I am an independent brand identity and logo designer based in San Diego, CA
I believe that SaaS companies are the future and I help their founders gain the confidence of a Fortune 500 CEO with a badass brand to match.
Three "F Words" describe a badass brand
A brand that is "for everyone" is effectively "for no one." Focused brands do not pretend to be universal and instead focus on solving a specific problem for a specific group of people. This gives their brand relentless purpose and clarity on the path ahead.
Fear is the looming awareness that things could go wrong. It is your lizard brain telling you "this may be a bad idea, you might fail, you might get made fun of, people might reject you." Fearless brands willingly dive into this uncertainty knowing that true creativity, progress, and meaning are on the other side.
Descriptions like "perfect" or "best" are bullshit. True courage and fearlessness can be measured by how honest a brand is about its limitations and acknowledging where things can be better. It is this honesty that enables a brand to actual move forward and savor the process of continued improvement instead of claiming psuedo-perfectionism.
How I work:
Showing the Ugly
Rather than doing a dog-and-pony show to try and sell you on the work we create, my process is based on conversations that lead us to good ideas. I will show you the behind the scenes and we will sort through the ugly ideas together until we hit the mark.
Once I put on a price on paper (or the internet), I do not change it. No unexpected billable hours, no change orders, just fixed prices for clearly defined work and results. This helps your company know how much you will spend instead of guessing and suffering for it later.
Most designers open themselves up to as many projects as possible. This leads to two paths: they either farm the work to juniors or the quality diminishes because they work too much. I only take on three projects at a time to avoid those both of these problems.
Nice words from cool people
"There's nothing cookie-cutter about this process. You'll be very happy with your results."
"He is creative, highly intellectual, and an all-around great dude!"
"He was totally right! Not only did he create wickedly fast, but he also ensured I, as the client, was well-trained and acclimated to the new design before we launched."
"He's extremely professional, organized, detailed, and his vision/work is incredible."
"Zach’s wealth of knowledge and expertise helped guide me through the discovery process and establish a new brand name within only two weeks!"
"Don’t overlook this guy, he’s very talented and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone needing branding work."
"Zach has an effective method through which he was able to learn and understand my needs, probably better than I did at times! I was constantly impressed with his creativity."
"Zach's professionalism is outmatched only by his positive spirit, as he is also a fun guy to be around."
"Zach's ability to evoke our company's essence and portray it across all of our marketing materials was a unique experience I have not had with other agencies."
“Zach has been an integral tool in helping us navigate our brand identity.”
"Always eager to learn and contributing in every way possible. I highly recommend Zach to any business large and small."
got questions? Get answers
This is a list of commonly asked questions I've heard over the years. If there's something I missed, email me.
How do I know I'll be happy with the project?
Every project starts out with a phone call including you, me, and anyone else you believe necessary on the call. We'll get to know each other, walk through the process, and determine if it's a good fit to work together. If we do, my process is highly iterative and that leads us to good ideas we're both proud of.
How much does brand identity design cost?
You can find prices on my Services + Prices page.
Are you able to reduce cost for special cases?
While the prices I've laid out are non-negotiable, the manner in which they are paid out is. Talk to me about payment plans, leasing (yes, like a car), or equity compensation/profit-sharing during our initial call.
Do you only work with SaaS companies?
Short answer, no. My services would be useful to many business and I've done branding project in several verticals. I just like working with SaaS companies and found my process is one they appreciate.
Do you also build websites?
There are designers out there, including several friends of mine, who are more qualified to take on website projects. It also happens that they prefer to let me handle the brand identity side of their projects, making for a reciprocal relationship. What I can do is provide creative direction and feedback as a consultant.
Can you help us with copywriting?
I'm flattered you'd consider me for writing, and if I wasn't connected with other specialized writers, I'd help out. Just like website design, I know other creatives who are better equipped to handle copywriting and I'm happy to connect you with them. What I can do is offer creative direction and feedback as a consultant.
We're not in the same city, is that an issue?
Not an issue at all. I've been doing remote work for years (before we all wished we'd invested in Zoom's stock) and I've got solid asynchronous tools that help reduce our meeting count.
I know exactly what I want my logo to look like, can you help?
That is a generous offer to trust me with your vision, and I'm sorry, it doesn't sound like I'm the best fit. I am best qualified to help those who are looking for creative input and ideas as well as execution. Plus, it'd be really expensive and it sounds like Upwork or Fiverr would be better choices for such a task.
How long does a brand identity project take?
Single product companies and most startups take between 4 and 6 weeks to get a full brand identity. If you're in a massive growth stage with more riding on the line it will take longer pending the scope we determine.