Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Janel's New Identity

No, Janel isn't confused about who she is. She actually knows herself very well which is a very fortunate thing for me because Janel asked me to create a brand for her blog, Janel Messenger. It's been fun!

I've been a Graphic Designer for a long, long time. Waaay back in 1995 I was using the newest version of Corel Draw to make graphics for the manuals that my father-in-law, a technical writer, was writing. Drawing reverse osmosis machines was stimulating... OK, not really, but at least I gained a lot of practice with the pen tool. In 1999 I started taking design clients and I've been designing off and on ever since.

My favorite projects are the ones just like the project I'm doing for Janel, creating logos and identities for businesses that I "get" and I really get Janel. A big part of what I do is climbing inside the heads of my clients to figure out how to represent their businesses visually. Janel is a lover of fashion, sewing, romance, roses, red lipstick, Jane Austin, polka dots, high heels, & floral fabrics.

Sometimes my clients present me with a dichotomy that I have to reconcile. Janel was one of those. I was having a hard time combining Jane Austin, romance, floral fabrics, and her Edwardian sensibility with high heels, red lipstick, polka dots, and her other preference for a 1940's style. How to combine 1940's with Edwardian, hmmmm.

In order to circle in on her aesthetic, I decided to have her create outfits on Pinterest to see what her "look" might be. It's interesting to see what avenue I can use to get where we need to go. For Janel her love of fabrics and fashion was the route to see how to combine 1940's with Edwardian. She embraced the project wholeheartedly! BTW, you can follow Janel on Pinterest right here.

Here is Janel's original logo:

She made this herself. It's very nice! She really liked the J in the Janel and the burgundy color.

Our first stop after the Pinterest project was to choose a lovely typeface. After an extensive search we finally selected one that was perfect. Then came the search for the color palette, which Janel solved with her favorite fabric. I pulled her palette from the swatch and Voila! We also used it as the background for her business cards & Facebook cover banner. So after several iterations and adjustments we came up with this:

TA-DAH!!!! We have a pretty "J," the burgundy, colors from her fabric, a rose, and the lovely typeface that she choose!

Next we created her business card:

That's her favorite fabric right there. I also selected a complementary typeface for Janel to use as the body text for her written materials. I added the stitching, because she sews.

Today I made her a facebook cover.

Pretty huh?

Now we're making a blog banner, hang tags, blog buttons, blog labels, and other items to give her a completely coordinated look. WOOT! Such fun!

I've added Janel to my blogroll and I hope you'll have a look!

Thanks for working with me, Janel!

See you tomorrow,

* Yes, Janel gave me permission to blog about her ;-) *


  1. Fun! : )

    I am thrilled with what you came up with Heather! I'm in love with it!! Thank you so much!

    1. You're welcome ma'am! I'm SO HAPPY that you like it!!!! I can't wait to do more :-)

  2. Oooooh, I love what you've done! You're very good at "getting" people. When you came up with the banner for my Etsy store, it was after a few simple questions and a brief conversation and it was perfect, exactly what I would have done if I knew how to word it or could create like you do! Amazing work!

    1. Thank you so much Morgen! Apparently I can't get crazy hair when I see it though ;-p

    2. Turns out it wasn't crazy so much as 70's-you-should-be-on-the-hood-of-a-Camero-in-a-red-bathing-suit hair. Seriously, I was told that.

    3. Tell Liz to stop hitting on you.

  3. wow heather, edwardian and 1940s, and your result is beautiful! i bet it feels so good to do what you love to do, and to help someone in the process. awesome. i look forward to seeing more here, at your online house! n

    1. Thanks Noreen! It does feel good to do something I love to do, especially when the client loves pretty things ;-). I'd like to do more of it! I will be posting more as I do more.

  4. Hi Heather, It's Anna from your BYW class. :-) I was interested to read about how you used Pinterest as a tool in developing Janel's new identity/brand -- I've just started with Pinterest, mainly to collect interior design ideas for my house, and after doing some pinning now, I'm seeing definite themes emerge. I'm also seeing a lot of interior designers and creative types like yourself using it with clients. I think it's a great idea!

    The finished product for Janel is lovely. I really like how you captured the texture of the fabric -- it almost has a tactile quality... Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. Congrats on your 20th anniversary! :)

    1. Thanks Anna, nice to meet you! Yeah, that was a real "AH HA!" moment for me. A big part of the design process is getting the client to collect inspiration. Doing that tangibly can be hard so using Pinterest seemed like a great way to collect inspiration easily! Have fun with pinning. I know it's helping me nail down how I want to decorate my house too. It's going in the direction of the color-wheel :-)

    2. Anna, I've been a Pinterest junkie for quite awhile. I had my students all use it for a digital mood board for fashion design this year. It worked like a charm. I thought Heather was brilliant when she suggested it. : )

    3. Why thank you Janel, it's nice to have my brilliance noted ;-)

  5. Beautiful job Heather! I love how you used all the different tools to pull her look together. Great work, doll! xo


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