IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46

"

I thrive
on having
personal
connections
and trust
with my
clients and
want them
to know
how valued
they are
to me."
-Katie Hauser, IIDA,
NCIDQ, LEED AP

46

perspective

Where Two Brands Converge

At Steve Leung Designers Ltd., Hong Kong, China,
founder Steve Leung's "East-meets-West" design
philosophy-minimalist, contemporary, functional-is a
major driver of the company's brand, says Chief Creative
Officer Chong Chiu Fung.
"My personal brand is 90 percent aligned with the
company brand," Chong says. "I'm a very straightforward
person who likes keeping things short and sweet, [and]
Steve is a very logical, rational kind of person. We
share a similar vision, which helps me oversee creative
development across the company and ensure a consistent
design standard."
Katie Hauser, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, also sees the
alignment of her values and the values of her employer-
modular carpeting company Interface-as an asset. "[At
Interface] we strive to approach every project and every
client with the most personal touch," says Hauser, who is
based in Akron, Ohio, USA. "This is me, or certainly what I
strive to be each and every day. I thrive on having personal
connections and trust with my clients and want them to
know how valued they are to me."
For both Hauser and Interface, personal is professional.
"Ray Anderson, our founder, encouraged everyone to
brighten the corner where they are," Hauser explains. "I
absolutely want to emulate Ray's wise and simple words of
brightening the corner of the world where I am."
Because Hauser's values match up with the values of
Interface, her efforts to represent her company naturally
advance her own brand. "I would like to think that my
personal brand reflects who I am: a hard-working, genuine
person who is able to find the humor in situations and uses
this as a connection point to others," Hauser says. "In turn,
I have approached my design career as I would any other
situation in life: listening and identifying the challenge,
providing high-quality work that meets the client's needs,
and striving to make a genuine connection while doing so."

Whether it's intentional or not, you convey a brand
message to everyone you meet. It is a composite of all the
things people associate with you: a particular design style
at which you excel (e.g., contemporary); a specific vertical
in which you specialize (e.g., healthcare); a personality trait
you exude (e.g., genial); a way of working for which you're
known (e.g., collaborative); or even a signature aspect of
your appearance (e.g., a fluorescent bow tie). All of that
communicates to clients and employers who you are and
what value you bring.
Be an Asset
"Your personal brand is your reputation," Whitaker
In addition to values, a good way to ensure brand
says. "When you want to leave people feeling a specific
alignment is to focus on value. "When the designer is
way about you, that's what it means to be focused on your
able to add to the company's overarching organizational
personal brand."
brand and design in such a way that it enhances what the
By being strategic about everything from what projects
company already stands for, it's a beautiful
you work on to what you post on
union," says Shelley Crooks, principal at
social media, you can mold how that
Palladian West, a professional recruiting
brand takes shape. And that's where
firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
harmonizing with your company's
Whitaker agrees: "Even if you think
brand comes into play.
you're the best designer your company has
"You have to ask yourself:
ever had, alignment is all about being a team
What does the firm really believe
player. If your firm has a great brand, you
in?" Whitaker explains. "If the
should ask yourself how you could make it
company's values match up with
even better. That kind of approach is good
your values, your brands are much
Jaime Velez, FIIDA
for both of you."
more likely to align."

iida.org/perspective

Photo by: (previous page): Ken Hermann/Getty Images

W

Who you are has a lot to do with how you design. And
building a strong personal brand can help tell that story.
But designers take heed: As you craft your reputation's
narrative, it can't be a completely selfish endeavor. You
must also be an ambassador for your company's brand. The
two must complement, not conflict.
"Someone once told me, 'You can design whatever you
want, but please don't embarrass me,'" says Jaime Velez,
FIIDA, director of interior design, Skidmore, Owings
& Merrill, London, England. "At the end of the day, I'm
not representing myself; I'm representing the company I
work for."
Designers must take a holistic approach
to branding that encompasses not only
themselves but also their employer.
"One of my 10 commandments of personal
branding is making sure you're aligned
with your corporate brand," says brand
coach Terry Whitaker of Terry Whitaker
Unlimited, a brand leadership and culture
consultancy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
USA. "If you're not, clients are going to get
mixed messages. That creates chaos, and
chaos will make everyone unhappy. It's a
really delicate balance."


http://www.iida.org/perspective

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
Contents
From IIDA
Next
World View
Sum of Its Parts
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Data Viz
A Common Good
Pop Goes Design
A New School of Thought
Balancing Act
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
Sound Bytes
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - World View
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sum of Its Parts
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Data Viz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A Common Good
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pop Goes Design
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A New School of Thought
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Balancing Act
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sound Bytes
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover4
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