Have a wonderful weekend.

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A few links for your weekend: 

How I organize my work flow

You know those "a day in the life" articles that share what someone does throughout a typical day? I'm somewhat obsessed with them. I love getting insight into people's lives and how they effectively use their time. What I've learned has definitely poured over into how I live, but mostly into how I work. I've been slowly refining my workflow for the past three years – and I'm at a point now where things are really working well. 

I always love sharing what I've learned, so today I’m giving you a look into how I design an entire brand and website in an efficient amount of time. Keep reading for a peek into what working with TPA is like...

 
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CLIENT ONBOARDING

Each time a potential client inquires about my services (usually through email), I respond with a friendly welcome, an invitation to set up a meeting over Skype or over the phone, and a link to my services page so they can review my process, package, pricing, and availability in the meantime. 

During our first meeting, I get to know the client, ask about what they’re looking for in the design of their brand and website, and answer any questions they might have. 

If the potential client decides to move forward with the process, they reserve my services through a signed contract and a 50% deposit. A new element to this, is that I set up a project page for them on my website – this will act as a "home base" throughout the project for both of us, and everything I create for them will be downloadable from there. I also give them their homework, which is to work on a Pinterest board full of imagery that they're inspired by for their brand. By sending their homework a day or two after booking, my clients have plenty of time to work through the it before the signed contract gets to me in the mail and we begin designing. 

WEEKS 1-2: BRAND DESIGN

I spend the first few days of every project by pulling together a mood board as a visual starting point for the brand. I use images from my clients’ Pinterest board that they set up specifically for the project as part of their homework, and I also bring in some other images that fit well with the overall aesthetic of the new brand. I provide my client with one revision in this stage. 

my design process - that's pretty ace

Then I get to work creating 3 distinct logo concepts. Because this step of the process takes me a little longer and feeling rushed interferes with creativity, I give myself one week to work on these concepts. I rely on the colors, patterns, and visuals of the inspiration board for direction and ideas, and I strive to provide my client with 3 different directions that we could go with their brand. I provide 2 revisions during this step. 

my design process - that's pretty ace

After my client chooses their favorite out of the bunch, I spend another week creating logo variations to give them variety within their brand. I also select typefaces, create icons, and pull in other brand elements like patterns and borders to create a full brand elements sheet, which allows my client to see everything at once. 

my design process - that's pretty ace

WEEKS 3-4: COLLATERAL

After the brand elements sheet is complete, I use the new “system” that I’ve created for their brand and carry it over into 4 collateral items of my clients’ choosing. They can range from stationery (business cards, letterhead, thank you cards) to blog post templates and everything in between. I have my clients provide me with all of the information and photos for these pieces ahead of time to make it easier (and quicker) for me to design them, and I offer 1 revision. 

my design process - that's pretty ace
my design process - that's pretty ace
my design process - that's pretty ace
my design process - that's pretty ace

WEEK 5: WEBSITE

Because my client provides me with all of the text, photos, and pages ahead of time, it makes it very easy for me to go in and add it all into a Squarespace template. I spend week 5 working on the layout, customizing the template and adding design elements, and making revisions and tweaks. I create the website in trial mode and add my client as an administrator once they’re happy with the final product. Then they can go in and upgrade their account, set up their billing information, and import their content from their old site if their transferring from a site like Wordpress.

my design process - that's pretty ace

WEEK 6: FILE SHARING, FINAL MEETING, AND SQUARESPACE TUTORIAL

During the final week of the project, I upload all of the logo and collateral files to their project page, as well as guidelines for their brand fonts and colors. I either meet in person or Skype with the client and share my screen with them as I walk through the backend of their site and show them how to edit information, add blog posts, and change out photos. I also answer any last questions, and then the process officially comes to a close...

