Project Spotlight: EDGE iD

Nubby Twiglet | EDGE iD

As a designer, you learn to adapt and work in a variety of styles. And truthfully, much of the time the outcome doesn’t necessarily match your personal aesthetic. On those rare occasions it does, it’s pretty awesome. One of those recent occurrences was the branding, collateral and website Branch created for Utah-based interior design firm EDGE iD.

It was a breath of fresh air to take such a modern, minimal approach. Check out the rest of the project right here. Thanks for reading!

Creative Chronicles #4: 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

Nubby Twiglet | 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

As a designer, you probably spend a lot of time tweaking your externally-facing brand: your website, portfolio and social media all play a huge role in getting the word out about your business.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the touch points that the public sees because that’s what they’re judging you on. In a digital world where you don’t have the ability to meet in person, image is everything. If your brand looks like a hot mess, potential clients will probably pass you up for someone who looks like they have their shit together.

With all this focus on the external, it’s easy to put off the internal, client-facing stuff since it’s only seen by a handful of folks at any given time. But, what happens behind the scenes is potentially more important since this is what paying clients interact with. And remember, it’s always easier to keep your current clients than find new ones so providing them with a seamless experience should be at the top of your list.

When you’re working with clients, the obvious way to stand out is to provide fantastic customer service but beyond that, the next piece of the puzzle is having a streamlined process and beautifully designed documents that make them feel at ease.

Nubby Twiglet | 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

Nubby Twiglet | 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

Nubby Twiglet | 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

Nubby Twiglet | 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

I’ve been thinking a lot about documents and processes lately because I know all too well what it’s like when you launch a creative business. You’re so busy just getting a website live and booking out enough clients to keep it afloat that everything else that’s not as of-the-moment falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

Why is all this effort spent on the behind the scenes stuff so important?

Think of it this way: if a client books your most expensive package and then, over the course of the next few months receives documents and presentations that have a similar look and sense of order, they’ll feel at ease. In turn, you’ll come across as a total pro.

My goal with running a design studio has always been to let documents do the heavy lifting for me. I use a bundle of them to keep things running smoothly while cutting back on questions and confusion. Remember, you may be the first creative professional your clients have ever worked with — these documents are the tools that inform them of everything they need to know.


Here’s what I’ve implemented and the order I use my documents:

1. Media Kit — This document informs clients of packages and how we can work together. Read more about media kits here.

2. Estimate — Once we’ve discussed a client’s specific needs, they receive an official estimate.

3. Proposal — Once they’re ready to book in, they receive a proposal which includes the finalized estimate, timelines and a contract.

4. Invoice — The proposal is sent along with a deposit invoice.

5. Process Documents — Once the job begins, there are a series of numbered documents they receive throughout our time together including an overview of the steps we take to ensure a great outcome, a questionnaire and a Pinterest how-to.

6. Presentation — All design concepts are sent in a branded presentation template.

Having a bunch of documents on hand might seem a bit overwhelming at first but once you’ve used them a few times, the process starts to feel like second nature. You can even go a step further and have form emails typed up for each step of the process so you just attach the document and hit send. Automation means that you get your job done faster and your clients interact with a well-defined process that’s been proven to deliver fantastic results.

If all this talk of documents is making your head spin, don’t fret. I was once in your spot and only figured out what documents worked for my business through many years of trial and error. To make things trickier, every studio I worked at had a completely different process. Over time, I threw out things that didn’t work for me and added in new ideas based on chats with fellow creatives.

If documents aren’t your strong suit and you’d prefer to get back to work on the creative side of things, I feel you. Completely. In early 2016, I’m partnering up with my friend Paul Jarvis to launch an affordable, easy solution that will help you streamline the process of your creative business called Project Prescription. Knowledge is power and making the business side of things easier for creatives is something that I’m excited to share with you.

Remember, creating processes for your business is just as important as the work you do. Keep refining and keep thinking about what you can do to make your clients’ time with you as painless as possible. That ease will turn them into repeat customers.

For even more Creative Chronicles, please click here.
Featured documents: We Are Branch.

The Week In Pictures: 11.13.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello from a very overcast, cool Portland! My office is in an old brick building which gets drafty so I’m sitting here at my desk next to a space heater looking over my shoulder at the big, dark clouds behind me.

