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[50] 5 Steps to a Better Brand with Julie Gibbons


Welcome to the 50th episode of the Create & Thrive Podcast!


This week I’m chatting with my friend – and our teacher for the new C&T course Brand Your Craft – Julie Gibbons from Tractor Girl.

Julie opened her Etsy shop in 2009 without putting any thought into her branding, and as a result her shop was not as successful as she hoped.

Julie went on to start her blog in 2011, and by interviewing other artists she quickly realised she wasn’t the only one who didn’t have good branding – and that a lot of people’s businesses were suffering from not having a strong, clear brand. Julie has gone on to specialise in visual branding – helping makers to craft strong brands for themselves.

In this episode she gives you 5 steps you can implement to make strides towards creating a stronger, better brand for your handmade business.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1. Graphic Design is important.
  • Alignment – don’t make things messy or in different sizes as it can be distracting.
  • You want to present something neat and easy to look at.
  • Think about contrast especially for important links.
  • Negative space is your friend – don’t feel you have to fill every space with content.
  • 2. You don’t need a logo.
  • Your logo is not your brand – your brand is about conveying a mood.
  • You don’t even need to think about a logo until you have your branding sorted.
  • ‘A logo is not the basis of your brand.’ {Julie}
  • 3. Set parameters. 
  • You need to set yourself a game plan and some parameters.
  • ‘If you have too much choice it can stop you from doing anything because you just don’t know which direction to go.’ {Jess}
  • Who are you and what do you want to project?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What is your product?
  • Once you have these fundamentals you can find the mood you want to encompass in your brand.
  • 4. Give yourself time.
  • Your brand will evolve over time and develop naturally.
  • ‘Don’t be afraid to take people on the journey and tell them the story of why.’ {Jess}
  • 5. Learn your brand back to front.
  • In order to be able to explain your brand to people you need to know it inside and out.
  • Get your peers to look at your visual branding and provide constructive feedback.
  • ‘Everyone has the ability to learn good design basics.’ {Julie}
  • FURTHER LEARNING: Julie and I are running an eCourse on this very subject! Visit Brand Your Craft for more information.
  • You can find Julie at her website, Facebook or Instagram.


Download/Listen to this Episode



(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

What say you?