Alright, if you’ve been around for sometime - you know that things here are looking quite different. New branding, new website design and just overall new user experience. Yes! Over the past two months I had been working away on the relaunch of my brand and I am so excited to share the entire process with you in today’s post. So get comfortable with a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long one.
My previous design was launched at the end of 2015 when I went full-time with my design business. At the time my entire brand was focused on branding, design and web development. But in 2016 , photography became a huge part of my brand too. It all started with the free photo packs which later expanded into a stock photo shop and then a course on photography as well. So now my brand focuses on both design and photography helping creative entrepreneurs build an effective visual strategy for their businesses. And I wanted to make this message more obvious to my audience through this rebrand.
Its hard to stand out and get noticed online.
So my mission is to help business owners make a strong visual impact online through high-quality design and photography.
So at the end of December 2016, I sat down to chalk out a plan for my rebrand. I used Evernote to create a plan and Asana to track the project. My timeline looked something like this:
- Branding: 2 weeks
- Copywriting & Web strategy: 1 week
- Web Design: 1 week
- Web development: 3 weeks
- Photos and graphics: 1 week
- Revisions, Installation and launch: 1 week
I did get delayed by a week, but I am happy the way it all turned out.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
I was happy with the type and color palette of my previous brand, but I definitely wanted a new logo that was classic, not trendy and represented my brand’s aesthetic: Minimalist with a pop of color, feminine and cheerful.
I wanted to denote a clean aesthetic, community and growth through the logo. And I knew the Pot in PinkPot was meant for this. So I modeled the O in PinkPot to denote a plant pot with two leaves growing out of it. To me the pot denotes:
Community: A pot holds things together and for me this pot is my entire community - you and me and all of us together.
Growth: The two leaves signify growth which is definitely an integral part of both my personality as well as my business.The two leaves also stand for the two main foci of my brand right now- Design and Photography
There were very minor changes to the style guide in terms of the primary colors. I just tweaked the hues of the colors to create the new palette. However I added a whole new slew of icons to the new brand. I have always loved the idea of using icons for communicating concepts and wanted to bring that to life with creating custom icons for the brand this time.
I won’t lie, copywriting was the hardest part for me. I would need the copy for the web design, so I wrote down the content for each section on each page. While writing the copy and getting my messaging across, I kept these things in mind:
- Who am I talking to
- How I can help them
- Being true to myself and my audience
The best way to tackle this is to first, write, write and write. Then edit, edit and edit. Instead of trying to get it perfect at first, its much easier to improvise as you go.
Once I had the content out of the way, I put on my web designer hat to create a web strategy. My main objectives for the new website were:
- To convey what I do and why I do it
- To create a very simple and fluid user experience on all devices
- To provide easy access to design and photography resources for my audience
- To generate leads for my products and services
- To increase product sales and market my design services
Keeping my objectives in mind, I sat down with Adobe Illustrator to create wireframes. First, I created a style guide for the web design to provide a consistent user experience for my website. I decided on the web color palette, font palette, designed the buttons, heading styles - basically every thing down to a tee.
Next I created layouts for all the pages with place-holders for text and graphics. Once the wireframes for all the pages were ready, I went through each one of them to see if the user experience was easy and fluid.Once I ensured that, I went on to create page mockups with the graphics and content - so I could make sure everything was looking good together before I started coding the design.
Here is a snapshot of the wireframes and mockups :
I took to Wordpress for developing my website and used the genesis framework for building the custom theme. The genesis framework has high standards and quality code that helps the performance of the website.
Step 1 : I developed my theme by starting out the functionality first. I wrote HTML and PHP code to implement the workflow and functionality of the website.
Step 2 : Once the skeleton of the website was created, I wrote the CSS stylesheet to make the website look the way I wanted it to.
Step 3 : I added the content and photos in the placeholders so they all fit together well.
Step 4 : I coded the responsive design into the theme so it looks good on all devices.
Step 5 : Lastly I tested the entire website - both for functionality and form to make sure everything was working fine.
I had the pleasure of having my cousin, Ranjini take my headshots. She did a great job at not just shooting the photos, but also editing them in a cohesive way that matched my brand. I love the muted pink tone in all the photos - perfectly on brand!
Phew - although I was able to fit the entire process in one post, it took 8 weeks to have the entire brand and website ready. I hope my process was insightful to you and you can take away a few ideas for your own process.
I work with creative business owners to create a beautiful and strategic website that drives results for their business. I also collaborate with designers on the website development projects. If you are interested in creating a new website for your business, check out my services here.
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