Moody, drizzly days like this are really great for focusing and getting work done and boy, do I have a lot of it at the moment. I had friends and clients in town and it’s always sad to say goodbye but the best people to know are the ones where when you meet again, it feels like no time has passed at all.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Whenever I come across something amazing in a magazine or catalog, I tape it to my wall immediately. I’m loving this modern, sunshiny vibe.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Aren’t the floors at Dapper & Wise great?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The street art in Portland seriously cracks me up. Crafted by this same artist but not pictured: an illustration of a tombstone emblazoned with Donald Trump.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Fresh flowers at the office. Its all about those little, special touches when you have visitors.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I just discovered Off The Waffle and really, how can you ignore this awesome sign? Haha. The line was too long to eat there over the weekend…..but I’ll be back.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This is the face Rocky makes when Joey is having a conversation with him. So focused and serious!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Going into these short, dark days, I’m obsessing over documenting the bits of light we get here and there that have the most beautiful glow.

If you’re in Portland, maybe I’ll see you at Content tomorrow night. Should be a good, inspiration-packed time. Have a great weekend, friends!

Link Love: 11.12.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: This Is Non

• The internet is what you make it. If you read just one thing this week, make it this.

• Typographers share their top typefaces.

• I just did an interview over at InBetween Studio about my career path and also chatted about my personal heroes. Check it out here.

• Good vibes only! I’m loving these pennants.

• Behold the world’s 50 best restaurants.

• The 4 things to never do when asked, “What’s your rate?”

• What happens when you share the same name as a really famous person?

• Wow! This town is literally living under a rock.

• If you’re interested in creating a hugely successful online course, Paul Jarvis spills his secrets.

• Is there a point at which you’re too smart for your own good?

• 4 tips for keeping your creative work on the right side of the law.

• So cool! 100 year old footage of artists Monet, Renoir, Rodin, and Degas working and walking near their studios.

• Forecast is a great way to schedule your team across projects.

• Do you like him?

Image: This Is Non.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Project Spotlight: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

This week, the new issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine is hitting newsstands and I wanted to let you know now because this baby sells out fast!

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

This project was a huge labor of love at Branch over the late Summer / early Fall and this issue is packed full of awesome content. You can see more sneak peeks here.

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

Oh, and you can bet I dedicated a full page to a squirrel cake — gotta make Chubs proud! Seriously. Sooooo epic.

I hope you enjoy the issue and thanks for your continued support!

Creative Chronicles #3: Making Time To Do The Work Plus 5 Tips For Staying Accountable


“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” —Earl Nightingale

Nothing happens by accident. If you want to work on your dream project, you have to make the time. If you’re ready to counter with, “I just don’t have the time!,” then it’s simply a matter of priorities.

I get asked all the time how I manage to get so much done and I’ve been a bit afraid to tackle this question because the truth is, I don’t have all the answers. All I can say is that if something is important enough to you, you will find a way.

As you carve out time to reach your goals, there will be plenty of downers along the way. You might have to give up a few things like your favorite TV shows. I unplugged my TV a year ago when I remodeled my room and have purposely left it that way. Sorry, Dr. Phil! Hear me out, though. If what you wanted was easy to achieve, everyone would be doing it.

And with that, after close to a decade of being a designer and blogger (both of which are extremely time consuming!), I’ve developed a few techniques to squeeze the most out of my days. Here we go…


5 Tips For Staying Accountable

1. Treat yourself as a client. Set aside chunks of time and write clear cut deadlines. You may have to get up an hour earlier every day, stay up later or spend your Sunday inside but this is the only way that you’ll see visible results. I’ve been working on four new digital offerings that are launching in 2016 and even though these are internal projects, I schedule calls and deadlines on my calendar just as I would any client project. If the week is too hectic, I push these projects to the weekend and complete them then. Time for your personal projects should be non-negotiable.

2. Write out a daily list. More importantly, add time limits next to each item. You’re on the clock for yourself. If you don’t set limits, you’ll take 5 times as long to get something done. Write down everything, including an allotted amount of time for social media. It’s true that a task will take as much time as you give it. If you have an hour to blog before work, then you’ll find a way to push that post live in time.

3. Keep a weekly calendar. If you can only see a day at a time, it’s more likely that you’ll over schedule yourself but having the full week in front of you makes it clear where you have open chunks of time. I personally write everything out on these Kikki K planner pads (how old school!) because seeing the list in front of me and crossing out each item keeps me accountable at all times.

