Design your Brand: Interview with Christine Thatcher

Your website is basically your brand incarnate.

And behind all of that dazzling messaging and glossy imagery, there is a whole world of thought, sweat, and talent bringing it together.

In this interview with designer Christine Thatcher of Christine Marie Studio, we have the fortune of tapping into some of that talent and learning what it really takes to build a website that honours your brand.

I’ve compressed our conversation down to 23 minutes of actionable and practical advice (it wasn’t easy!). You can also jump around to topics of key interest using the guide below the video, or download the audio mp3 to listen on the go.

Watch the video:


Here’s what we cover:

  • The key to being memorable as a brand. (1:37)
  • How to make the most of your website budget. (4:15)
  • Why content strategy comes first. (5:29)
  • The most overlooked secret to drawing visitors into your site (7:14) — this was brilliant!
  • Three common website mistakes to avoid (there’s a real gem of insight in there for showcasing your personal brand.) (9:56)
  • Amplifying your natural brand character traits and translating them into tangible brand elements (13:13) and, specifically, in your choice of imagery. (19:07)
  • Strategically laying out your site (before you start designing!) (17:41)
  • The #1 thing to get clear on before you design. (21:31)

Christine brought up a couple of extra resources during the interview that you might want to check out:

  • Fascination Advantage: identify how the world sees you and use it to your advantage. I’ve also taken this test and found it pretty useful (in case you’re curious, my triggers were “prestige” and “passion”)
  • Paul Jarvis’ book Be Awesome at Online Business

Some tweet-ready take-aways:

“Memorability = consistency: find something that feels authentic, and then stick with it.”
“Seeking clarity? Don’t be afraid to go with your initial gut instincts.”
“Prettiness doesn’t matter; if your message isn’t clear, they’ll leave.”

Find out more about Christine and her offerings at Christine Marie Studio — she is great about sitting down for a free consultation if you’re looking to discuss your design project.

This is part two of my Design your Brand Interview Series, designed to guide you toward a great design outcome for your brand, regardless of your budget. Check out the first interview, where I discuss everything from logos to printed mementos with Amy Tan of Treespace Studio.