Today, I have the pleasure of featuring Jessica Connolly and her company, Telos Design, LLC. Jessica helps businesses with branding, logo design, and print and digital design. She also owns a shop on Etsy, Telos Art, where she sells “Art and design inspired by truth, beauty, and goodness.”
After I read that tag line, I just knew I needed to bring Jessica over on BRC. Then I found out that she partnered with various artists to create a liturgical calendar and she is using the opportunity to promote their work. Here’s more on what she had to say about the project:
We believe the arts can strengthen and enrich our faith. Therefore we chose to include works from 7 current fine artists and 6 classical artists as a way to help support and promote their vocations. The artists include Kristyn Brown (of the Saints Project; also featured at the World Meeting of Families in 2015), Brian Jekel, Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs (Artist-in-Residence at Thomas More College), Jeremy Matick, Ali Cavanaugh (Marietta Cobb Museum of Art), Bernadette Carstensen, and Michelle Arnold Paine.Each calendar also includes short biographies and websites for each artist so that you may see more of their work.
How awesome is that?! I’m so thankful that Jessica also took the time to answer some of my questions below about branding, what inspires her, and how she juggles work and family life.
1. Do you have any branding tips for people who are starting a business? Any rookie mistakes to avoid?
Well, my dad is an entrepreneur, so I like to think I picked up a few things from him. There are certain tricks for any new business that you pick up along the way from reading or watching how other people promote businesses. My step-mom is also a marketing expert in her own right, so I have bounced ideas off her in the past as well.
– Be sure there is a need for your service or product. If your product or service is not unique, what makes what you’re offering different than your competitor?
– When choosing a name, be sure you choose one that is easy to remember! For myself, I love the meaning of “telos” and the mission it defines for my work. But other names might have been more memorable!
– Strive for consistency from the beginning in your message and imaging. This is still something I work towards in my Instagram account, but the rest of my branded print and web images are fairly consistent and of high quality.
– Also, join a group where you can learn and commiserate together. Whether it’s a Facebook group or even better, Young Catholic Professionals. Try to find one and learn from each other!
2. What do you recommend that a potential client be ready to answer when meeting with a designer to discuss customized branding and graphic design?
One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is the audience: Who are you trying to reach with your message? Once we know the general demographic, we can tailor the aesthetic towards that group or groups.
It also helps to hear the client’s preferences–whether it be strong likes or dislikes. Examples of other branding or design that the client is drawn towards can also help.
For the month of November, Buy one monthly calendar, get an Advent poster free. These posters are printed on a heavyweight, 12×18″ paper. Purchase at Etsy.
3. I think it is so wonderful that you are including the biographies and websites of the artists for the liturgical calendar. How did you find the artists that you chose to collaborate with on this project?
The project actually came about because I realized several of the current artists I appreciate most are actually part of other denominations. There is merit in their work and it can have a strong message for our faith, but Catholicism used to have such a loud voice in the arts. I wondered why this had changed so drastically in our time. So, I set out to find some of our current Catholic and Christian artists. There are a couple of decent websites that help promote Catholic artists and social media helps if you know what to search for online. Once I put together a list of some of the artists I admired, I realized it might be worthwhile to band them all together into one project. A calendar seemed like the perfect way to bring the different styles together. It’s exciting to see it all come together and to offer this little glimpse into the larger art world. If the project is successful, I hope to repeat it again next year with new artists!
4. What inspires you to do the work that you do?
Working with people, companies, and organizations I admire always inspires me. So, for Telos Design it has to be my amazing clients.
With Telos Art, having the freedom to work on projects that promote our faith is very exciting. Being able to dream up and create new projects without any boundaries, has helped expand my abilities in other, client-based projects.
And as a fairly new convert, finding ways to bring the liturgy home so we can talk about it as a family outside of Mass is something my husband and I strive towards. So, the liturgical calendars are a tool we can use to talk about upcoming feast days or a quick reference for the day’s readings.
5. How do you balance owning a business and raising a family?
It is a constant effort to keep an eye on my family and my work commitments. Both my husband and I work from home, so we are able to share the responsibilities a bit differently than most families. He is a huge force of encouragement and support behind my work. My kids are also excited about the handmade projects I create and are inspired to make some of their own.
Thanks again, Jessica, for sharing your advice and inspiration, and for delivering hope and beauty to the world!