bask in the sun, rain or whatever weather Mother Nature has planned. I will just breath. And you’re invited to join me.

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Design Hoarding

I love A&E’s show Hoarders. It’s a guilty pleasure – an hour long train wreck you can walk away from feeling better about yourself. But this morning I read an article on AIGA.org about design hoarding and the opening sentence “Did you know you are more likely to be a hoarder if you are a graphic designer than not?” set off a bell in my head.

Yesterday I spend the better part of my afternoon covering the last three of ten shoe boxes with fancy Paper Source paper so I could put them on my new bookshelves and fill them with clutter that was otherwise fighting the Feng Shui of the condo. As a graphic designer, I define my clutter as letterpress business cards; stray paper with interesting fonts, colors, notes or ink; well designed mementos from restaurants or events – you know, clutter. As we accumulate, we tell ourselves we’ll frame this and we’ll store that for future creative inspiration. At the end of the day, it ends up in a shoe box disguised as a work of art.

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Orange You Glad it’s Tuesday?

Growing up, my favorite color was green – not Kelly green or forest green, but Granny Smith apple green – you know, the color of Kermit the frog. I wore head to toe green on occasion. Looking back, I could have predicted that I was going to grow tired of this color.

Recently, I’ve noticed the color orange has nonchalantly crept it’s way into my life. Under the radar of the other earth tones that I gravitate towards, orange has become the “pop of color” in my home and wardrobe. Once I realized this had happened, I was naturally curious to understand why. I began my search to define the emotion behind the color orange.

Orange – an equal combination of red and yellow – is a high-spirited, enthusiastic and energetic color. It represents creativity and fun. I could have keep digging, but this definition satisfied my curiosity immediately. I began to search my portfolio for orange and immediately found that I have used it in recent work more often than I though. This leads me to believe that Orange entered my life, not so much under the radar, by more directly and with purpose – thanks for joining Orange.

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Paper Obsessed

This past weekend I hit my threshold for managing special order print jobs. I recently took on some gold foil and letterpress jobs that required me to learn the intricate process of creating such pieces – and in short order (both learning and creating). On Saturday I was done – I did not want to see another letterpress piece of collateral. As I was enjoying the cooler weather in Leesburg, Va., I stumbled upon the recently opened Haute Papier at 21 Wirt Street. As I walked in, I noticed a calm come over me – beautiful paper greats you, letterpress cards and coasters await and a collection of personal stationary is on display. The shop is small, but intimate and I felt renewed in it’s atmosphere.

I’m sure any paper store would have had this effect. Between the store, the antiquing and a wine bar or two, my attitude was revived and I returned home to work on my next paper project. What I learned about the projects I took on and the renewed energy I received from the paper store is that paper and print are my love, my passion. I may get frustrated with a client or project, but in the end, the elegance of marrying a concept with the right paper and print method is extremely satisfying.

I have a button on my wall that says “Paper Obsessed”. I could not have said it better myself.

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