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Whether you’re gearing up to re-brand or beginning the journey of developing a new brand for your business, there’ll be some guided steps we’ll go through in order to begin the Creative Design Process.

The first step I ask clients to do is to fill out a Branding Questionnaire. This reference is extremely resourceful and helps streamline your thoughts, ideas, mission, target audience, values and vision into one place. This identifies who your business is and what makes it unique. Within the Branding Questionnaire, clients are asked to create and share a private Pinterest branding inspiration board with me.

Creating A Pinterest Inspiration Board:

Below is an sample private Pinterest inspiration board created for InterPLAY Learning Academy. Adjectives that were used to describe this business are playful, confident, bright, clean, educational, friendly, encouraging, interactive and relational, to name just a few. We focused on a color theme that was geared towards a younger academic audience, for both males and females.


Design Inspiration Board:
After reviewing the clients Pinterest board, I’ll begin to mix and match some of the photos from the board directly into a secondary brand inspiration design board. Here, a color palette start to takes on a more solid choice form. I chose more saturated hues of blue, orange, green and red which ‘pop’ off the page and visually and tie-in well together representing energy, excitement, fun and friendliness.


Logo Concepts:
Using the brand inspiration board as a guide, various logo concepts are created. Owner and Founder, Dana Johnson, had shared with me that their desire would be to eventually offer academic programing for not only elementary ages, but also for middle through high school students. Attention was paid to this factor so that their branding could identify with a fun, engaging, yet clean and legible visual. In the concepts, I chose to have the word ‘Play’ stand out by variating the color hue used in each letter. To make sure the concept was not too visually ‘busy,’ I grounded and balanced the concepts through the use of gray and black for the word “Inter” and “Academy.”


Logo Revisions:

After the initial logo concepts are drafted we work through feedback while making tweaks and edits. In this particular brand, slight name changes were made, where they eventually landed on InterPLAY Learning Academy for their brand.

The final choice design combines typeface components from the first and third original draft concepts to complete their logo. Both landscape and portrait logo versions are created for clients as part of design file deliverables. This ensures that a logo will always work, well no matter if it’s advertised within a landscape or portrait medium.



Branding Collateral:

Once a logo concept is established, as a designer I never want to leave a client with just their logo. Why? Simply because the logo is really just the beginning! A business should not rely on a logo alone for it’s brand, and that’s where brand collateral comes into play. Serving as the bookends to a business, branding collateral utilizes the logo within resources, advertisements & promotional materials and anything that helps get your business name & services out there. I ask my clients what they are using within their business that helps them in their day to day interactions with customers. Then, as part of the branding package, they select 4 collateral items to be designed.

For InterPLAY, I created several collateral elements (Facebook avatar & cover, business card, apparel & desktop launch mockup) that bring this bright brand consistency into full realm.


Woohoo! It’s Pinterest time!
Part of the branding homework that I ask my clients to do is set up and share a private Pinterest branding board. This serves as a fun but intentional step in the brainstorm process which enables us to begin collaborating visual inspiration with photos of textures, patterns, color themes & ideas into a digital collage board that serves as a inspiration platform for businesses.

If you do not have a Pinterest account already, we will need to go over the steps involved to create one so you can complete the homework successfully. If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have the choice of creating a Pinterest account by logging in through either of those social media accounts too if you’d like. If you do not have a Pinterest account yet and would like assistance, let’s schedule a quick phone or video chat to walk you through the process (it’s literally takes just a few minutes to create one) so that you can move forward with this phase of the homework with ease.

Once your Pinterest account is set up, you’ll need to create a new private board to start pinning to.

I’ve created a quick cheat sheet reference to help you set up a private board.

#1: Create a Pinterest account.
Head on over to


#2: Create a new board.

#3: Name the Brainstorm Brand Board
Title the new board as “Your Business Name Branding Inspiration Board.” Feel free to write your business mission in the Description Field if you want. Set the board to ‘Secret’ and add me, Kelly Teno, as a Collaborator either by searching for me by my email address or Pinterest username, which is kelly_teno.


