Once upon a time, a client comes along who becomes a lifelong friend, and changes the way you do your work. Tressa was one of those clients for me! A master of systems + operations, and an amazing right hand women and OBM for online businesses, Tressa helped me transform my own business while we worked together on transforming her own brand.
Since then, we’ve continued to grow her business + brand through our ongoing Design Partnership, and I am so grateful for the work we get to do together + the friendship we’ve formed.
Tressa came to me because she wanted to revamp her brand, and she wanted a stronger online presence through her website for her business. Tressa had a clear idea of who she is, and her values, but she had no idea how to bring that to live in a visual brand.
Tressa also knew that if she wanted to attract the kinds of high-end client that she wanted to work with, and grow her business to the levels she wanted to, she had to have a brand that reflected the value that she brings to the table.
The main project goals were to create a brand that reflected Tressa’s personality and style, while still sticking true to her values. We also wanted to stick true to her personality without and personal style, without alienating potential clients.
My role in the project was to help facilitate the transformation of Tressa’s brand. I was there to help bring to life her personality and values into a visual brand that represented her most authentic self within her business, and to create a website that helps her to connect more deeply with her audience and potential customers.
Tressa was one of the very first people to take part in my Brand Strategy Intensive sessions (now called Brand Map Sessions). These sessions were purposely designed to help uncover how Tressa wanted the brand itself to look, and to help her get even clearer on her purpose, mission, vision, and legacy.
We delved into establishing the vision for her work – which was to help female business owners grow their business is in smart, thoughtful ways – and established her goals for the new brand and website. Some of these goals were long-term, such as working with fewer high-end clients, whereas some of the shorter-term goals were to launch new services and grow her email list or traffic.
Once we’d finished the research phase of the project, we moved into designing a mood board for the project. Mood boards are a great way of getting clear on the visual styles that we want to carry throughout the brand, and introduce the colours, themes, and even textures that we might want to use within the visual brand and style.
Through this process, we discovered that Tressa had a love for jewel-like colours – and that she definitely didn’t want to use pastels within her brand. Her favourite colours turned out to be blues and purples, which we ended up using in specific ways throughout her brand. And fun fact – the colours on this mood board ended up being the exact colours we used within Tressa’s brand!
The mood board design also evoked a real sense of luxury + elegance, which we felt was key to display through the brand in order to attract more high-end clients for Tressa’s business.
Moving into Tressa’s brand identity, we started out by figuring out the typeface for Tressa’s logo. We had a clear idea of the style already based on the work we did in the Brand Strategy Intensive, and we settled on using a typeface called Lucy Rose.
This typeface had the perfect balance of elegance, sophistication, but also felt a little gothic-inspired, which Tressa loved. We then also settled on Gauthier FY for her main headings, and Futura for a splash of a modern surprise within the brand.
Her logo mark was hand-drawn and designed by myself – both inspired by the mandala designs I create, and a necklace that Tressa owns + adores, but was also present in her old brand photos. This meant that the logo mark had this personal, secret history that connected Tressa’s old brand to her new.
We then moved into fleshing out the rest of her brand identity, creating and adapting custom brand textures and patterns. In the end, we ended on some vintage-style damask textures that we applied her brand pattern to.
The challenge here was choosing the right brand textures, and choosing the right amount – there were some textures here that both myself and Tressa loved, but that just didn’t fit within the overall style of the brand…so unfortunately, they had to go.
Once we had the brand identity nailed, it was time to move into the website design. We established the pages that Tressa wanted on her site, and Tressa provided all the copy in advance.
I then started sketching out the flow for the website, and how each part of the copy connected with the other. The one rule I always have for any of my client’s brands and websites is that they should enable you to grow. I don’t want you sat there, once our time together is complete, feeling stuck in the same place – instead, your brand should give you the chance to grow and evolve…and it should grow and evolve right alongside you.
I also say that every website design is an evolutionary process – what we start out with often isn’t what we end up with in the end. I also value this being extremely collaborative…after all, Tressa is the one that ends up with the website – so I want to make sure she’s happy!
We built out each of the pages, infusing + improving the brand as we went, page-by-page. The damask patterns became a huge part of the brand, and we also included little touches like gradient-ed typography on her headings, to bring the logo and the brand elements together even further.
We also got the chance to partner with Laura Boyd of Own Your Brand for Tressa’s new (on-brand!!) photos, which helped bring the whole brand together.
Once the website had launched, Tressa chose to continue working with me through my Design Partnership offerings. We had already designed social media images and some PDF templates during our project time, but working together on a continuous basis meant we could continue to grow her brand month-on-month.
Since then, we’ve been able to launch and refine many parts of her brand and website, from new service offerings through to downloadable content for her audience, through to refining specific pages on the website to make them even better than they were before.
The key here again is: as Tressa and her business has grown, I have been able to refine + grow her brand to match where she’s moving to – and beyond. And I couldn’t be more grateful for all that she teaches me as we work together (that she probably doesn’t even realise)!
Not long before Tressa’s brand launched, I was meeting with a mutual friend of ours who was visiting the UK from the US – and we got talking about Tressa and the rebrand process we had gone through. At this point, we were deep into the website design process and were preparing for launch…when our mutual friend said words that were music to my ears: “Tressa sent out the branding to show a few of us – and all I could say was ‘Tressa, it’s SO YOU!’.” (I’m paraphrasing a little, but you get the gist).
And then, I knew that the branding transformation had worked. When you choose to infuse your brand with your own personal essence, values + personality, you create a brand that is so innately + recognisably YOU. And Tressa could still have that, and also show up as the professional, reliable, simply incredible OBM that she is for her clients.
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