Archive for June, 2012

STUDIO PEEK / 05

I’m not gonna lie… I woke up at 10am for work today. My intern came at 11am and I had just finished eating.

I have a good excuse though… I was up till 1:30am writing and re-writing my website copy. I made sure to have Tricia read it over this morning to make sure I wasn’t blabbering on and on.

I didn’t mean to stay up that late, but sometime you just get on a roll, and I wanted to keep going. I got a ton done last night, so even though I was upset with myself when I woke up so late, I knew it was all for good reason.

So, back to our Studio Peek. 

+ I got my Warby Parker glasses in this week. No prescription lenses, yet, so I wear them around for the fun of it.

+ Finished up a Brand Book for As Luck Would Have It. It’s one of the most vital and exciting parts for a client, because it wraps their entire brand style up into a multi page PDF.

+ I got more reading material – Uncertainty and Purple Cow. I started Purple Cow and I can’t believe I’ve waiting this long to read it. Next after these books is Brand Gap.

+ I made my full To-Do List for my rebrand. Nothing feels real or official until I can cross it off my list. It also gave me good perspective of what all needed to be done before I can officially launch it. Even though the list is a bit overwhelming, I have to say, I am SO excited!

CURRENTLY INSPIRED BY

I ran across a few images this past week that reminded me of how I want to represent my own brand.

This week I’m inspired by:

• Pops of color
• Green, Purple + White
• Sharpies
• Geometric Shapes

top leftrightbottom leftr illustration

This then reminded me of how my style has changed.

The image on the left represents an image that I would have chosen to express myself about a year ago. The image on the right represents an image that I would choose to express me now.

The biggest surprise for me is how my opinion of color has changed. I used to be drawn to a lot of white and black with little color. If there was color, it would be muted. Now, I can’t stop myself from being drawn to more rich & vibrant colors. My rebrand will definitely show this change of heart. I have a very outspoken personality, and I think these colors do a good job of showing that.

Has your style noticeably changed? Or maybe you haven’t noticed yet, but after reading this post you will?! Tell me!

BRAND LAUNCH: CHALKBOARD LIVING

I launched a blog a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with everyone. Tracey has been filling it with posts that have blown me away.

View more full case study here.

STUDIO PEEK / 04

This last weekend I got the opportunity to help out the Chicago Blogshop class for the SECOND time! It was nice to already know what to expect and I love hanging out with those girls, so win-win!

On Monday, I got to switch roles and actually TAKE the Blogshop Video class. It was amazing! I can’t wait to put my newly acquired skills to the test!

I switched up my office layout last night. I’m a very fidgety person, and if I’m feeling uninspired, the first thing I do is switch up my office furniture.

The new layout allowed me to extend my inspiration board to the walls. I continued working on my current projects and touched on my redesign.

How was your week?

MAGAZINES

As I’m researching inspiration for my redesign, I’m finding myself drawn more and more to punchy colors with natural roots. I’ve always known I have loved the two separately, but not together. I think this research is allowing me to figure myself out a little more than I thought it would.

Here are some more magazine clippings that really stuck with me.

STUDIO PEEK / 03

Inside the design studio

Happy Friday! This was a fun week, and this weekend is only going to get more interesting. More on that below.

I’m starting to realize how much I love designing food blogs. Maybe it’s because I get to stare at a Blue Cheese Burger at 9am…

I think I finally settled on my new rebrand’s main colors. I’m going back to my roots. Two shades of green (my favorite color/eye color) and two shades of purple (birthstone color).

Steven and I met up with two friends from Grand Rapids on Thursday for a Tigers/Cubs game. I had never ventured out to Wrigley Field before & I LOVED it! There was so much energy and we had so much fun.

This weekend I’ll be helping out again for the Chicago Blogshop. Can’t wait to see Bri and Angela again!

I’ll also be taking the Video Blogshop class on Monday, so that will be a nice change of pace!

Have a great weekend!

