As you may know, I recently started interesting myself in branding. When I was making decisions for my own business, I remember thoroughly enjoying the whole process of choosing how I wanted to be represented, to be perceived, which values I wanted to stand for and which vision I wanted to convey. So I started reading every book I could get my hand on, watching every lecture I could find online, and so on. This is a very fascinating topic which I think translators have to be aware of nowadays. It is not mandatory of course, and there are other factors to consider, but it will help you be taken seriously and consistent as a professional individual.
In a new series of interviews, I will talk with other translators about the importance of branding for their business and the process behind it. Today, we start with the lovely Veronica Lacchini from Wise Owl Translations. Veronica translates from English into Italian and is based in Birmingham. She can be reached on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.
Hi Veronica. Thank you for participating in this series! First things first: How did you decide on your brand name?
It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision, I have to admit. Many people I know spent hours, even days, thinking about the right name for their business, but when it was my turn to sit down and come up with a name for my “baby” it’s the first thought that sprung to mind. And I have loved it ever since.
Does it have a special meaning to you?
It does indeed! I wanted my brand name to be a representation not only of my business, but also of myself as an individual, and I believe owls do represent me quite well. Not only are they nocturnal animals (I hate early mornings!), but they are symbols of wisdom and erudition in many different cultures (for example in Italy, where I come from, little owl figurines are traditionally given as presents upon someone’s graduation). I’ve always been an avid reader and learner, and I feel that my profession enables other people to do the same by sharing pieces of information that would have otherwise been unavailable to readers from different parts of the world. But in order to do so, my translations have to be accurate and well written, and this is why you need somebody “wise” to deliver.
What about the logo? Was it designed by a professional or did you do it yourself? How satisfied are you with it?
It was designed by a team of professionals (the amazing guys at Eighty3 Creative – check their work out, they’re awesome!) after a brainstorming session. I wanted something simple, professional-looking, and easy to remember, but it was also very important for me that the logo incorporate a certain element of cuteness and yet avoid looking childish.
The designer submitted a few different designs and colour combinations, but it was love at first sight with this particular one.
Do your colors stand for a specific meaning? Are they important?
I wanted a professional look for my brand (hence the more understated beige background and brown letters), but at the same time I wanted the logo to really stand out and represent the feminine element of the business. I can be a bit of a girly girl, and have been known for loving anything pink or purple, but I didn’t want the overall design to look too garish so we settled for this raspberry shade which I think is quite elegant and blends in perfectly with the rest. Also, the particular colours used are reminiscent of a roll of parchment and a lacquer seal, which again I think is a rather evocative image in the “written word” industry, and is in keeping with the whole idea of “wisdom” at the centre of the brand.
Do you feel represented by your brand?
I do! I believe that everything about it is 100% me, and that is absolutely essential. To me brands are a manifestation of who we are, what we do, and how we want to be perceived by others so it’s extremely important that our branding represents us in the best possible way. It has to make us happy, and at the same time it needs to convey an image of professionalism and reliability to prospective clients or employers.
You wouldn’t really put an unflattering picture on your CV or LinkedIn profile, would you?
If you had to describe your brand in three words, which ones would you choose?
Inviting – I believe the tiny owl character is cute and inspires a certain degree of curiosity in people (I’ve had so many positive comments about it!), and that is always a good thing because it means that your brand projects a people-friendly image rather than an aloof, stand-offish one, and that people are more willing to interact with you.
Which brings me to word number two…
Approachable – I am a friendly person, so I want my brand to reflect this aspect of my personality. There is nothing worse than being afraid to relate to or communicate with a brand because you fear you might be rejected or ignored. Brand engagement is vital for any business, so if that is the image your brand is conveying then you are doing something very wrong!
Resourceful – That’s what the whole idea of being “wise” is about! If you want a text to be translated, then you also want to make sure you don’t give it just to anybody. This is where you need a professional who knows what they’re doing, and they have the best resources to achieve the optimal end result.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Veronica!