Lesson 40: New ideas, new translation business branding

Lesson 40: New ideas, new translation business branding

As you can see, WantWords new identity is now introduced on every platform (here on the web, on Facebook, Twitter, Visualize.me, and everywhere else). I thought that I could share some of my ideas behind this change in a post. I had some doubts about changing the identity and find strong arguments in favour of it.

First of all, I was anxious that introducing such a great change would confuse my audience. People know me for being brightly red and having a strawberry here and there. What if I lose the recognition and loyalty I already have?

Secondly, as they say: if it ain’t broke… Old branding worked just fine. I gave a consistent and strong image on every platform and through all means of communication (including my invoices). Why would I ever need anything else?

Thirdly, I had to deal with a natural stress related to changes. Weighting up pros and cons was a never-ending nightmare. What if I don’t like the new design? What if others don’t like it? What if it doesn’t work with my clients? At some point, I was about to call the whole re-branding off.

I’m glad that I didn’t.

I realised that WantWords is my own business and it’s always up to me how it looks like and what it does. It’s all about the person behind it. A change of colour cannot confuse my audience or my clients, because it’s only the colour that changes – I stay the same. And because I am my business, it should please me. If I like brown and old typewriters, I should use brown and old typewriters. If I changed and grew up, I can leave bright red and strawberries behind. And in the end, business is never about the colour or the logo. To a certain extent it doesn’t matter if you have your website in shades of red of brown. You’ll translate equally well.

I’m happy with all the changes, and I would like to talk you through them.

Idea

The idea is to create the image of old-school reliability and professionalism. You know, these days when translators used typewriters, knew spelling by heart and went to libraries to do research. Something was telling me that we’re missing these roots in the offline reality. I decided that I would like to use the feel of the past and combine it with new technologies. I also want to promote my country.

Colours

Brown is not popular online. I’m well aware of it and I know why. Back in the old days, when I received my training in public speaking, we were told that if we want to attract attention to ourselves, we should wear flashy colours. That’s how people stand out. But if we’re delivering a workshop or a training session, we should wear brown. Brown attracts people to what you’ve got to say. Besides, brown is serious, stable and structured. Just like me.

Logo

The essential part of the logo stayed the same. Sometimes you’ll see it with a typewriter, like on my business cards, just to add a bit of spice to it. But no major changes there. I really like it the way it is.

Slogan

Surprise, surprise: my slogan is partly in Polish. It’s a part of a wider campaign I’m rolling out – trying to make people interested in my native language by facing them with words they can make out of the context. It’s also a great hook. Whenever I meet someone new and give out my business card, they try to read the bit in Polish and always make jokes about their pronunciation. “Po polsku” is easy enough to learn it in 3 seconds, and I can always congratulate my interlocutor on being such a fast learner. Does the trick for me.

Business cards

I wanted to have two versions with reversed colours. I like my choice and I know that I can always go either with a more serious brown, or with a clear-cut white background.

Bc l40

Stickers

A real highlight of my business! Stickers are fun and everyone just loves them. I’ve already distributed some among my friends and they’re dutifully sticking them everywhere around. I must admit, I have them for fun.

Letterhead

As a minimalist, I wanted my letterhead to be just a touch of my brand. And here it is – a classic watermark.

Ink

I love fountain pens and I’m using them all the time. I thought there’s nothing better than a reliable Waterman and a stock of black ink. Well, there is. Brown ink 🙂 And I’m deadly serious about it. Have a look yourself:

Psst… Do you know who did the design? Visit Websites for Translators.

Do you have your own translation business branding ideas?

8 Comments

  1. Aldana Michelino , on Sep 10, 2012 at 12:38 Reply

    I totally love it, Marta! Congratulations!
    You know, I also like simple things (and specially logos), so I feel identified with you. As you can see, my logo is also in only 3 colours and the only one that stands out is a beautiful shade of green I’ve chosen because I love it.
    I think it’s totally healthy to change once in a while. It makes your mind fresh up and it recharges your batteries. And look at your brand now, it looks beautiful and creative. Congratulations to Websites for Translators also. 🙂

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Sep 17, 2012 at 17:42 Reply

      Thank you, Aldana! I feel really great with this design. I’m proud to give out my business cards and invite colleagues to visit my website… So very happy about it!

  2. Carolyn Yohn , on Sep 10, 2012 at 13:28 Reply

    Congratulations on “growing up” your design. I especially love the watermark stationery! The new design almost looks like you could turn it into an embossing stamp very easily—for the backs of envelopes or something? 🙂

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Sep 17, 2012 at 17:41 Reply

      Thanks, Carolyn! I have a bunch of return labels with my logo and address and intend to stick them on every envelope I send. A stamp sounds great as well!

  3. Sarah , on Sep 12, 2012 at 19:21 Reply

    Thanks Marta for another great and informative post! You gave me some ideas about how to generate ideas for my own logo. By the way, I like the look of your new logo. I especially love the reversed colors business cards and your watermark. What a great idea!

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Sep 17, 2012 at 17:38 Reply

      The more I look at my BCs, the more I love them! It’s a simple trick, but makes my brain think I have so many different designs of them 🙂

  4. Aleksandra Milcic , on Sep 13, 2012 at 19:24 Reply

    I really love your new blog design, Marta! I think the new brown color goes perfectly with your new symbol – the typing machine. It’s easy to remember and I believe your customer and readers will easily get accustom to it.

    I mustn’t forget to say- the stickers are simply adorable! 🙂

    • Marta Stelmaszak , on Sep 17, 2012 at 17:37 Reply

      Thank you, Aleksandra! I love the type writer… I even used to have one long time ago. I shall get another one as soon as it’s practically possible.

Leave a Comment

*