Personal Branding: A Journey of Self Expression

If you’re one of the one million monthly readers of this blog (by one million I mean something closer to 5), you may have noticed some small, subtle changes. I decided it was time for a refresh of my personal branding. I’ve been working to sharpen my design skills, and figured I’d experiment on myself.

My Process

I also decided to share a little of my creative process here. But first, I want to say a big thank you to Aaron Draplin for this video, which really encouraged me to feel free to experiment in developing my logo.

One key piece of advice that Draplin gives in the video is to create an idea and then duplicate it before making any changes. If you look at the image below, you can see that I took this approach to working through my ideas.

logo ideas

So, I just played around with these in a few sittings over a few days. I like to walk away from my work and come back to it to see if it still makes sense.

By the way, I also searched “personal branding” on Pinterest for inspiration. Not for copying, for inspiration. Lots of people have lots of different ways of designing their personal brand, and seeing them one after another helped me think about what I wanted to do. I’m not a great drawer, but I also did some initial work in my sketchbook. I’d post a picture, but the page is cluttered with some other ideas that are not currently for public consumption.

Working it Out

By working my ideas out in this kind of slush file, some themes started to emerge.

logo idea

This was my first direction. I kind of had it in my mind before I looked at any inspiration or opened my sketchbook or computer. Clean, boxy, but boring. I wanted to make my life easier and stop here, but I couldn’t. It just wasn’t right.

logo idea

This is where I really started to experiment. This is also why having some paper and a pencil or marker are important. I started to play around with my initials and the components of each letter. I really didn’t like any of these. Yes, playing with the geometry of ‘K’ and ‘L’ can be kind of cool, but it just didn’t feel like me.

I also noticed that there’s an arrow in the letter ‘K’. However, it’s pointing backwards (at least, backwards for those of us who read left to right). I didn’t like that, and it made me wish I could just make it point forward.

Then I realized I could! There’s no rule that says the letter ‘K’ in a logo has to face one direction. So, I decided to turn my ‘K’ into a forward pointing arrow, because, of course, I want to help people move forward.

logo idea

That led to my third direction. Finally, things were starting to look right. As you can see above, I played around with some perspective things, but that looked a little too 2001. I also had to debate how to incorporate “215” which distinguishes me from Kevin Lockett, the football player and Kevin Lockett my father and any other Kevin Locketts out there. The thing with the dots wasn’t quite working in the logo, but I decided to hold on to it and it became a cool pattern for me to use elsewhere. I refined what I had, stepped away to make sure it’s what I really wanted, and behold: a new logo.

Kevin Lockett

Personal Branding in Action

Here are some examples of the logo/colors/overall design concept in action:

logo & quote

cards & phone

computers and phone

215You can check out more examples here:

Now, of course, this does not make me the greatest designer in the world. But it does make me a designer because I made something. How did I feel at the end of this process? A little less like an impostor and a little more like someone with something to contribute. I can design logos, and I can share my process with others to help them.

Guess what: we all have something to contribute. What will your contribution be?

Post Script

This is supposed to be my side hustle, so… if you’re interested in having me help you by designing something, shoot me an email:

Post Post Script

I did all of my design work in Adobe Illustrator. I used Illustrator and Photoshop to make the example images.