If you've been here for a little bit, you'll know we just went through a complete rebranding process that debuted in July of this year. If you're in the market for a rebrand, or have always been curious about what goes into the process, I'm pulling back the curtain and showing you how we went from the logo below to what you see today!
This is where it all started:
At the very beginning on my business, I designed my logo myself, as most of us do when we start out. I took my inspiration from the color wheel and some things I had seen on Pinterest, chose a few fonts that looked like me, and that was that. But over the years, I started to realize the association with the color wheel almost minimized the amount of work and time the actual job of being an interior designer encompassed. I would frequently get the reaction of "oh, you're a designer - that's so fun!," which isn't wrong by any means, but there is a LOT that goes into executing successful design projects that our clients love and that we are proud of.
I was also using a Wordpress theme template for my first website, which got me through my first three years thankfully! But I always had an internal struggle knowing I was creating custom homes for my clients that took so much time and effort, but MY online house was put together so quickly and simply that it didn't reflect what I was delivering to them. I am forever grateful for my amazing brother who set it up for me (because let's be honest, websites scare me and I'm so fearful of breaking things!) but I knew in my heart that it was time for a much needed improvement from this:
I didn't want to invest in building a new website around a logo that I had grown to dislike and I felt didn't represent me or Madison Nicole Design, but knew that 3 years with the old site was long enough. So at the end of 2019, when I was writing down my goals for 2020 (side note: still can't believe how crazy this year has been!!), my website was at the top of my list. I decided to get a jump start, and reached out to Anastasia and her team at The Identite Collective to really get a clear vision of the Madison Nicole Design brand. I had followed her on Instagram for a long time, but totally felt intimidated and nervous to reach out, which proved to be incredibly silly.
My amazing husband Brian, who is the best encourager for all these big decisions that need to be made for my business, sat with me on my birthday while I signed the paperwork to hire Anastasia. We happened to be in Paris celebrating (which also sounds so surreal to say since we can't travel anymore)... but it was the best birthday gift ever!
The first phase we walked through was the creative direction of the brand, which summarizes your goals, your audience, and how you can use design to speak to them. They sent me a LONG questionnaire and had me answer so many questions. It was exhausting, but it really helped me to think about who my ideal client is, the projects I want to be doing, and what I want my business to look like. I also created a brand-specific mood board full of images and materials and inspirations that I felt represented Madison Nicole Design. Here's a little peek at what I came up with:
IDCO took all this information, distilled it down and made sense of my ramblings, and then created a visual inspiration guide. This was really important, because they wanted to make sure we were all on the same page visually before they started sketching ideas... very similar to the Design Concepts I provide to clients during our own design process. By focusing on all of this first, we were able to keep the brand's heart and soul at the center of what we were doing, and I'm so elated with the result!
We also focused on who my ideal client is, down to what kind of family she has, where she lives, her favorite design styles, what she does for fun, and what type of project she would be seeking my help with. This was so important to take time to understand to ensure that everything on the website would attract that kind of person.
After that, we collaborated on the right brand tone words, and we settled on natural, sophisticated, light & airy, casual & collected, and relaxed. To illustrate that visually, we worked together to create the brand board below.
We were right on track with everything above, so the team moved on to the Brand Concept phase. In this phase, they created multiple logos and secondary logos, submarks, and patterns that would be used in various ways, on the website, business cards, and client materials like welcome and investment guides. Have a look below to see what IDCO came up with. It took me a lot of precessing to decide which version I liked most.
Which one is your favorite - #1 or #2?
Eventually, we narrowed down to refining the first logo concept and incorporating the first pattern into the brand design vision. I loved the clean, sophisticated lines, but just felt it was lacking a little bit of that casual, playful feel that I was hoping for. I had a hard time putting exactly what I didn't like into words, but the IDCO team made sense of my verbose response and determined that I needed something a bit more unique, and adjusted the font slightly to give it that more relaxed and unique look.
We loved the brand colors in that option as well, as we do try to incorporate color into our designs. They were adjusted from what was seen here, but the variation is what drew me in. And then, a few tweaks later, we landed on the primary logo and secondary logo below!
I am SO HAPPY I invested in IDCO and in myself after seeing the final result - I can now say I have a brand presence I am proud of and resonate with so much! And the best part is that my clients, from the very first interaction online, are getting a taste of the level of work ethic and gravity I always held about my business! Feel free to click around on my website a bit longer to see how all of this beautiful branding was implemented.
One more big shoutout to Anastasia + Lexi and the rest of the team at The Identite Collective - I am so grateful for your gifts, your time, and what you have given me and my clients. Thank you so so much!