A global community of creative females, Ladies Wine and Design is a unique initiative founded in the US by designer Jessica Walsh to foster creativity amongst women.
Each month, a group of 7 ladies meet to drink wine, eat cheese and have casual conversations on an array of topics covering creativity, business and life.
The Newcastle strand of Ladies Wine and Design was founded by Juli Vignette, an independent brand designer based at Baltic 39. Started earlier this year, there have been 6 events so far with a 7th in the diary. Ranging from relaxed dialogue about challenges we all face in our industry, to special guests reviewing portfolio’s, every event is different and in an intimate ‘circle of trust’ style environment, it’s a really open and honest way of sharing our experiences as women in the creative industries.
Having been to 2 of the events earlier in the year, I was thrilled to be asked to be a special guest and talk about the theme of ‘Branding Yourself’. After bringing our own identity to the world last year and starting to build ‘a brand’ it was great to share my story. It was interesting to think back about the process of naming ourselves and creating a marque and visual language that felt like ‘us’.
My talk was based around the challenges we face when trying to ‘brand ourselves’, we’re so close to it, it’s our baby, sometimes designing for yourself is one of the most difficult things to do. But of course a brand builds over time, we are judged on everything people see and hear about us, from the way we talk about ourselves to our instagram feed. And, most importantly, our brand is our work, our product. What we create and put out to the world speaks volumes about us as an agency and that goes for every brand, your brand represents your product or service and people form perceptions of that ‘product’ based on your brand.
It was interesting to hear from a range of ladies at the session, from recent graduates thinking about the best way to communicate what they do, to independent designers where their name becomes their brand.
It was a great evening and we concluded that a brand is ever-evolving, we have to play, pull and push our brands to engage in new ways, across many channels. Consistency is important to an extent but by constantly surprising and challenging our audiences we can make deeper and more fulfilling connections through our communications.
I’m looking forward to another Ladies Wine and Design, not in the hot seat next time!