Brand Reveal: Southern Hostess

Southern Hostess Logo and Visual Brand

When Holly Woods approached me about collaborating on visual branding for her new business, I knew right away we'd be a great fit. In her very first email to me she said,

"My passion is people and celebrating relationships."

She was looking for a designer who could take the feeling she wanted to evoke and create a simple, charming picture for Southern Hostess. I couldn't wait to get started!


Southern Hostess was born from a love of creating charming gatherings that encourage people to gather and enjoy one another. Holly shared with me that her home in Virginia has always been a gathering place for family and friends, particularly young women, where they can relax and be themselves. I could tell in her voice and by reading through her Branding Workbook that nurturing, guiding and supporting these women brings her so much joy. Without a doubt, that warm energy and love will be put into Southern Hostess too. 

After dreaming up this business with her daughters for quite some time, Holly is launching their idea into a retail operation. Southern Hostess will offer products and ideas that inspire easy and fun get-togethers including unique serving pieces and glassware with custom packaging and special recipes, unique guest favors, hostess gifts and games for seasonal and/or themed gatherings. 

Holly wants Southern Hostess to be known as the place to go if you're hosting an event and looking for one unique item, a complete theme and corresponding items, or a place to get inspiration for those who like to DIY. They put the excitement into planning an event and can help with one piece or the entire plan!

Holly Woods of Southern Hostess

Allison had genuine excitement and enthusiasm to learn about my vision and the process in place to bring it out in me. She helped me focus on my brand integrity so my vision could be seen and helped me block out the noise to find my direction. Allison is so easy to work with and makes collaborating a comfortable experience — I would recommend her whole-heartedly, especially to those who want their brand to speak visually. Allison is an artist!

Holly Woods, Southern Hostess


This is just the beginning for Southern Hostess -- their launching plan and details are still developing, but Holly knew she needed a lovely logo and visual brand to start things on the right foot.

With the endless possibilities for packaging, a potential storefront, and the need to adapt to hostessing trends and the changing seasons throughout the year, it was important to design a visual brand that is clean, timeless and versatile. We started by developing a color palette and mood board from Holly's gathered Pinterest inspiration -- all of which portrays the charming, inviting and warm feeling Southern Hostess will give its customers whenever they come in contact with the brand. It's all about the details!

Southern Hostess Mood Board Compiled by AllieMarie Design

Bowls  /  Boxes  /  Napkins  /  Place Settings  /  Willow Lee  /  Cocktails

We created a beautiful primary color palette of go-to colors (reflected in the above mood board) as well as a complimentary secondary color palette, to give Holly the flexibility needed to adapt her branding to current and future trends, seasons and holidays. I was sure to choose secondary colors that worked well with most colors in the primary color palette, so mixing and matching could be easy peasy and never frustrating.


After we solidified our general visual direction and color palette, we moved onto the design phase. Holly chose a logo concept to move forward with and after some small changes and developing a corresponding logo variation, watermark and submark... we had beautiful finalized brand styling that exudes charm, a warm energy and a relaxed and classic look that will stand the test of time. 

Southern Hostess Visual Branding Design by AllieMarie Design

The script font is a perfect blend of sophistication and elegance with an undeniable personal touch -- it has this relaxed feel, as if someone picked up a pen and handwrote it. We chose a simple and clean sans serif font with a thin weight to compliment the script font and used all lowercase letters to further create a comfortable and approachable look.

Holly loved the idea of incorporating a monogram as well and the typography lent itself beautifully to that. I love how the "sh" can stand on its own within the submark (beautiful in every color!) and works really well within the logo variations and the watermark, which Holly plans to use as a stamp for her packaging ideas (think embroidery, stamping, and hot iron branding!). 

Southern Hostess Color Palette Guide



I created the above brand styling board for Holly to use as a guide going forward... something I do for all my branding clients who select the Petite Design Package. Check out all my branding packages here. I also create a color guide (to the left) detailing the Southern Hostess Pantone/Spot Colors, CMYK, RGB and HEX color codes, so Holly can be consistent across all her marketing -- print, web, signage, and beyond.

No scrambling to get the color just right or deciding which fonts to use -- all those decisions have been made and details have been laid out for her in her guides. This is all in addition to the library of logo, watermark and submark files she has to work with!

I'm looking forward to seeing Southern Hostess' new beautiful visual brand help them launch and grow as their business flourishes. With Holly at the wheel, I have no doubt they will establish themselves as the go-to for hostesses who want to entertain with charm.

I'll update this post with more information about Southern Hostess as things progress, so we can all see how the heart-centered business evolves and thrives!