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Portfolio: Miel Café Design Rebrand

25 March 2017 • Filed under Portfolio

You might have noticed I’m dedicating this month’s blog posts to all things branding a business. It’s because March has been the month of Miel Café Design’s rebrand and relaunch!

I’ve actually been working on this project for quite a while, and it was tough to keep the secret. But I can’t wait any longer now to reveal all the details and reasons behind my new branding! Up to this date, only my newsletter subscribers knew all about what my new brand looks like… so it’s exciting to finally spill the beans about a project I worked so hard on!

Miel Café Design Rebranding Brand & Web Design: Brand Board

Reasons to rebrand

As many of you will know, when this business first launched, it was run from a couple of designers. Things have changed quite a lot ever since Miel Café Design went online for the first time!

First of all, I’m now the only owner of this design studio of mine. At the beginning of 2017 I finally put myself in front of the choice of deciding what I wanted to do for a living. No need to say I picked this graphic studio and all my amazing clients!

I launched my business last month and decided this was the perfect time to rebrand Miel Café Design. I firstly needed new packages for my services because what I had wasn’t working for me any longer. I wanted my work and services to be an anchor for any creatives and small business owners needing branding and web design services.

Although blog design is still a huge component of my daily work, I wanted my business to start focusing more on branding and web design, and introduce my stationery services as well. The direction I wanted to take was pretty clear to me at this point. All I needed was the possibility to start afresh, with a blank page in front of me. And rewrite all my contents first!

Being alone in this new adventure, I wanted my branding to reflect my personality, be a little more “me”. While also allowing me to express what’s my mission, and focus on my new brief.


Brief

With this rebrand I found out that I, myself, am my worst client! I started this rebranding with a rough idea of what I wanted to offer with my services, yes… but with nothing more. I spent half of the time trying to figure out why I wasn’t finding the right way.

It was only when I put myself in the shoes of a client and imagined to have a designer guiding me, that I was able to see my business from the outside and decide what to do with it.

After spending hours and hours thinking about my dream clients, the way I wanted my business to pass on, the reasons why I needed a rebrand, what my previous clients thought about my process… I finally came out with a concise brief of how I wanted my brand to look like.

I asked myself: can I summarize what I want my brand to look like in three adjectives?

  • Creative
  • Focused
  • Trustworthy

All in all I wanted this rebrand to look clean. I’m a designer and my whole branding is the very first impression of a potential client when it lands on my website, grab my business card or find me on social media.

I didn’t want anything too personal and quirky to avoid to put off potential clients (who aren’t into the style). But I still wanted this rebrand to be personal and reflect the way I like to work.


Branding

After spending a couple of weeks idealizing my new packages, creating written contents for my pages and taking care of the SEO, I finally saw my logo idea coming to life.

I didn’t want to use a common font for my logo design. I wanted something completely custom and unique, but clean and essential at the same time.

The custom lettering in the logo is based on the font I decided to use for the headings. I created a 100% custom variation using clean lines and shapes.

Miel Café Design Rebrand Logo Design

The new logo was the perfect place where to implement the colours of my palette, which you might find familiar. After analyzing my brand, I decided my palette still represented it so nicely! It had to stay!

My simple linear but colourful logo, gave me the chance to represent:

  • My clean and versatile aesthetic
  • The creativity and simplicity of my services
  • What my clients love the most about my work: the fact that I’m trustworthy and like to involve clients in any decisions

Don’t know how that sounds to you, but to me it fitted pretty perfectly with what I listed in my brief!

I played with the letters to create two variations, great as submarks or where the entire logo doesn’t really fit. This created versatility in my branding, meaning I won’t have to worry about creating a new version in the future. Because I already have three for all sorts of needs!


Visuals

I always knew I needed some branded photography for my new website and marketing pieces. But I also wanted to showcase my capabilities, and include some illustrated elements between my branded visuals.

I created a set of illustrations to represent and explain my services and process. Along the same line as my logo design, I used simple clean lines and colour overlays to achieve the effect I wanted to pass on.

Miel Café Design Rebrand Branded Visuals Illustrations

This is the step when I usually come up with an idea for a distinctive icon for the brand. And when designing the sparkle effect in my icons, I immediately knew it was the one!

That sparkle of something brand new just popped out of the box, that same sparkle I can envision in my clients eyes when they couldn’t be happier about the work we did together… how could a small icon represent my brand better than this?

I created custom seamless patterns by repeating those tiny icons over and over again, which I used in my business cards and for my website graphics. And that sparkle icon has been repeated everywhere in my branding. In the horizontal lines for my blog posts, for the website favicon, in my blog posts and promotional imagery…

Even the smallest element can create cohesivity and consistency in branding. The more the icon is easy to remember and has a meaning behind it, the better the result!

Photography

As I mentioned before, I always planned to have some branded photography for my rebrand. I needed pictures that:

  • Could help with explaining my service-based business easily enough
  • Helped me with creating a visual and emotional connection between me and the client
  • Allowed clients to imagine me in my workspace and reference Miel Café Design as an actual graphic studio
  • Gave me cohesivity in my branding and versatility for my online contents

I mentioned this in a recent blog post, but after considering to hire a professional, I ended up deciding to try the DIY-way. I’m pretty pleased with the final result: all the pictures look coherent with the rest of the rebrand, and they helped me add interest into my website pages.

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Miel Café Design Rebrand Photography Giada

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Miel Café Design Rebrand Photography Stationery

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Website

Coding this website took around three weeks, considering I worked at it mainly after my standard working hours or at weekends. But the website was the one part of branding I really wanted to be on point.

I needed a website that:

  • Was familiar to affectionate users and old clients. I found my previous interface for the main pages worked quite well for my business, and decided to maintain a similar layout
  • Helped me organize and explain my different packages
  • Made the navigation as easy as possible
  • Included a shop platform, since I planned to shut down my Etsy store
  • Made it extremely easy for potential clients to get in touch
  • Together with my branding, attracted the right sort of clients, truly interested into what I have to offer

I always like to have all my materials (contents + photography) ready before getting started with planning a website layout. I used my texts and branded visuals to imagine my website in blocks and pages. And then started thinking about how to implement my brand elements into my website styles.

Miel Café Design Rebrand Website Design

Coding was a long process, as with any content-rich websites. But I’m so pleased with the way it turned out!


Collaterals

At this point I needed some new marketing materials to match the new brand. And let me tell you: creating branded stationery is one of my favourite things! You really start seeing the results of your work coming together. Plus there’s nothing more exciting that waiting for your brand new business cards to come in the post!

Miel Café Design Rebrand Branded Stationery

I also rebranded all my social media, newsletter emails, shop emails, invoices, resume and documents. Lastly I created premade graphics for my blog, newsletter and promotional materials. And also premade portfolio brand boards, that I can edit quickly in Photoshop when I want to add a new project…

Miel Café Design Rebrand Brand Graphics


And that’s really about it! It actually takes daily effort to maintain a visual consistency for this brand, but I’m so happy with the result! This branding already brought to me new interested clients and is helping with attracting the right sort of people I need.

Stay tuned if you’d like to know more about branding and launching a business!

I’d love to work with you!

Loved the process behind this project? I’d love to work with YOU too: do you run a blog, website or small business? Do you need help with branding and finding a way to communicate with your dream clients? Get in touch today, I might have a couple of ideas on how we can work together already!

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Portfolio: Miel Café Design Rebrand