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Meet Emily Evans: Loves Branding (and mix tapes)

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Fourteen and a half days.
And counting.

That’s how long I’ve officially been part of the ST8MNT team. Prior to that, I took a self-imposed hiatus to walk a little trail called the Camino de Santiago…all because I’d seen this movie.

Prior to that, I knew the ST8MNT team in a different capacity: at my former job with 13 Management.

ST8MNT was a vendor I hired to work on numerous creative projects for artist Taylor Swift. (If you haven’t seen the awesome work they did on her “RED” project, check it out here. We were blown away with everything they helped us create for that album).

That’s a big reason I’m here. ST8MNT and 13 Management had a great partnership, but I am also a huge fan of all their designers’ work, not only on TS projects, but everything I’ve seen them do.

When I worked for Taylor Swift, I handled marketing and the relationships with her brand partners, so I got to see a lot of the inner-workings of traditional consumer products like makeup, electronics, and fragrance. I was at the intersection of traditional and non-traditional brands (artists & music), and I learned a lot from that experience.

For me, it’s an incredibly cool concept and process to help create, build and define a brand. A brand is not just a logo. It’s not just a product. It’s not just the face of an artist. A brand, when done well, should be an engagement between consumer and product that evokes an intentional reaction from the consumer at each touch point, and each touch point should enhance and reaffirm that intended experience.

The visuals and the voice and the character created in branding are all part of the engagement and must convey a consistent message in order to be authentic and effective.

That’s what I get to be part of here at ST8MNT:

we help companies bring brands to life in authentic ways. We create purposeful visual designs that remain consistent across all platforms, all mediums and all touch points so no matter where a consumer interacts with a brand, they engage with the intended brand experience.

Before I even knew what branding was, I was doing it every time I made a mixed CD for my friends in high school and college. Though I have made and owned plenty of mixed tapes, mixed CDs were a revelation for me. Not only did I get to pick awesome songs to put on there, I also got to design a label for the CD. This was my favorite part.

My label had to convey and evoke all the right emotions based on the music selections I’d put on the CD. Album title. Font selection. Background image. It all had to “go” with the music I’d picked and what my intention for the CD was (was it a chill album meant for relaxing with a glass of wine, or was it an upbeat album meant to keep friends awake and singing on a long road trip?).

I’m not sure if making CD labels made me a dork or not, but I didn’t care. I was excited about delivering an experience to my friends, not just a bunch of songs, and I wanted to make sure every variable I could affect was in line with the idea I had for the CD (Now that I’m writing and reading these thoughts of mine, I can say with certainty that, yes, I was a dork. Oh well.).

At any rate, that was my first personal experience with branding – as small and irrelevant as it actually was – and even though I didn’t realize what I was doing until much later in life.

That’s what I’m excited to be part of here at ST8MNT.

In addition to traditional consumer brands, I hope to help music artists, entertainers, athletes, and their respective teams approach their careers more like traditional brands – to create a purposeful and consistent brand experience for fans at every touch point. And the cool part is… CD labels are part of the gig.