When small business owner Jenna Redfield took over as leader of Twin Cities Collective in fall 2016, she saw huge potential to breathe new life into this amazing community.
Especially for content creators living in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area, Twin Cities Collective aims to create, inspire, support and bring together like-minded bloggers and creatives through their active Facebook group and local meet-ups. In just a few months, Jenna has worked to more than double the number of of Facebook group members, formed an event committee, and generated so much revitalized excitement around the community. There's no better person to be at the wheel of this and I was thrilled that she reached out to me with one of her many dreams for the group.
Jenna's list of new ideas for Twin Cities Collective include a new website and community blog (coming in early 2017!), a podcast and... a rebrand! She wanted to ensure the community had a new, fresh, cohesive look across all the web and social platforms that truly resonates with its members. I couldn't wait to jump on board and help her not only make her vision come to life but help the community grow and thrive as well.
To start our collaboration, Jenna and I worked together to focus her vision for an "up north" vibe. Something, in her words, that makes you feel like "cozying up at the cabin with a cup of tea by the fire." At the same time, the new brand needed to appeal to the trendy, young, chic, tech-savvy demographic of the community's members, and be gender neutral.
It would be an interesting and unique balance to achieve, for sure. And after some more fun conversation and brainstorming, the vision became clearer and clearer. Here's the mood board we created, using Jenna's gathered visual inspiration and her responses within her Branding Workbook, during my brand discovery process:
This mood board gave us focus and led us through the design process, ensuring we stayed true to our vision for a clean and minimalist brand with a hint of a rustic, Minnesotan feel. From the beginning, Jenna had a neutral color palette and a deep evergreen color in mind, which I love and fits perfectly within the aesthetic we were going for. To complete the palette, we added a final touch of gold -- the perfect modern and slightly posh accent.
LOGO DESIGN + BRAND STYLING
The chosen logo concept is classic and timeless, with the use of a serif font and a Minnesota state icon in the logo. The different logo variations and stylish submarks give Jenna a library of elements to work with and keep the visual brand versatile and flexible. They bring a really nice interest to the visual identity, too! If you've read my other Brand Launch posts, you'll know I'm always a lover of the submarks and watermarks for this reason :)
And the pattern! Jenna had the idea of incorporating other Minnesota themed illustrations (a pinecone, deer and leaf) into the brand somehow. Bringing them together into a nice, somewhat subtle pattern not only gives the brand more depth -- it also gives Jenna more graphic elements to choose from when creating social media and web imagery, in lieu of photography (more on that below!) if that need should ever arise.
Check out the final product!
The web icons are a fun graphic way to represent the three aspects of the community on the website: making connections in the Facebook group (coffee cups), the website and community blog (desktop screen), and the future podcast (microphone). Can't wait to see these in action on the website!
When I work with a brand client, I always want them to walk away with the tools they need to be successful in their marketing. A key part of that is looking at the big picture -- including how photography will be used -- to ensure the end product is as intentional, effective and beautiful as can be.
As a brand photographer herself, Jenna plans to take custom styled photos to compliment Twin Cities Collective's new look... incorporating flannel, white wood and other potential textures to really emphasize the "up north" feel. We discussed this part of her vision before we even started the logo design, to ensure we were creating logo and submark designs that would work well with the photography.
And they certainly do, due to their clean and minimalist design. We won't need to worry about the brand looking too busy or overwhelming when the photography and the design elements are paired together -- rather they'll work together to create a cohesive look that aligns perfectly with Jenna's vision.
For the brand reveal, Jenna styled and photographed the beautiful desktop mock-up below, on which we placed the logo to customize it. This image is used for cover images across all of Twin Cities Collective's social media platforms, to keep things consistent and help with brand recognition right off the bat.
SHARING THE STORY OF OUR COLLABORATION
We also had a blast doing an interview for Twin Cities Collective's Facebook group (filmed and edited by Jenna herself), to celebrate the launch of the new brand and share about our rebranding process with the community. It is important to us that members understand the intention and love we put into building the new visual brand... it's their community, after all! Take a look:
I'm looking forward to seeing more photography and videos from Jenna as she builds on this new gorgeous brand and makes it come to life in the form of the new website (coming in early 2017). I will surely update this post when it's live so you can take a peek!
In the meantime, be sure to follow along on Twin Cities Collective's beautifully curated Instagram and Twitter, and join the Facebook group if you're a Minnesota blogger or creative. There is so much ahead for this community... and I'm so very grateful to be a part of it.