Brand Reveal: Poised & Professional

When the lovely Ms. Alyssa Guttendorf approached me about a visual brand for her new passion project, Poised & Professional, I knew right away we'd be a great fit. Her vision for a modern and professional brand with a feminine flair definitely resonated with me and my aesthetic. And, perhaps more importantly, she shared that she wanted to collaborate with a graphic designer and together create a visual experience that would help foster her community of women on her website and beyond. I LOVED that and couldn't wait to work with her!

Poised & Professional is an online publication that advocates for and helps women succeed professionally. A source of inspiration for the motivated and ambitious, the website also provides real-life experience and advice on situations and struggles that women often face in the workplace. 

Defining the Audience

As a part of my inspiration gathering process, I ask my clients to complete a Branding Workbook to help me learn more about their business, goals, audience and vision for their new visual identity. At risk of sounding kinda nerdy, I have to say that Alyssa rocked her workbook. It was clear that she had a vision and knows her audience... 

Picture this: a woman at least 2-3 years into her professional career. She flourishes in the workplace and is ambitious... she's starting to understand what she wants from her career. She has a love for Beyonce, enjoys taking care of herself (and appreciates a good happy hour too), and is developing her goals to succeed and be a professional business woman.

Yet, she is still finding her voice and professional passions. She needs confidence and struggles with advocating for the same treatments as her male counterparts. She doesn't necessarily know how to achieve her goals and perhaps she's a bit afraid of failure. 

Alyssa's Goal is for Poised & Professional to become a daily morning read for these women, providing them specific advice based on real work/life experience and professional situations. She wants these women to be left inspired and motivated, but also walk away with actionable steps to succeed and improve where they need help. 

What a powerful vision! As the two of us talked about Alyssa's gathered visual inspiration and color palette ideas (which was also very on-point) in combination with her Workbook responses, everything came together. The visual brand should evoke strength, powerful femininity, ambitiousness and intelligence. It should ooze confidence yet still be inviting and elegant, to gracefully invite women into Poised & Professional's world. And it should be classy and professional, so another publication (think Huffington Post or Mashable) would be interested in featuring posts, collaborating on guest posting, etc.

The Design Phase

With that, we headed into the design phase. I designed three logo concepts to choose from and used a color palette that Alyssa loved from our inspiration gathering phase: 

Alyssa determined that the third concept was the right one for Poised & Professional. She loved how distinctive it is and the standalone nature of the "P." We made some small revisions -- including experimenting with color variations and a thinner stroked, more delicate typeface for the "P" in the circle -- and then finalized the logo before moving on to design a logo variation and watermark. Check out the beautiful final product!

Poised & Professional Branding Board

The final logo design is a great blend of bold and feminine. The typeface used for "Poised" attracts the eye right away with its strong, defined letterforms, and is balanced out by the clean horizontal lines and typeface used for "Professional." All of this is complimented nicely by the script "P" in the teal circle -- a soft, delicate touch!

The watermark highlights the script "P" and adds variety to the visual brand with its light, soft, elegant nature. I love it in both two color AND one color! Its versatility in design and color makes it usable as an alternative for the full logo, for placing over photos and as an extra design element throughout Poised & Professional's marketing.

Alyssa brought the color palette to me during our inspiration gathering process, and we both thought it was a perfect fit. It has nice depth -- the vibrant red and teal is engaging and energetic, while the deep navy helps ground everything. We wanted to stay away from stereotypical feminine pinks and purples, and focus on the "powerfully feminine" energy we were going for. The palette works beautifully with the logo design in this way and will appeal to the ambitious and motivated women Alyssa hopes to attract.


Working with Alyssa was an absolute dream. I was actually a bit saddened to see our time together come to an end, but I was also excited to see the new Poised & Professional visual brand come to life. Check out their new home on the web and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! know this project will continue to thrive, especially with Alyssa at the wheel.