CLIENT LAUNCH DAY

…until client launch day, when I celebrate my client’s new brand and website by sharing their new designs on my website. I think something as big as a new visual identity deserves to be celebrated, and not only do I enjoy sharing the designs with my audience, but I love driving traffic to my clients’ sites and showing off all of their hard work, too. 


Want to work with me? Have questions? Check out my services page for more details and my price list, then shoot me an email! 

How to fight the urge to do everything right now

Back in February, I was inspired by Jess Connolly to make a few lists for my week and they've helped me immensely these past few months. I was really struggling to mentally juggle all of my tasks and, because I felt like I needed to get everything-done-right-this-second, I ended up not getting very much done. I shared these in the March newsletter, but wanted to share them with any of you who didn't happen to be signed up then! Seriously, they've been a game-changer in my life. 

 
how to fight the urge to do everything right now - that's pretty ace
 

weekly to-do list

I went through a few weeks where I'd get home and feel like I didn't get nearly as much done as I'd hoped to that day. So I put this paper to work! I prioritize my tasks for the week and give them each an assigned day. Sometimes I even print out two and write out things that I know can wait until next week, so I'm not stressing about them right now :)

weekly repeats

I use this in conjunction to the weekly to-do list. They're a great team! I was using up so much brain space trying to remember tasks that repeat each week (even Bible study! PRAYER! Y'all. So glad I put those on here). I put all of my repeating tasks into this form, and my brain feels loads lighter. I'm actually getting these tasks done now instead of doing them "whenever I remember." 

Have a fun weekend!

happy friday - that's pretty ace
 

This weekend is pretty big for us... Chris is graduating from law school! We're celebrating with a big party tonight full of family and friends, then he'll cross the stage tomorrow evening. I'm most likely going to be a weepy mess! Hope you all have lots of fun in store as well!

+ links for your weekend:

Photo via Rifle Paper Co. for Tattly

New Brand + Website for God Dots

Bold. It's the one word that I was looking to reflect in the new brand and website for God Dots, and it perfectly captures my experience working with Ann. From our initial design meeting to the logo concepts to the final launch of the new site, boldness has been the common theme throughout this design project. I'm so excited to reveal all of the details to you today!

 

Ann has been a writer and women's minister for a few years now – and she's incredible at it. Speaking to women is so clearly the call on Anne's life, but even more so, I love her passion to live an authentic life for Christ. When we first met, Anne told me about her story and how, for so much of her life, she has lived in "hiding." She spent so much time trying to be a "cleaned-up" version of herself, when really God could work best in who she truly is. She told me she loves wearing her leather jacket, her speech includes words like "bad-ass," and she sometimes uses Taylor Swift songs to make a point about the Gospel. She's not afraid to be real, and God has been so good to grow that in her. Obviously, Anne's brand needs to reflect Anne – so things got bold. 

With Anne, we worked in a short time frame, and I had an immediate idea of a direction that Anne was immediately on board with (thanks to Anne for trusting me, and huge thanks to God for so obviously putting us together on the same page). We moved her current blog over to Squarespace and got her up and running with a splashy, confident new look. She had gotten great pictures taken of her recently (always a plus, you guys!). These were perfect to work with to get her a cohesive, professional look and feel.

God Dots | That's Pretty Ace

Anne also needed a sassy new business card and a formal bio sheet to send out for speaking engagements. I love the way these turned out and echo the sophisticated, confident style of Anne's blog. 

It was an honor to partner with Anne and to join in her journey as she boldly pursues writing and speaking for the glory of God. You go, girl!  

God Dots | That's Pretty Ace
God Dots | That's Pretty Ace

"That's Pretty Ace is a dream to work with. Brittany brings her creativity, vast knowledge and patient spirit to her work. She is determined to get it right. Working with her was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had because it's like you're working with a close friend. I highly recommend That's Pretty Ace and Brittany Knight for any web, print or other graphic that you need!" - Anne Watson, Speaker and Author of GodDots.com


What do you think of the new God Dots visual identity and website?