With every branding project, I set out to create a strong visual identity for each business as well as develop a system for how all of the design elements will work together. It makes for a more polished, professional brand and my clients will have clear guidelines on how to implement their new brand in their future marketing and communication.
Sonia Rasbery contacted me a few months ago about giving her brand a website an overhaul with a new logo, clearer message and a new overall look. Here’s a look at the design process and how we translated her new brand into her website and collateral items.
1. Research + Strategy
Before I start a design project, Sonia worked through a couple of questionnaires, covering questions about her brand, workflow, and website. I also asked her to collect visual inspiration on a Pinterest board. This ‘client homework’ forms an important foundation for the brand, and gives me a great insight and understanding of my client’s business. We also talked strategy and the best ways to get her message across to her ideal clients.
From the questionnaires and the Pinterest board I put together an inspiration board. This inspiration board serves as a visual direction for the brand throughout the project. It ensures that me and Sonia are on the same page visually and aesthetically right at the start of the project, and provides a clear design direction for the rest of the project. It gives me a clear starting point for developing the logo concept and it means we can save time on revisions and colour choices later on.
3. Logo concept
I start by sketching out different ideas and try several concepts and refine my ideas before deciding on the one solution I think best represents the business. Instead of offering the standard 3 logo options to my branding clients, I present one strong branding solution that I’m 100% confident in. Through several years of experience, I have found that the one logo solution benefits both me and the clients I work with. It streamlines the process and eliminates second guessing, indecisiveness and doubt. As the designer, I am often confident in which is the best solution - I understand my client’s target audience as well as what makes a successful logo that will appeal to their customers.
In Sonia’s case, I felt a simple handwritten logo with a lot of personal touch would reflect her values and work ethics perfectly. I also suggested to add +co to her name to indicate the fact that she offers more than just her individual expertise to her clients, having a close team of other expert consultants that she often collaborates with.
4. Logo variations, colour palette and graphics
After the primary logo was fine tuned, I created an alternative logo to give Sonia some versatility and this secondary logo is a great alternative for social media and signatures. I created a colour palette and some custom graphic elements such as hand drawn icons and patterns, pulled from details in her inspiration board to further extend her brand and give it that approachable, personal feel that we wanted.
5. Collateral items
Once we had the logo and the brand style board in place, designing the collateral items were straight forward. Sonia needed business cards, a correspondence card and invoicing and project templates.
In the website questionnaire I gave Sonia at the beginning of the project, I asked her about the purpose of her website, what some successful user outcomes would be, and what she wanted to emphasise most. Because many potential clients go to her website to find out more about what she offers, she wanted to present her services more clearly and make it easy for clients to get in touch.
So that's what I focused on. The new home page clearly describes Sonia’s offerings with room for easily changeable content, such as blog posts and new case studies. I improved the overall website structure and created a clearer navigation. We included a separate page for her services, and laid out the different offers in a simple, straight forward way. With clear calls to action and a more approachable, personal tone to the whole site, the transformation is amazing!
My complete brand + website package has given Sonia a unique, clear brand plus a solid toolbox for all her future marketing, so she can stay consistent and clear in her messaging!