In this Branding Through Photography Live interview with Kristy Black, we talk about what exactly a strategic brand designer is, why you need them when creating your brand, and some tips when working on your brand from someone who is well-versed in the field!

Here’s a breakdown of the video in case you want to skip around (though, I definitely recommend checking out the entire presentation! It’s full of great info!)

So let’s get down to it!


2:09 Who are strategic designers for? And why do we need them?

3:40 You might be wondering: “Why aren’t my clients finding me already??” Let me just say…I feel you. And the reason your people most likely aren’t finding you is because of your branding. Have you considered why your target audience is not resonating with you?

6:15 What actually is branding all about?? (Think about how you serve customers, how customers experience your business, and how they feel after working with you. AKA…what makes up a brand.)

As Kristy mentions, it’s helpful to think of your brand as an actual person so you can tailor it to what resonates with them.

“Branding is the ability to find and communicate with your clients why they need YOU specifically.” Ahhhh. so good.

9:10 What should your messaging strategy be?


Here we start veering into the visual strategy for strategic brand design.


12:15 Brand identity or visuals. The most important part for visuals is consistency. If you don’t have a logo yet, focus on creating a strong color palette, typography, and consistent imagery.

16:00 What should the imagery consist of as it relates to your brand?

20:25 Kristy has a great book recommendation here for some basics on design. The Non-designers Design Book.

21:25 Can we talk mood boards? Do we need them?

24:15 When creating our brand, what should we avoid?

26:45 When choosing colors, Kristy recommends: Adobe Color and Adobe Capture for picking your own color palettes.

27:25 How long should your branding last you?


From here, we move into hiring someone and what that looks like.


29:00 How do you know when it’s time to shift/tweak/overhaul your brand??

31:50 Outsourcing. When should you outsource your work, and how do you go about finding someone that fits your needs for when you’re ready to grow?

33:00 What are the different kinds of designers and who should we hire?

TIP: 42:25 Working with a designer on a budget.


42:55 Here, Kristy gives us a solid list of WHAT TO ASK designers before hiring them!



  1. Describe your design process.
  2. If additional rounds of revision are needed, how will those be handled?
  3. If I need additional design work that falls outside of the scope of this project, what does that process look like?
  4. How are missed deadlines handled? Due to an error on my end? An error on your end?
  5. How are final files delivered? What file types are provided?
  6. Describe a (insert your type of project) project you did for a client recently that you were proud of. What made that project so successful?
  7. How is your pricing structured? Hourly? Flat fee? Retainer?
  8. How do you handle purchases and licenses for fonts photos in other assets you might need to complete my project?
  9. Do you offer payment plans? If so, how are they structured?
  10. Do you require a retainer fee?
questions to ask a strategic brand designer

43:40 Red flags for hiring a designer. What makes a red flag from a designer’s perspective.

46:10 What’s a creative brief and why do we need it?


Creative Brief

46:45 Where should we be looking for designers??

48:00 Interested in working with Kristy?? Check out her packages. Here’s her site!

Alrighty, this about wraps up this amazing presentation! I hope this live was as jam-packed with great info on creating a brand that actually resonates with your audience as I did!! If you have questions for Kristy, drop them below or check out her site.


For the Facebook group, it’s free and open to business owners who are looking to upgrade their branding! I’d love for you to join…and tell all of your friends, too! 😉 Did I mention it’s free?? And we have amazing expert lives just like this and last week’s Pinterest live on the reg! Be sure to check it out!



Thanks again to Kristy for this amazing info, and I’ll catch y’all on the flip side! 


Till next time!