4. Start with a few easy wins to build momentum. I know this is counterintuitive to what a lot of the experts say but I like a bit of a warm-up to a busy day. Crossing a few things off my list right away makes me feel accomplished and gets me excited to continue on to the bigger, harder items.

5. Define what your to-do list is helping you accomplish. This is a bit abstract but just hear me out. Think hard for a second: what is your big picture goal? Is your to-do list helping you to eventually leave your full-time job and work for yourself? Is it helping you become more fit by exercising regularly? Is it helping you earn extra income by completing client work? Once you know the answer, it’s easier to give it your all.


There you go. My 5 tips aren’t groundbreaking…but they work for me. The bottom line is that to work hard and get shit done, you have to determine what motivates you. Because really, motivation is EVERYTHING. Are you motivated to buy a new pair of shoes? Advance your career? Leave corporate America? Earn some extra money to take a swanky vacation? My motivation every day is to take great care of my clients, grow my business so that I have more stability, to carve out enough time to develop digital products so I can work less and spend more time with my family, and finally, to continually draw in my dream tribe of clients so that work feels fun and inspiring for everyone involved.

That’s a lot….but it’s what keeps me going, even on weekends when I’m sitting in my office scrolling through Instagram, feeling a severe case of #FOMO creeping in.

I’ve learned that if you can figure out what you’re working towards, the work you put in becomes worth it instead of feeling like a chore.

Okay, now it’s your turn: what are your tricks for making sure you have time to do the work?

For even more Creative Chronicles, please click here.
Photos: Erika Astrid.

The Week In Pictures: 11.6.15



My first thought today is, “What? It’s Friday? Really?

My second thought is, “Maybe I should have left my office more. This week doesn’t look all that interesting here.”

My third thought is, “It’s okay. You’ve gotta live your life first.

How was your week? Mine was full of a lot of behind the scenes tasks that didn’t necessarily equate to pretty pictures. Business stuff is rarely photogenic but an absolute necessity. I revamped the Branch media kit and it was a good reminder that talking about your business and marketing yourself, no matter how many times you do it is still difficult. It’s one of those things that takes constant insight and practice. Once that was done, I reworked all our internal documents to match. The rest of my time was spent sending out a stack of estimates and taking a bunch of calls.

None of these moments leave room for pretty pictures…but that’s what real life often looks like. Sometimes, the things that matter just don’t translate visually to Instagram. But, getting shit done and keeping everything running smoothly is the most important.


I have fashion issues. All the damn time. You, too? Here’s your new uniform.


Cake stands are my new favorite office hack to get my plants grouped together. I have a ton of tiny succulents and everything was feeling a bit cluttered so this did the trick.


It’s so crazy that it’s already been a year since I moved into this studio space. During the first six months, I was traveling constantly and had a hard time finding a rhythm so it feels good to be home for the foreseeable future, making progress. Traveling is exciting but it often forces you to put your business on hold because you have very little time to take on new things — it becomes a balancing act where you’re just trying to maintain what you have going on. The last month home has been AWESOME. Things I had on my list for two years are getting crossed off which leads to the next topic…


I want to personally thank every one of you who signed up for the Branch Bulletin, a new monthly newsletter from my design studio. Complete disclosure here: I was scared to death to send it out. That’s completely laughable, considering that I’ve been blogging for close to 15 years. But, blog posts can be edited again and again. Mailing lists? Once you hit send, a few hundred (or more) folks have your message sitting in their inbox. There’s no going back.

I sat on that first newsletter all day, writing and re-writing. Was it good enough to send? Where was all this performance anxiety coming from? A deadline is a deadline! Finally, I pushed send.

The reason I’m telling you this story is that there are some things in life that aren’t the most fun to do. They are hard so we keep putting them off. Putting a project off for a day then turns into a week, then a year, then two years. I’d been wanting to write a newsletter for TWO WHOLE YEARS.

On Friday, after I sent the first one, I wondered why I hadn’t made the time earlier. Go do that thing you need to do. It’s not as bad as you think. Run that errand, hit send on that email, ask for that promotion, sign that lease on a creative work space, clean out your closet, publish your first blog post. You can do it!

P.S. In case you didn’t sign up in time, you can read the first one here. And if you have a mailing list of your own, let me know about it in the comments!

Happy Friday, friends. I hope it’s a good one!