I’m so excited to show you one of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on this year! Ashley and I met two years ago, when we both joined the Savvy Business Circle coaching program led by Heather Crabtree. We were in that group together for six months, and a few months after it ended, Ashley hired me to help with some design projects. Ever since, she’s had me help with different projects here and there – so I was SO EXCITED to help her with her brand overhaul.
But, this was not just an Ashley and Jess project – Ginny Krauss, another SBC sister, helped Ashley map out her brand strategy! Design is great, but having a solid strategy behind it makes it even better.
In Ashley’s own words, “Jess & Ginny will not only love you like a friend through the process, they will treat your business like their business, giving you their full hearts and best selves.”
Before I show you more behind-the-scenes of the design aspect, I asked Ginny to share her part of the project!
I knew through working with Ashley, and getting to know her, that as she continuously made big strides in her business, the one thing I noticed was that her existing brand just wasn’t her. Therefore, it was holding her back from her bigger goals for her company. So, when Ashley was finally ready and hired both Jess & I to help her re-brand her former company, I Do, I Do Wedding Planning, I immediately said yes to being alongside her as her Brand Strategist! Working with both Jess & Ashley was such a dream, and despite Ashley being in the busiest season of her business, she always carved out the time to work on moving her brand forward with us.
Ashley and I began her Brand Strategy discussing the heart of her brand, her ideal client, and her why. I wanted to be sure we were clear on her intentions going forward so that we could create a brand that she wouldn’t outgrow anytime soon, but more importantly one that felt it defined her and the values of the company she has worked so hard to build. I wanted to do a complete overhaul and change everything she had currently known, and she’ll admit she was a bit scared at first, but I think as we progressed, she too knew it was the right decision. Those big changes started with a complete re-design of her logo, color & font changes and that actually ultimately led us to the discussion, “Do you really love your current business name”? Her answer surprised her, I think! She actually didn’t love it and didn’t feel overly connected to it, as she purchased her company four years ago from someone else. Right then, I knew that we needed to change the name for anything more to feel right. After countless conversations and brainstorming, she decided on Magnolia Vine Events. It was perfect.
From then on, the strategy just flowed. It spoke to her ideal client, we found ways to highlight her work, she planned a styled shoot to make sure that her imagery represented herself and her team members and overall, she finally radiated the business she had bloomed over the last decade. It’s amazing how one small change can impact the direction of the entire project. Ashley & I worked together on her messaging for her copy so that it speaks to her ideal clients while Jess put up with all the tiny tweaks I wanted to make to ensure that we showcased her brand to the fullest. Together, the three of us created a stunning new brand for an oh-so-deserving client.
Once the strategy part was done, it was time for me to start designing – and I always start with the logo, and then move to the website. With Magnolia Vine in the name, Ashley wanted to try and have some leaves or foliage within the logo. I always tell my clients – having imagery in your logo is not absolutely necessary. Just because you’re a photographer does not mean you need a camera in the logo. This is not to say that having imagery is bad – because it can look great and be good for your brand.
This is what we came up with for the first round of Ashley’s logo drafts:
When I’m working with clients early on in the design stage, I usually send the drafts in black and white. Sometimes, people focus more on the colors in a design, rather than the actual design, fonts, layout, etc. So, that’s why you’re seeing just the black and white versions here. I took these designs, with Ashley’s feedback, and created her brand new logo!
Once we finalized the logo design, brand colors, and brand fonts, it was time to start on Ashley’s new website! If you are ever thinking about overhauling your website, this is a great time to also switch website hosts, if need be. We moved Ashley from a private server (maintained by another company) to Siteground for her hosting and emails.
Previously, Ashley’s website had some problems, other than it just not reflecting her brand well:
- It was slow to load, and hard to update
- Her portfolio galleries were hard to navigate
- She didn’t have a link to her client portal
This is a part of her previous home page design:
For her new website, we wanted to make sure Ashley’s website was fun, bright, and had cohesive imagery. I always remind my clients to only show work that they are proud of, and want to do more of in the future. As Ginny mentioned above, during the design process, Ashley even made a brand photo shoot happen! (I would not advise waiting as long if you want to do a brand photo shoot – you’ll likely need to book a photographer further in advance!)
Here’s a look at her NEW home page:
Muuuuch better, right?!
For Ashley’s website, we used the Divi theme. This allows us to make the page layouts different, visually appealing, but still keep the site cohesive overall. Ashley kept most of her website copy the same, and we just changed layouts and photos across the website.
Something NEW we added to her site was a resource library. Ashley has created great resources for new brides, to help them through the planning process. I can’t wait to see how she builds and expands this library in the future!
To finish out Ashley’s overhaul, we had several other moving pieces to work on:
- Client and vendor PDF guides
- Social media graphics and headers
- Business cards and client gifts