Creative Halcyon underwent a complete brand and design overhaul a couple of months ago, and it was quite an adventure. Planning out each process from the beginning really helped the transition go smoothly and saved me a lot of last minute headaches.
Today I am sharing the behind the scenes of the rebranding process step by step without getting lost in the middle when it came to figuring out my end result. If you are planning a new website launch or a rebrand – I outline a few take away at the end so you can apply them in your process of designing.
WHY START BRANDING MYSELF?
I came up with this idea when I graduated from Design School back in 2015. I had a silly portfolio in Behance but I was never really proud of. It never got me anywhere except a few likes here and there. I wanted a change.
I wanted a platform more powerful than Behance. And because of that, I started this exciting branding adventure. It was time to trust my guts and run with it.
Vittoria Daelli Designs didn´t cut it for me one bit. Even though it was my name, I couldn´t identify with it when I was being creative. And plus I wanted a name that represents my true self, a name that at the end of the day I can look back and be proud of it.
The pressure was on!
On a piece of paper, I wrote all the adjectives I could think of that describe who am I and how being creative made me feel.. for real.. (not in a lovely dovely way)
Then came the war between the words: Narrowing down my choices. Believe it or not, 4 words really pop out to me:
I know what you are thinking… let combine these words to make a new word. WRONG! (And plus I tried that, and it didn´t work)
I use what I was taught in design school when you face a problem SYNTHESIZE. Put together the parts I analyzed with other information to create something original; aka make it simple and clear, with no fuss.
Finding one word that would describe these 4 words was my challenge.
After researching high and low, HALCYON was born. From the ashes of these 4 words, came a new meaning: Halcyon.
THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE LOGO
Once I had and I knew the meaning behind of name, designing the logo was super easy and fun. I added the Creative at the beginning because due it would imply I create happiness, I create positives, I create calmness, I create peacefulness with my designs. The puzzle pieces of the wings represent the unified of a whole: Halcyon.
Consistency is the top importance with respect to branding, I created a brand style guide that would help me stay consistent and aligned with my brand at all time. I chose bright primary and accent colors that reflect the happiness and approachable vibe of my brand. Using the logo as the main source of inspiration, I used the colorful geometric broken pieces to compose the icons.
I won´t lie, copywriting is the hardest part for me because I am always thinking to myself Is This Useful for my audience. No matter how many courses, ebooks, newsletters I received to help me surpass this struggle, there was this small doubt in my mind.
So I set myself a mini-guideline to help me focus on my content and tune out my doubts:
- How can my experience help you (the creative people like you)?
- Pain pointing your problems by using quick wins solutions
- Write as if I were explaining to a friend that needs help
With these three ideas in mind, writing useful copy with a strategy in place is not that hard as before.
WEB DESIGN PROCESS
The super main goal for creating Creative Halcyon is to help passionate entrepreneurs to ditch the brand and website shame and step into their role as a CEO by crafting a brand that will capture their ultimate goals in their business all while learning in a positive way.
- To convey what I do and why I do it
- To provide quick and easy solutions to web and branding resources for my audience
- To generate leads for my services
- To raise awareness of the lack of accessibility in the design and web industry
WIREFRAME + MOCKUP
Once I had the main purpose of why I wanted to create this space on the world wide web, I then divide each goal into mini goals for each page and mock up it up. In doing so, I can effectively create a journey from one page to the next. The main thing here was to consider the action step(s) my audience (yes I am always thinking about you) would take when they go through my website; each page has a purpose. Nothing was designed randomly.
In searching for tons and tons of themes on WordPress, I wanted the utmost freedom to customize and to change the structure of each layout without a problem. In doing my research, I rely on:
- How flexible is the theme in terms of layout options (this also include how good is the Responsive and Browser Compatibility)
- Does it include Call to Action? (so I don’t have to rely on a widget)
- How well documented and support does it has?
Step 2: I added the content, graphics, and photos in the placeholders so they all fit together well.
Step 3: Lastly I tested the entire website – both for functionality and form to make sure everything was working fine.
I had the pleasure to ask one of my photographer friends to take a few headshots. The main goal in taking these headshots was to transmit the happiness in the brand on to my way of being.
- When establishing your brand idea in step one, keep it simple! Don’t do a ton of research because the process will be a never ending story; you will get lost. Synthesis the problem and listen to your heart.
- Once you have the brand concept all set out, use your logo as the main source of inspiration when you are designing your iconic pieces such as photos and icons.
- Take the time to write out your goals for each page in your site. It will make a big difference when thinking about layout options.
- When you are stuck on an idea, whether it is writing or research, set up mini-guideline to help you keep track on your ultimate goal in mind.