(Re)Designing:Brand Focus and Exposure

I’ve long decided that my shortened name (Rey Reynoso not Reynaldo Reynoso) is my brand. It’s the name I use on the magazine. It’s what I use on Facebook. It’s what I’ve been using on my Bible site. It’s what I’ve been using on my most recent edition of my design site.

But why not use something zany like “Multifaceted Designer”? Well, it’s a mouthful for one. And secondly, it doesn’t really represent the totality of what I’m about. Sure I design for print, web, interior and exteriors—but it ignores other things like illustration and writing. And though it is very true that a company building a brand wants a focus on what a brand entails (for example, you hear Pepsi you think soda and not shirts), an individual trying to create a worldwide accessible identity shouldn’t be one dimensional.

I bought the main url name (rreynoso.com) so that I can have a catchall for all my interests—which immediately opened up some things I want the site to accomplish. I don’t only want it to be a business card slash resume. I want it to be an online repository of the official me.

The thinking behind this is simple. I’m the same person offline and on even if I don’t always talk about everything I talk about online. I only mention Star Wars a few times on my sites, but you’re more likely to hear me talk about the intricacies of a well-executed light saber battle than anything else. That being the case, I want an online hub of my e-me so that people wanting to know me can easily find out what I’m about without too much work.

Of course, that needs to be set to the proper exposure. You have plenty of people who use their names as their brand (Hillman Curtis, Chermayeff and Geismer), but they consistently ensure that things their bran isn’t flying all over the place.

I’ll need the content to be clearly delineated and I’ll need it all compiled and highlighted the right way. As Jeffrey Zeldman said “Content informs design; design without content is decoration.”

I have the content, I just need a way to present it.

Questions To Ask Before (Re)Designing

I hate thinking about a redesign.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind redesigning things. There’s no problem going into a client’s situation and pointing out where they’re falling short or what needs to be addressed to underscore their brand. Similarly, I don’t have a problem getting a design from a buddy asking for advice and pointing out where they need to go back and rethink things. But that becomes a real struggle when the client is myself.

I figured I’d let the one or two readers into my process of design and redesign with this post: The Questions.

I mean, how would I describe myself? What does my “brand” consist of? I’m a designer, art director, illustrator, fly-by-night writer and photographer. I’ve orchestrated photoshoots, have worried about costumes, lighting, and have even made a point of mocking up packages for presentation. I’ve often used the term “multifaceted designer” to describe myself (pretentious, I know) but it’s a mouthful and clunky. I won’t drop the name since I think it’s accurate, but I can’t really use it on the fore—which my most recent design reflects—so how can I encapsulate the idea into my name? Should I? Would it be confusing?

This is usually my first step when dealing with clients but there I have the benefit of seeing what their business purpose is.  Me, I’m not so much promoting a business purpose but rather an individual (myself) who one can trust to do solid work. It’s a catchall for freelance, work, preaching—an electronic business card slash resume slash portfolio that goes on before me making assurances of what one can expect from me.

But that being the case, everything has to properly represent me.

The first is a sample of several years ago. The next is a sample of the current version of the site.


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