The lovely Ms. Fabienne Peter reached out to me after I responded to her post in a Facebook group. She was looking for a branding designer. You designers know those posts... there are dozens of talented designers who comment indicating their interest and include a link to their website. You think, "Hmm... should I put my name in the hat? Is it worth it? Or am I just adding to the pile?"
Well, I put my name out there that day. And I'm so so so glad I did.
Not only did Fabienne connect with my design aesthetic, but also my creative process, my personality portrayed through my website, and my brand as a whole. She was looking for something feminine and fun, with a touch of elegance and romance -- right up my alley! -- and wanted a designer to partner with as she revamped her wedding and event planning business from the top down. I knew working with Fabienne would be wonderful, with her cheerful and positive demeanor, and the truly collaborative nature of our conversation and project planning right off the bat. Talk about dream client!
I'm excited to give you a little behind-the-scenes look into our journey together and showcase the final brand styling that Fabienne and I are so proud of.
Collaborating with Allison was so much fun! From the beginning, I felt I was working with the right person. Her process made me dig deep into my business values and she got to the heart of what I wanted and what was important to me. We had a really good connection and it shows in the final product... I feel like I have not only gained an amazing design partner but also a friend.
My amazing new visual brand design turned out better than I ever could have imagined and I know my business will be successful because of it.
Fabienne Peter, owner of the wedding dot
The Story Behind the wedding dot
About four years ago, Fabienne made a heart-centered career change when she moved from the banking and finance world to the wedding industry. She started her own business, based in Switzerland, knowing she could tap into her creative side in this role of wedding planner and fulfill her dream of helping engaged couples make their dreams for a magical wedding a reality.
Although Fabienne knew she was in the right place in the wedding industry and was eager to grow, something felt off with her business. She shared with me that after much reflection, she realized she didn't feel comfortable with her brand. It didn't portray her personality or feel authentic to her. She wasn't comfortable sharing her visual brand with the world and she was embarrassed to put herself out there... one of the worst things for a business owner to feel! The result? It impacted the success of her business.
A big change was on the horizon. Fabienne made the decision to rebrand her wedding planning business from the top down. She decided on a new name, "the wedding dot" and a tagline, "The perfect spot if you are tying the knot" (how cute is that!?). Now she needed a brand stylist that connected with her vision and would help her bring her vision to life for the wedding dot's visual brand.
Enter little old me!
BRAND DISCOVERY + INSPIRATION GATHERING
As I do with every branding client, we kicked off our time together with brand discovery and inspiration gathering. It was so much fun to read through Fabienne's completed Branding Workbook, in which she dove into the specifics of the wedding dot's mission, big picture goals, ideal clients, uniqueness, competitors, and style. Although she told me she found parts of the workbook challenging, she also said it was incredibly helpful in her process of starting fresh with this new business. My workbook really has a way of bringing my clients clarity, and this time around was no exception. (Get your Branding Workbook for free here!)
Some highlights from Fabienne's workbook:
On her mission
Fabienne doesn't just plan a couple's wedding -- she is the person they can trust, rely on and feel comfortable with throughout the process. After all, they are placing the planning of their dream wedding into her hands and she takes that responsibility very seriously. Fabienne also strives to make wedding planning affordable and available to anyone who needs help planning. She'd like to change the stigma that you need to have a big budget in order to hire a wedding planner by communicating -- through her brand and offerings -- that couples with a smaller budget can still have a wedding planner who will help them plan an absolutely amazing wedding day.
On her client experience
Fabienne takes the stress of planning off her clients' shoulders so they can relax and enjoy their time together as an engaged couple. She also goes above and beyond to make things easy for them while gaining a thorough understanding of their vision and what they want for their big day. "I do all the work for them, choosing the vendors, venues, etc. so they only have to point at what they like best."
On the impression her brand should give
Sophisticated, elegant, polished, stylish, and fun! When a potential client comes in contact with the wedding dot's brand, Fabienne wants them to be excited, start to dream about their wedding day, and imagine how she would be the perfect person to plan their dream wedding (of course!). Fabienne is a fun, friendly and passionate person, and that personality needed to shine brightly through her visuals too.
Mood Board + Color Palette
There are so. many. wedding. brands. out there, so we needed to find ways to set her apart. Taking her completed branding workbook and her collected visual inspiration on Pinterest, we developed a color palette that fits with her vision, her goals and her likes/dislikes, and we collaborated on a mood board that represents the visual direction we were going to head.