#4: Search
Begin searching by typing in keywords in the top search menu. Search for items such as color palettes (my example below shows a search for chartreuse green color themes), textures, tones, decor and patterns. If you get stuck or begin straying off the vision path, think about what imagery best represents & corresponds to the personality & style you desire for your brand? Do the images you’ve pinned represent that visually?


#5: Editing & Personalizing the Photo Captions
Once you find an image you’d like to include in your board, what’s really helpful is if you ‘edit’ the caption under the photo you’d like to pin.

Click on the pencil edit button (to the right under the photo) and change the text description so that it indicates what or why this photo inspires you for your branding. Personalize your descriptions under each photo.

After editing the image caption under the photo, click the red ‘SAVE’ button on the upper left corner of the image. Keep in mind that during this step, it’s okay to ‘save’ or ‘pin’ images that are of objects, colors, textures, patterns, quotes, rooms, decor, etc. If you have other boards besides this one in your account, choose to save each photo to the private branding inspiration board that you’ve created.

Because Pinterest is so addicStep5_PersonalizeDescriptionting once you begin exploring, it’s beneficial to keep in mind that although you technically can add as many images to this brainstorming branding board as you’d like, I recommend pinning somewhere between 15-20 images to complete this phase of your homework.



When it comes to education, parents want what’s best for their children. Likewise, when working on a new brand for a client, I want what’s best for their business! Least to say, I was really excited when the founders of InterPlay Learning Academy approached me with their vision to establish a brand that coincided with a new educational opportunity for children and their families which focuses on thriving in a non-traditional learning environment. InterPlay Learning Academy offers clinician created curriculum, where the needs of each child is met through building healthy foundations for social, emotional and academic growth.

Being a wife to my husband who was diagnosed at age nine with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourettes Syndrome, I cannot emphasize enough the appreciation and value I hold towards educators who are empowering children by fostering unique environments supported through building relationships with therapists, teachers and staff which encourage individualized learning and personal targeted goals. What’s even cooler, is that not all their curriculum is based within a classroom! One unique “Friday” factor about their curriculum is that InterPlay Learning Academy hosts opportunities which utilize what they’ve learned throughout the week by applying it within alternative environments (each Friday) such as outdoor activities like hiking, scavenger hunts, rock climbing and even therapeutic animal-facilitated learning.

What really excites me for the reveal of this new brand, is the underlying foundation of hard work and dedication that founders Dana Johnson (Pediatric Occupational Therapist) & Joleen Fernald (Speech Pathologist) place into everything they dream, develop and implement. I strived to create a brand symbolic of a playful, confident, clean, academic and friendly theme that targets young audiences and their families.

InterPlay Learning Academy, I’m thrilled to share the reveal of your new brand with others on my blog today. You’re doing amazing things in our community to change the lives of the children and families that need this educational dynamic environment the most. Congrats!

Read more about the Creative Process that goes into brand development.


I love new design challenges and I gotta admit, it was hard to wait until the appropriate day (Merry Christmas!) to share this bottle label design I had fun working on this past fall for Wise Men Choice Crafted Beer, brewed in Bethlehem, Palestine.

This unfiltered bottle conditioned brew contains english malt, amarillo, magnum, cascade hops and a dash of sage. Drink Smarter – Choose Wise Men Crafted Beer.

If you want to work together on branding for your products, let me know. I’d be happy to collaborate on some new exciting brands!

Wise Men Choice Crafted Beer Label Design

Wise Men Choice Crafted Beer Label Design

Happy Holidays! I wanted to share one of my favorite festive branding projects I was asked to create for a multi-site church in New York this Christmas season. Shelter Rock Church (SRC) will host a two-part teaching series kicking off this weekend. I designed a clean typeface logo which incorporated an iconic nativity scene as the ‘A’ in the title Treasure. Complimented by a little spruce tree trimmings & holiday bulbs, I loved how this turned out. The branding for Treasure will be implemented for use throughout SRC’s website, church mobile app, in-service production files, as well as various print mediums. Thank you for inviting me to be a creative role in your Christmas celebration this year SRC!