Brand Curation vs. Brand Design: Which One Do You Need?


Surprisingly enough, I’ve started to think about my job as an “interior designer for brands”.

If you haven’t heard about Tiny Brands, they’re basically a quick way to get the basics you need for your visual brand — fonts, colors, and design elements — for a small budget. It’s picking and choosing the right assets for your particular brand without creating anything custom, much like an interior designer selects fabrics, furniture, or furnishings made by other people for your home.

Creating Tiny Brands earlier this year has proven that you don’t need a fancy custom logo in order to look good online. In fact, your desire for a fancy logo may actually be holding you back from having a visual brand that does a good job for your business.

Instead, many entrepreneurs just need a “starter kit” of brand essentials to get going. Not forever, but to kickstart your brand recognition and focus on creating connection with your ideal client. Logos aren’t always the best way — or the only way — to do that.

To take things one step further, the pandemic alone instigated 4.4 million new businesses in the United States. A SalesForce survey found that over half (52%) of their new small business owners launched their new companies with less than $10,000 in funding. You could easily spend $10k on a new brand if you wanted to, but this statistic proves there’s demand for affordable solutions to commonly expensive services like brand design.

Enter what I call brand curation.

Brand Curation

Essentially, brand curation is a simple way to take advantage of a designer’s intuition and receive the basic and foundational visual brand assets you need to put your best foot forward online without investing a significant amount of money before you’re ready.

I had a colleague come to me earlier this year and say – look, I don’t need anything fancy. But I do need help with picking fonts and colors because I literally cannot figure out how to make those choices.

I’m guessing at some point you’ve felt intimidated or frustrated by those seemingly simple choices, too. Or you’ve ignored the decision entirely and used pre-made templates that come with fonts already selected.

Seriously, no shade. I used to be overwhelmed by those decisions. It took a lot of time and practice to hone my eye for making faster font and color choices, and ultimately my goal was to learn that so you wouldn’t have to.

I tell my Tiny Brand clients all the time – this is why you pay me! You never have to scroll through fonts again! You don’t even have to think about colors!

To go back to the interior design metaphor, here are the paint colors, fabrics, and fixtures I want you to use – go forth and use them and never agonize over a new paint color again!

Brand curation is super helpful for folks looking for a Do-It-Together custom approach. They’re ideal for people who like to dabble in design, to keep their hands on their graphics (for now), and need to look good for less.

It’s not the only way to get a solid brand foundation, but it is one of the more affordable ways. Plus, Tiny Brands only take 48 hours to put together. Win-win.

Brand Design

If you’d prefer a 100% custom solution for your brand, you’re looking for brand design.

Brand design is a Done-For-You solution that you take and implement rather than take and create with. It’s like buying a take-and-bake pizza versus picking up ingredients at the grocery store yourself.

My Signature brands are ideal for people who don’t want to dabble in design but would rather have ready-made graphics, templates, and assets to work with. They are at the point in their business where it’s time to invest in a visual identity that does the job for them.

We typically spend 4-6 weeks on a Signature brand. It’s a much longer timeline than Tiny Brands due to an in-depth brand strategy workshop, custom designs, and refining and packaging up all the deliverables.

Which one do you need?

So, if you’re considering branding yourself or your business, here’s what I would think about:

How much do you enjoy dabbling in design? Are you comfortable using Canva or Adobe Illustrator or whatever other design tools are out there to create graphics for your business? If yes, brand curation (Tiny Brand!) would be a great first step for you. If you prefer to do less designing, you probably need brand design (Signature Brand!).

What kind of assets do you need? Are you looking to build a website, post on social media, create freebies or lead magnets, ebooks, or other products? You’ll need to make decisions for the visual aspects of those things, but the question will still come down to how much of those assets you want to build yourself. I can help you either with those visual decisions (Tiny Brand!) or build the assets for you (Signature Brand!).

What’s your budget? On average, people spend between $400 and $800 on a Tiny Brand. Signature Brands run about $2500.

I’d love to help you decide which direction is right for you and your business, if not so we can work together then to just help you get one thing off your plate! A few ideas for you:

  • Let’s hop on a free consultation call and talk about your business goals. Send me a message here!
  • Already got a visual brand in the works but want a designer’s feedback? Get a Tiny Brand Audit!
  • Ready to take the first step in building a visual brand? Purchase a Tiny Brand!

You can’t go wrong with either brand curation or brand design. It’s all about where you’re at in your business, what your goals are, and what you’re able to invest in this current season of business.

Let me know how I can help! I am here for you and those beautiful inspired ideas of yours.

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