The moment we stepped into 2018 I decided this was a a go big or go home kind of year for Whole Weddings (you can read more about it here.) And I also knew a big part of that was going to be defining where I was headed with our brand.
A LITTLE BACKSTORY
My first stationery work came about from joining a photo shoot on a whim in 2104. At the time I had a greeting card business The Nice Paper Co. so I thought the stationery could be an offshoot of that and started branding it as such.
2016 the two businesses split and it couldn’t have been a better move. Not having a clear plan of what I wanted for Whole Weddings, I came up with a basic logo. It had thought but not insight, it was present minded not future minded and it was there but it never quite felt permanent.
2017: Realizing the cards were holding back my time and energy for moving forward with Whole Weddings, I let that go. I wanted it to be a year of growth but life had other plans for it to be a year of release.
HERE WE ARE
Whole Weddings finally has a vision, a space, a voice. I started to assemble imagery that felt comforting, reflective of the things I love and the places I love to be in. Textures, colors and patterns started to come out of it and my style became defined. As a designer it can be so hard to create for yourself. But when you stop and put yourself in your clients position, do exactly what you tell them to do, then it makes sense. I am drawn to a clean modern aesthetic but with organic, hand made elements. I wanted our refreshed logo to feel inviting and natural but not too perfect and forced. A blend of simplistic, natural forms but done in a way that felt iconic and hopefully timeless. As cliche as it sounds, a combination of the past and the future.
I wrote down what I wanted to manifest in my business and life. To learn from nature. To thrive, grow, bloom, prosper, cultivate, nourish, fulfill, complete, transform, encourage, enough, discipline, align, devote, wisdom, flow, excite, curiosity, connection, and develop. To inspire a greater connection to nature through stationery. To see the impact that weddings have on the environment and empower couples to choose in consideration of it. To give fellow business owners tools to promote what they love in ways that are kinder to the earth and express their values in caring for it.
With that focus I started sketching leaves, a theme I knew I wanted to keep from the early logo. But they needed to be less bulky, less graphic and have more character. I share on IG a time lapse of how I started with the leaves as very simple lines and then varied the line weight to make them feel more realistic. The W icon also became the perfect way tie in to my name (turn it upside down and you have an M for Meany) so I have used that to brand the work I do outside of weddings and as a personal mark. Maybe I’ll have the guts to get a tattoo of it someday.
The typography walks a fine line for me. I wanted to create a look that was just feminine enough. I didn’t want it to be frilly or cutesy but rather neat and light. Oswald has a nice modern preciseness without being too overbearing. It’s condensed look pairs nicely with the wilder leaf forms. Lora is soft and more traditional but not to formal like Times or Garamond. It doesn’t scream, I’m old fashioned, but it isn’t trying too hard to be contemporary either. In contrast and hopefully also compliment to the computer based type is my hand drawn wording. It works it’s way into quotes on IG and will probably expand to prints and items for the shop. It was important to me that my stylized handwriting had a place in this brand because it’s taken greater significance in my work over the years. I got beyond the fear that my drawing wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t precise and technically perfect. But it’s me.
To me, good branding creates an anchor. It’s the visual lens through which you share your story and vision, and it has to be clear and focused. But like every story it evolves and grows with you event though the core feelings might stay the same. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but it does have to be intentional and speak volumes about who you are and what you love.
If you’d love help telling your brand story, I’m ready to listen.