How My Kids Helped Brand Me
01 Oct 2013
I have been doing freelance graphic design for many years. Even while working at Canada’s largest community newspaper, I was designing marketing campaigns for many of my own clients. But I always worked under my personal name… I didn’t have a company name.
I was still working at the newspaper when my eldest daughter started her first year at school. A week after school started, a letter came home asking for volunteers: lunch time supervisors, parent council, helping in the classroom, and yearbook design. As well as signing up to be on the parent council, I put my name down for yearbook design. Both of these positions would allow me to volunteer in a non-obtrusive way.
At the first meeting for yearbook design, there was one other parent. Her hobby was digital scrapbooking. Five minutes into our conversation, I realized she had no clue about what was involved in designing a yearbook. At hat point, I committed to taking this project on myself.
I worked with the Vice-Principal to lay the groundwork for that year’s pages. One thing I noticed were hat all pages were in black and white. I asked what it would take to go full colour. She said “about $2000”. So I said, “If I sold $2000 in advertising in the back of the yearbook, can we go full colour?” She said, “You can do that?” I had never sold advertising before, but I was determined to do it so the kids could enjoy a full-colour yearbook, without an increase in cost.
So off I went, selling advertising. When all was said and done, I was able to sell 8 pages of advertising, at $400 a page. I had beat my goal.
The vice-principal had asked if I was going to put an ad in for my own company. That got me thinking… I couldn’t put an ad in for “Craig Silva Graphic Design”. I needed to brand myself.
When I got home, I went to my office (which was in the basement) and talked to Wendy, who was working at her computer. Our commuters were side-by-side. The girls were both playing close by. We started tossing around ideas, colours, names etc. The girls heard us talking, and came over. Rachel, my eldest, said “we want to help too Daddy!” “Me too” said Lauren, my youngest.
Rachel said, “What about Big Daddy… everyone calls you that”. Huh. It was my nickname. But she wasn’t done yet. “… and you are pretty creative.”
The gears in my head started turning. I heard the keys on Wendy’s keyboard going a mile a minute. She stopped for a minute, turned to me and said “BigDaddyKreativ.ca and BigDaddyKreativ.com are available.”
Well… It looks like we had a name. That’s when Lauren decided to give her input. “Daddy, use that picture”. She pointed to my desktop wallpaper. It was a picture of me taken after playing paintball. Wendy asked me if I could make it happen. I said “leave it with me”, and started working on it.
A couple hours later, I called them all back, and showed them this
They loved it! I started working on the ad for the yearbook. Wendy purchased the URLs. That week, we started designing the website.
We launched my first website in April 2009, right before the yearbook was printed.
I have since cleaned up the wording on the logo to have a cleaner look, and adjusted the colours
In 2011, Wendy and I re-designed my website in WordPress, so we could integrate this blog.
I have worked on many marketing campaigns, and branded many companies. Branding myself was a family project, and I am grateful for their help.
Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, blogger, and social media manager. Craig likes to go camping, travel, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and play bass guitar. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in travel, lifestyle, food, automotive, events, parenting, movies, tech, recipes, health, pets, reviews, and giveaways.