It's been a little too quiet over here in Blogland, don't ya think?
Believe me, I couldn't agree more. But I'll be honest with you guys, since I relaunched the site and started to really rev up the branding side of Made Vibrant, I've been pleasantly busy with... you guessed it... work!
Still, I want to make sure I continue to take time out and share all I'm learning on this crazy journey, and to walk you through some of my favorite projects like this one today. I know I'm a sucker for seeing other designers' processes because it helps me think more critically about my own process, so hopefully you guys will find this interesting and helpful!
Okay, now on to the goods!
This summer I sat down long and hard and thought about who I really wanted to work with in my business. What type of client would benefit most from thoughtful, intentional branding, and (equally important) who would I enjoy helping the most?
Quite serendipitously, Leah Lou came along right at that time and answered those questions for me.
Leah is a personal wardrobe stylist working out of the Orlando, FL area, but her business is about SO much more than clothes. Her approach to developing her clients' style and bringing clarity and focus to their closets is unlike anything I've ever seen.
Leah's background includes experience and knowledge in areas of both retail and visual merchandising AND mental health counseling. This unique blend of passions allow her to bring a keen eye and excitement for fashion as well as a compassionate, insightful understanding of how clothing and style is interwoven into our self-image and confidence.
Leah already had a logo and a website, but she came to me craving something that felt more her - a design that would be an extension of her personality. So we went to work!
Phase 1: Understanding
The first step in any brand development process should always be about gaining a deep understanding of the client. Truth be told, this is actually my favorite part of the process because it involves a lot of psychology and getting to the heart of WHY my clients do what they do and who they are hoping to work with.
Through the various worksheets and exercises I use to better understand my clients, we discovered that Leah's personality and what she brings to her business is very much a unique balance between boldness (in style and in humor) and softness (a caring ear to guide her female clients through the sometimes-emotional process of letting go of items in their closet.) That balance became a single thread that I was mindful of throughout the entire brand process. (We coined this delicate balance "Rebel Zen" and it became the moniker for the overall tone we were trying to achieve.)
We also realized that it would be very important in our visual elements and messaging to steer clear of anything too prissy or too perfect. We wanted to shift the conversation from being about "fashion" or putting together a flawless wardrobe to being about cultivating confidence, creating a completely unique style and OWNING it.
Phase 2: Exploration
After we were on the same page conceptually, it was time to turn all that awesome insight into a visual style and tone. A mood board helps ensure that the colors, style and tone that I'm envisioning matches the taste of my client. In Leah's mood board, you can see we tried to incorporate elements of black and white, fluid/imperfect brush strokes, and bold colors that weren't too overtly feminine. Leah had some photos from a fabulous photo shoot with photographer Amelie Orrange which served as a major piece of color inspiration combining the fuschia of the clutch and citron of her dress.
The five tone words that we settled on were:
Chic, Fresh, Playful, Bold and Relatable
We felt pretty strongly about the use of black, fuschia, citron and a bright turquoise in the color palette, but alone it felt a little too loud, a little TOO bold. We agreed that the addition of the "jungle green" brought a soothing, grounding element to the color palette, and spoke to the sense of fresh perspective and renewal that is so much a part of what Leah's clients experience through her services.
Phase 3: Visualization
Once we were solidly on the same page with the mood board, it was time to translate all of that goodness to a brand system.
We created a simple, bold logo that communicates both Leah's boldness in the black paint strokes but also her softness in the thin, modern sans serif font and use of script in the tagline.
You can see that same balance was carried through to the typography palette, using Oswald for bold headlines and pairing it with Quickpen for a feminine flare.
Phase 4: Build-Out
That final graphic became a centerpiece of inspiration for the brand that Leah fell in love with and wanted to reuse throughout the website and social media properties.
We were able to incorporate all of these various brand elements in a fresh, new website that utilized white space and our fun fashion illustrations. Compared to Leah's previous website, you can see that her personality is now much more visible, and the site in general is much more memorable.
Anyway, I was so honored to work on this project with Leah. She is such a beautiful and supportive friend, and is truly a talented, confidence warrior. If you want to bring new life to your closet, I highly recommend reaching to her at least to book a coffee chat to see what she can do for you!