“Do it with passion, or not at all.” — Rosa Nouchette Carey
The above quote rings true for many creative individuals as well as many aspiring entrepreneurs, who are looking to break out of the 9 to 5 rat race and become their own boss. Moreover the above quote rings true for the topic of this blog because Passion is the main element, principle, and value where my graphic design brand, Original Foster Design, is built upon.
Our story begins in the year of 2013. I am a young college student attending The New England Institute of Art where I am majoring in Graphic Design. (A fun fact I started learning about Graphic Design when I worked at a non-profit organization called Artist for Humanity in the years between 2002-2003 during the time I was in high school I made a promise to myself that I would go to art school to study and get a degree).
OK, back to the main subject at hand. I was in college I think it was my junior year at The New England Institute of Art was a 4-year school and I had already completed 2 years. I was taking a class called Business of Graphic Design and we had an assignment to create our own graphic Design business by following a business plan, designing a website, a logo, promotional material, and a budget -- the whole 9 yards. At first I felt overwhelmed as everyone in the class did because we didn’t know the first thing about creating a business but after doing research and having time during class to go over the steps for creating our business as a class lecture, things became a lot easier.
Getting the Ball Rolling
It was the second week of brainstorming ideas for our business of graphic design class projects and I wanted to create a brand that reflected my creativity but still served the needs of my clients so I began to go online and do some research for inspiration on what I wanted my brand to be about. The images and design concepts I saw were amazing I had no idea how these other graphic designers and artist came up with such interesting ideas for the brand names. Eventually I decided to use my own name as a brand because that was the closest thing I knew to represent me and to help me stand out. I even did some research on the meaning of colors so I could incorporate a little symbolism into my brand name, which I then called “Foster Creative Design.” My slogan was “The right fit for your company” which was represented by the concept of a puzzle piece to symbolize that my brand literally was that missing piece to help fulfill the needs of my clients. The values of my brand’s business concept was based on the 3 colors in my logo Blue which represented trust, and loyalty, purple, which represented creativity and green, which represented reliability. The values of my brand were trust, creativity, and reliability. The font I chose for my Foster Creative Design logo was called “City Life” it was an urban yet creative typeface which resemble the closes thing puzzle pieces but with letters.
The BIG Reveal
It was the final week in the semester of the class, everyone including me was putting the finishing touches on their graphic design business projects, and it was time to do our class PowerPoint presentations. If there ever was a time to feel anxious this was that time. I went over my PowerPoint slides and rechecked all my files to make sure everything was in order and flowed nicely. Then it was time for the big debut, the first time presenting Foster Creative Design but it sure was not going to be the last time. After my presentation, the professor gave me a final critique. It turns out I did very well in her class assignment. As a result, I continued to use the brand name during my end of the year portfolio show before graduation day and even had my very own business cards and t-shirts made. I gave out as many business cards and t -shirts as I could until I no longer had a single shirt or business card left. I felt great about giving away all my t -shirts and business cards.
Planting the Entrepreneurial Seeds
After finally graduating and getting my Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design I felt so relieved and accomplished. I went out and celebrated the most important people in my life. A few months later it was time for me to start working to earn an income so I started working for a temp agency who placed me on a contract assignment with New Balance working in their reprographics department, where I learned how to prepare PDF files for print distribution. Once that contract ended I continued working for many other temp agencies doing many different types of work that was not only unrelated to my Graphic Design degree but also was not very fulfilling and enjoyable. Something had to change. I did not know what at the time but I knew; no I felt that there had to be some kind of change to this dynamic. I knew I did not want to spend my whole life working for someone else being micro-managed and told what to do or even treated like crap because some high and mighty manager/supervisor felt they could treat their employees any kind of way because of their professional status. Also, I wanted the freedom and independence to work on my own terms not to mention using the skills I learned in school to make a profit and provide a service to other business. However, I did not know where to start. I had no direction or guidance around me in the environment where I live because I did not grow up around anyone who had their own business; all I knew was about getting a job and living paycheck to paycheck. Self-doubt was another obstacle I dealt with because I struggled with self-esteem issues and if I did go around telling anyone (family or friends of family) that I wanted to start a business, I would have gotten a lot of “I don’t know about that,” “huh,” and many other confused responses. So I kept the idea to myself and began attending local community events where I had the chance to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people and talk about my graphic design skills. Eventually things paid off and I got my first client. After which I decided Graphic Design was the skill set that I wanted to monetize and turn into my very first freelance business using my Foster Creative Design brand. I became more inspired to take action on my entrepreneurial journey after watching a YouTube video from a content creator name Ralph Smart aka “Infinite Waters” who produced many videos about becoming the greatest version of yourself and making money from doing what your passionate about for me that was and still is to this day Graphic Design as well as poetry painting and self publishing my own books. As the subtitle above suggested, the entrepreneurial seeds were planted.
Rebranding, New look New Feel
After 3 years of freelancing using the Foster Creative Design brand I decided to do research to see if there were any other companies with the same brand name. I discovered that there were other companies with the same company name Foster Creative Design and I thought, “How am I supposed to stand out as a brand if there are other companies with the same name as me?” Maybe it would be best to rebrand and reinvent the name of my freelance brand. What can I call my new brand? These were the most important questions I had to focus on because when it comes to business a name, it is an essential tool that helps distinguish one company from another and a name communicates the message of how clients and customers remember what a company does as far as producing goods and providing services. So I went online for inspiration to see what other Graphic Design company did for their brand unfortunately; nothing I saw or read about stood out to me so, I went on a little spiritual journey by meditating and going within to discovered who I was and what I wanted my new brand to reflect about me as an artist / graphic designer. All of a sudden the answers came to me like a spiritual vision!
“I am one of a kind. There is no one else like me! Even my fingerprints are different and unique.” I thought, that’s it. I will call my new brand, Original Foster Design, and use my fingerprint as my logo and then no one can copy my brand concept. After doing a Google search on the name Original Foster Design, I found zero results. So, that means I will have a better chance in standing out from among the many other freelance graphic designers that are out there online and offline. There you have it that is the story of how Original Foster Design came to be the brand name it is today. SO, for all you aspiring entrepreneurs out there I hope this story plants the seeds of inspirations for you to pursue creating your own brand that is uniquely yours.