BRAND LAUNCH: AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT

A blog that I designed and developed launched yesterday, and I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome. The project was a breeze, because our aesthetics are so similar.

View the full case study here.

STUDIO PEEK / 02

Last week was a weird week, this week was a chaotic week. And it’s not over, yet!

I feel like I’m being put through a trial period and if I come out of it sane, then I should keep going. We’ll sees who wins.

In other news, I was able to work on some really fun (but very challenging) projects this week.

I finally ordered my Warby Parker glasses, without prescription lenses, even though I’m as blind as a bat. I was getting impatient and need to get a new prescription, but I wanted those frames pronto!

I wrapped up about three projects within the last week (pat on my back), so the next step is to send out some goodies.

I continued working on my own rebranding, got stuck at the logo, and set it aside. I’ll come back to it when some of this other chaos clears up.

That last image shows some clothing labels I’m designing… a new one for me!

How has your week been so far?

HAPPY THURSDAY!

HOW TO BE AMAZING AT BEING YOURSELF

image source

If you’re anything like me, you ARE your brand. For me, my name actually is my brand. After all, I’m selling myself and then I’m selling my services. A lot of my clients came to me because they liked my personality first and then they liked my designs, not the other way around. They started reading my blog because they felt they could relate to me.

So, how can you turn your personality into your brand and business? You want to show off your unique outlook on life, tell some quirky jokes and paint your website with your favorite color, but you need to do it in a profesh way?

Let’s get started!

If you’re signed up to my newsletter, you know that I’m working on some rebranding. This all came about when I realized that I was showing my clients how to turn a personality into a new logo, but I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. That’s not gonna work.

Here are a few ways to use your personality to win over clients and customers:

Website Copy – Write like you talk. If you’re bad at talking (who isn’t at some point in their lives?!), then hire someone to help you out. There should be a goal: make your readers either love you or hate you. You can’t play both ways. People are going to adore your work and personality and there are going to be others who aren’t very fond of you. That’s life.

Signature Color – Everyone should have a signature color… or maybe an icon. For me, I’m going to be using my favorite color, green. It’s been my favorite color for some time now and I know I won’t get sick of it anytime soon. I’m not actually sure why I didn’t use green in the first place… Pick a color and use it.

Headshot – Your headshot should be full of life. If you’re a corporate machine, keep it classy. If you’re an edgy designer, choose an awesome backdrop (think city, graffiti walls and so on). Professional photos are something to hire out when the time is right.

Fonts – What type of font describes your personality? Are you modern? Go with a clean sans-serif. Are you relaxed? Go with a handwritten script. My suggestion is to go to myfonts.com and do a little browsing. Bookmark the fonts that really stand out in your mind and make you go “That font was made for me!!”

Let that personality shine!

BRAND LAUNCH: J’ESS LA VIE

My most recent brand launch was for Jessica Matushek’s blog, J’ess La Vie. If you remember, I worked with Jessica and her husband, Peter, to update their photography business branding a couple months ago.

Jessica came to me for this new project because she felt uninspired with her old blog and wanted a fresh new start. That included a new name, logo and blog design.

WHERE SHE WAS

Jessica has been blogging for a while now, but was never able to settle down and claim a place as her own unique space. She wanted a quirky place to share her unique lifestyle with readers.

PROBLEMS WITH THE BEFORE

The design didn’t reflect her personality, and didn’t motivate her to write. The blog design was incomplete and not inspiring. I wanted to make sure that by the time this launched, she was excited to write!

RESEARCH

I started the process by sending Jessica a Q&A to determine the exact personality she wanted to reflect in her new blog design. After reviewing the answers and working together to pull inspiration from around the inter-webs, I created a project mood board and got to work designing.

LOGO

BLOG

I wanted to give Jessica a unique layout to show her edgy side. It was a way to go against the grain and stand out.

The blog was custom designed on the WordPress platform, allowing easy content management.

The blog also has an advertising integration plugin that allows clients to easily change out advertisers.

Visit the live site here. View more images in my portfolio here.