In addition to her vision for a romantic, feminine, and sophisticated visual brand, Fabienne also liked the idea of incorporating a nautical theme. I loved this idea, as it would draw a connection to the "tying the knot" part of her tagline, give her brand a timelessness, and help appeal to couples with various tastes -- not exclusively traditional brides.
We put a different spin on the blush, gold and white color palette you often see in wedding brands and created a palette of hot pink, turquoise and navy, along with a gold accent and a lighter pink and ivory to balance things out. Modern and fun, unique from competitors, but will still connect to the couples (brides specifically) who she considers to be ideal clients.
After finalizing our visual direction, we moved onto the logo design phase. After providing three logo concepts for her to review, Fabienne knew pretty much right away which design was the right choice for her -- this modern and elegant design with a touch of fun that she was looking for:
The logo is simple and elegant, pairing a clean sans serif font with a bold script to create a beautiful dynamic contrast that's easy on the eyes. Although the structure of the logo itself isn't overtly feminine, the color palette gives Fabienne the flexibility to make it more traditionally feminine by using the pinks or go more dramatic with the navy blue and gold lettering. This versatility would serve us well when we developed her collateral and social imagery, and it would make things easier for her while designing her website.
Along with a primary logo design, I also develop logo variations and submarks to give my clients an idea of what each concept could look like in different formats. After Fabienne decided on the above logo we tweaked these additional marks, resulting in three logo variations using a stacked version of the logo: a simple stacked version, a submark with watercolor in the background to give the logo a softer look when needed, and a gold circular submark for when she needs an extra shiny and polished look.
All of these variations add to the logo's flexibility -- we don't want there to be a situation where you don't have a logo variation that fits well for your purposes.
After solidifying these marks, we moved on to developing the rest of the brand styling. The logo's element of simplicity gave us the opportunity to get creative with fun logo variations, patterns and web icons/additional design elements, all while staying cohesive and not too busy.
Check out the final brand styling... I'm so happy with how everything turned out!
It was important for us to incorporate the wedding dot's tagline within some marks, making it easy for Fabienne to reinforce that messaging in a visual way when needed. The watermark does this well as a direct extension of the logo design and could be used on top of photos, social media imagery, etc. The tagline has its own mark to be used in footers or otherwise. All of these designs were created in both German and English -- a new thing for me! They were fun to put together!
The patterns and extra design elements further add depth to the wedding dot's visual brand and help grow the library of branding elements. The "dot" pattern gives Fabienne a nice subtle texture to work with as a background on communications or otherwise, and brings in the lighter pink color in her palette. The gold confetti is joy-filled and celebratory, and is meant to have a bit more of a presence when used, whether that's on social media graphics or print materials.
The design elements/icons further reinforce the nautical theme -- the anchor representing the strong relationship between the wedding dot's couples and the relationship Fabienne builds with them, the knot representing unity and referring back to the knot reference in the tagline, and the heart representing... love, of course! These icons may be used on the website and beyond, to represent different aspects of the wedding dot's brand and business, or as extra decorative elements on print pieces and web imagery, which brings me to the next phase...
IMPLEMENTATION: PRINT MATERIALS + WEB IMAGERY
This is always one of my favorite parts of the process, when we use the beautiful marks, graphics and brand styling to create tangible design pieces. For the Fabienne, I created a full stationery set with a business card, letterhead and matching envelope and notecard and accompanying envelope. She had her heart set on circle business cards (it is the wedding dot after all :) ), which was such a good call. What a great way to stand out and make a memorable first impression. They fit her brand perfectly! We also developed a set of circular stickers to use on the back of her envelopes... a perfect final touch to her communications.
You can see how we incorporated many of her brand styling elements into her print materials -- the knots/ropes, the "dot' pattern, the confetti, the anchor. To see everything work so well together was really exciting and fun!
Of course, we needed to ensure the wedding dot was well equipped with some lovely social media imagery -- both to celebrate the new brand launch and continue to market consistently and professionally as the business grows. I designed "cue the confetti" launch imagery for Facebook and Instagram, which helped Fabienne get the word out about her new brand and her website (which she designed and launched herself!) and generate excitement. I also designed two additional Facebook page designs for her to use going forward when she wants to switch it up and have some on-brand graphic imagery to choose from.
Fabienne and I had such a great time collaborating. We were actually a bit sad for our time together to come to an end! But I know this is just the beginning of our friendship. I can't wait to see the wedding dot's visual brand help them grow and to follow along on their small business journey!