After attending a simple discussion on Blog VS. Brand, hosted by Patrick Hill, Executive Director of a Charlotte design and development firm, A Cultivated Mindset, we set forth to explore that The effing Life’s identity is visually met through 1) Writing Style and 2) How it looks.
The first thing up on the cutting block was our previous logo:
When we started this fun blogging project, we were hoping it to remain simple, straightforward, and financially savvy. The header above was the initial result from 2 non-artistic amateurs. The colors were simple and business formal. As most entrepreneurs should do, we finally decided to outsource our logo design to give us a new life. But why go far, when we can utilize the amazing talent of someone in our family, AbigailJoy Design.
Her entire design process was completed on time and very professional despite not being in the same state. Our review meetings were held easily over Google Hangouts. After some design concept decisions and a few tweaks, the final product resulted in what you see in place today. The colors, font, design, placement, everything was all thought out accordingly to our vision (and blog requirements). We chose the colors for being clean and happy and not so overbearing as the prior black and green. The compass was a big piece of the branding, because to me it symbolizes direction, guidance, and ultimately a destination, in which The effing Life strives to keep that in the forefront. The font is more handwritten to signify the personal journey, quirky opinions, and real life stories along the way.
Fortunately, Abigail is also a regular reader of our blog, so we could easily share that vision. And she did a great job!
Over the course of a few weeks, with a deadline in mind, she took us through her design workflow starting with initial questions for our blog to cover our journalistic W’s:
- What is its mission/focus/goal(s)? To document our actions for our personal accountability towards increasing our income-producing assets and minimizing our costs to move towards financial freedom and our ideal lifestyle. T
o provide applicable information that is actionable for others to replicate towards their own financial and lifestyle goals.
- Who is its audience(s)? People looking to be informed versus entertained. 22-55 year-olds. People who are able and willing to make significant changes in their behavior to move towards their financial and personal goals.
- What is its personality? If it were a person, what kind of personality would it have? Serious, sarcastic, witty, smart, modern, young (30-something year old), more business oriented, financially savvy, cost efficient
We reviewed the overall scope of work for needed graphics, time frame, and even compared ourselves to “competitors” or other similar financial-minded sites during the process. We actually accomplished a simple variation of the Lean Startup process for Build-Measure-Learn. We researched some of the most popular financial savvy blogs to learn what readers respond to and quickly built a new logo which can be tweaked as needed. There’s no business model here but more of a personal accountability through recorded guidance. The blog’s goal is to share AND listen to others’ stories.
Let us know what you think of the before and after. Did we make the right decision? To help us Measure, we would love to hear feedback on the logo, purpose, writing style, and even tag line. Does the message come across with the stories along with the header’s visual aid?