November 29, 2012

Personal Branding (Part 1)

It’s that buzz word that is almost becoming cliché, in my opinion (well for the design circles). But you need to brand yourself as an emerging professional who is networking, looking for work or starting up a business. With my recent affinity to attending networking events and entrepreneurs and one of the trends that I’m seeing is how you stand out in the job market from the hundreds of people competing with for work. Branding is not just important for firms, it’s also important for prospective employees. As emerging designers and professionals who recently graduated or near to finishing their degrees, you have to ask yourselves how you will stand out from the rest of applicants.

It’s easy to do that verbally by preparing your elevator speech, as well as how you prepare your profile for your linked in profile and resume. However, as designers, we should get a sense of visually shaping up our personal brand.

You need to visualize your identity in graphic design and style. You need that business swag, that level of presentation that screams “I’m professional and I’m legit.”

  • Think about your values?
  • What’s your style and tastes?
  • What do you want to convey?
  • Think about your style, philosophy, and values as a designer.
  • Think about the type of firms you would want to apply to and how do they present themselves?
  • What makes you unique to spark conversation or interest?
    • I’ve seen a lady that loved wearing one piece of red on her, or was known for her iconic red frame eyeglasses, and thus she uses red for her business cards, her resume, and portfolio.
    • I met someone at a public speaking talk who is an entrepreneur in providing marketing solutions for her business. She made a little nice tag with string as her business card. It sparked the interest to find out the story of what the tag meant.
    • I’ve been fortunate to have the initials UV...well, as much as I wished my parents named me something “normal” as a kid in Canadian society like John, Jack, or Matt; this is something that makes me stand out. So for my business cards and my portfolio, I’ve made my initials stand out.

Be Consistent. It’s always important to be consistent with your personal brand. Show it in your resume, business card, portfolio, letter head. Graphic designer friends I know would be anal on every bit of detail like colour and font, style, and even how information is displayed. (My business cards and font for my blog, is the grey that I use for my personal branding for consistency).

Personal Branding. It’s not end all key to success, but it’s just going to tighten and clean up your presentation to your prospective employers and those who you are networking with.

Bon Appetit!
- Underdog Architecture Student

(P.S. If you think that I've given too much information, and that it's easy enough and want to bite my style, stay tuned to the next bit where I play devil's advocate and tell you that sleek graphic designed branding identity means squat in personal branding.)

Bite Back! - The Post Grad Phase
The Future Now Summit!
Personal Branding (Part 2)


  1. Replies
    1. Gotta thank you Daniel! You were the one giving me the detailed things to point out in the graphic design of my business cards!

  2. Haha! Funny you mention initials and weird names.. mine is pretty awkward as most people think 'Bobby' is a nickname/short form of something else. And as for my initials, BS is both annoying and hilarious! Looking forward to part 2.

    1. Hey Bobby!

      Lol, the initial thing doesn't always work...I'd try and look at other ways of presenting yourself visually as BS has other negative associations that don't align with who you are as a designer. As for UV, I do get worried about the UltraViolet Radiation...heck, someone thought I should brand myself as UV - The good kind.

      Definitely Part II is ready and needs some tweaking. will be posting it up next week! Cheers!