Spinning a Yarn – Logo Design

spinnningayarn

I wanted to start Monday with some deliciousness. So without further adue i show you my newest little purchase. Some 100% SILK 4ply yarn from Spinning a Yarn. Yes it is that shiny and luxurious. Infact, the colour is more subtle and varied than the photo can depict. Even better!

I have ulterior motives however, I designed the logo too. This is the testing ball band Jess printed the logo on and sent to me (how I was told what logo she chose!).

Jess has been dying her own yarn for awhile now and has been open for business selling her fibres since the beginning of this year (or there abouts) every time I go to her site and Etsy she has something new cooking up – she’s the one to watch!

Now some chit chat about the logo. Jess wanted a logo with some movement in it. The logos she sent through to me were all in script typefaces with the letters linking up. The main customers really vary in age in the area of around 25-when ever one feels they dont want to spin or knot anymore…. which is when? So it needed to approachable by a huge age group. The colour red also felt very ‘right’ to Jess.

The results where several logos… and she picked this one!

spinning a yarn logo
The typefaces are, Black Jack and Poetica.

Diversity Analysis Re-Design Case Study

Another project review for you with the before and after!

Ben Kepes editor for US based technology blog CloudAve needed a new theme for his WordPress blog that represented his growing analysis business. His boutique analysis firm conducts research and publishes whitepapers of a ‘technical nature’ namely, cloud computing and related themes for businesses such as Rackspace, Box.net and MYOB.

So here’s the homepage before the re-design:

Diversity - Before the redesign

Here is the ‘after’ (homepage)
Diversity Redesign - Christchurch Web design

I wanted to explain my thought process behind this re-design,  I got to start from scratch on this job which meant designing page layouts and even structure adjustment. As I have mentioned before… favorite part!

Home page:
I wanted a homepage that immediately conveyed what Diversity Analysis has to offer and it also needed to be clear that the analysts were not just writers, but writers that specialized in technical topics.

So the top content area had to have a written description of what they did with some visual cues…

The logos are to add credibility and be recognizable helping the potential client see that other companies had trusted these guys and they had done a good job.

It was also important that the context was correct. The preview of ‘who they are’ is essential for giving not only that ‘face’ that marketers go on about, but also to let people know they are not dealing with a big corporation, just two guys who know what they do that they can talk to directly. An added bonus would be recognition. Ben is regularly writing up articles on the big conferences so no doubt some of these people would have seen him around.

The rest of the items on the homepage are to draw people into the other parts of the site by providing previews of everything they need before they get in contact to get their own whitepaper written.

Rest of site:
I wanted to keep the site uncomplicated and simple to get around in ways that suited whoever was reading. To do this for Diversity I focused on the following:

  1. A good search function
  2. Obvious navigation
  3. Links within the content
  4. Additional content added within the page that relates to that pages topic.

The last one is so other questions like “How do I contact this person?” are answered straight away.

For Diversity whose main clientèle are already very technically literate I also used the footer. Because so many technical sites now frequently use this area they will be used to seeing something in there of interest, although I did limit the amount of things appearing so not to overload with information.

Here is another favorite bit; getting the feedback from MY client Ben Kepes on how it all went.

Are there any parts of the website that you feel (and perhaps seen evidence of) work really well in representing what you do?

The site was formerly blog-centric with add on pages articulating the other services. With this redesign we’ve managed to combine the blogging aspects, along with showcasing the high value work we do and gaining the credibility from showing some of our corporate clients.

Is there anything you would perhaps add or change now looking back?

Not really – we’re happy with the site as it stands, while it’s always an iterative process – this is a great starting point.

What methods of marketing have you found have worked well for you in promoting yourself as a writer?

I’m lucky in that I live in paradise but regularly travel to the US and Australia. I use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn etc) heavily and this has enabled me to build a brand that is well respected for its independence and thought leadership. There’s no replacement for “beating the streets” and I spend a lot of time talking to all the players in my industry.

Thanks Ben!

Website Refresh Case Study : floozy.co.nz

Kate the owner of Floozy.co.nz, a shop full of gorgeous handbags and essential fashion treats, came to me with a problem. The logo, that had served the start-up, no longer serves the fully grown shop. It was time for the logo to be given an overhaul, but the Floozy philosophy still held true: “Online retail therapy fashion shopping thats high class but fun.”

So I chose a new main typeface that is clean and slightly rounded (a lot like Chanel’s). Took away the green and the pink and went straight to black and white. Below we have the before and after.

Before:
the old floozy logo

After:
new floozy logo

The new lady was penned by the super awesome illustrator Lauren Parr. Here is the full bodied floozy (go to the blog page on the website to see the fun illustration she designed.)

Since the most essential part of the website outfit was changed, the rest had to match! So out with old pinks and greens and in with some cool greys and blacks with a ‘hint’ of red.

From this:

website design floozy

To this:

I even got to change a few old layouts that just didn’t work to well, which had to be the most satisfying part of the whole thing for this little designer.

Thats not all!  Kate has decided to run a wee advertising campaign for six months with Next Magazine. Guess who gets to design some ads for them?

Floozy Advertisement for Next Magazine

I took my inspiration from some botanical illustrations and the famous DK books. The displaying of the organiser contents is influenced by a trend I have seen online lately, of people taking photos of whats in their handbag. So to have some fun with this craze Kate is running a competition on her Floozy facebook page for people to take photos of their handbag contents and go in the draw to win the original Tintimar handbag organiser. If your not so game for that then you can head into the shop and buy anything in between 17th May and the 13th of June 2010 and go in the draw to win as well…

You have heard an awful lot from me on the topic. I thought it would be interesting to see what Kate has to say about the whole process, so I asked Kate a few questions:

What part of the refresh did you like the most?

I love everything about it, it’s clean and fresh and stylish, but most of all I LOVE the new Floozy lady! She is so perfect and totally captures the fun element of Floozy, one of Floozy’s facebook fans said she thought she looked like me!! I wish I had a waist that small!

(Almost don’t want to ask this question) What did you like least?

There’s nothing I don’t like about it! I was anxious on the day we pushed the changes onto the live site, it’s always a little nail biting that something will go wrong and the site will collapse, but I needn’t have worried all went smoothly!

Whats the most important thing you think people should know about owning an online shop?

Online shopping is still relatively new in New Zealand, good imagery and a great returns policy are important, but so is letting your customer’s know that there is someone behind what to them is possibly a faceless online store, I use social media to put a name and face to my business and earn my customer’s trust.

Thanks Kate!