Building a Studio Brand

This week, check out an interview with the amazing Dara Donnelly, award-winning Brand Strategist while we talk about the basics of Brand design/Logo design for Studio Owners.

Q: What’s important for getting started? What should Branding Beginners look for?

When starting the branding process, the first questions to ask are: “Where are we going? Why are we doing this? Where is the business going?”

This is important because you rebrand for where you want to be, not where you are now.

It is important to look at your competitors and other businesses in your community to make sure that you don’t “copycat” and so you stand out.


Also, go out and look for inspiration. Visit Behance – – and start with a keyword search for ideas of what you want your new identity to look like. If you can establish the style and look you want, then you will be in the perfect position to engage a designer.


Brand knowledge also comes from knowing what type of studio you have and what type of image you want to project. Are you traditional? Are you competitive? Etc. Once you know what type of experience you want to give your students, then that will show on paper what kind of influence will be on your brand.

Additional Tips

  • Research your look and feel, make note of any colors and fonts you want for your new brand.
  • Take screenshots and save to folder on your desktop or build a pinterest board

The more information you have to give to the designer to communicate your vision, the less of a chance you could fall into a trap of having the designer’s preferences unduly influence the job. Your brand must represent YOUR vision, not the designer.


Q: What makes a good logo?

  • Good logos need to work in black and white, not just color. Think of where and how you will be reproducing your brand. Your color logo must still work when printed in black and white.
  • Scale is very important. The logo has to work really, really big and well as really small. If you have intricate details in your logo, you may lose those details when it is scaled down.


Q: Additional Advice for Branding Beginners?

Know that this process isn’t necessarily permanent. When you are doing a rebrand it can be a really emotional experience and it can be scary, but it isn’t forever. Think of it in terms of the next 3 to 5 years.

Elements from your brand can be repurposed along the way to suit your changing needs or to represent new programs. Giving each of your programs their own branded color is another great example of this as well.

Thank you again for watching and we’ll see you next time on Studio Expansion TV!

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