New Brand + Website for Matt & Julie Weddings

Oh my goodness, y'all... I am so excited to introduce to you the new brand and website for Matt & Julie Weddings

A few months ago, I heard from an adorable couple who are wedding photographers in Fort Worth, Texas. Matt and Julie have been in the business for several years, and they were ready to upgrade their branding to something that would more accurately match who they were the quality of services that they offer. I was excited to get started!

In our kick-off call, Matt and Julie shared that their current website was failing at some core features – inquiries weren't making it to their inbox (YIKES), the galleries were incredibly difficult to update, and the photos were way too small to display their quality and skills. I was really thrilled to get to chat with them more about Squarespace. If you've been following along with TPA, you'll know that I only design websites using the Squarespace platform (including my own!), and I love how user-friendly, reliable, and versatile that it is. I knew this was going to be a perfect fit for them! 

Design-wise, Matt and Julie expressed that they were looking for something fresh and clean, and also a brand that would accurately portray their balance of masculinity and femininity, since they're a husband and wife team. One of my favorite things to ask is, "If you could only shop at one clothing store, where would it be?" Julie's answer was a resounding, "Madewell! We love Madewell." (Love. It.) After determining that they also love vintage furniture and shades of blue, I got to work. 

I created two mood boards for Matt and Julie to review. These would set the tone of our design moving forward and help us get on the same page from the beginning. 

The first option was much more bold, incorporating hints of mid-century mod and a pop of bright yellow for some fun (and a nod to their previous blue and yellow branding). The second option was much more subdued, evoking the atmosphere of a simple, easygoing coffee house with a calming color palette.

Matt and Julie were immediately drawn to option two – they were thrilled that it was so easy to pick an option they both loved! With this vintage, romantic, and soft direction that is still keeping a balance of masculine and feminine, we moved forward to work on the logo.

With Matt and Julie's logo, I wanted to convey their warmth and friendliness while still keeping things really clean. They ultimately decided to go with option three, with it's elegant (but not stuffy) script typeface and straightforward design. I was so excited to get to use that ampersand in their branding! Speaking of which...

...here's our finalized Brand Elements sheet! This is where we take the mood board and the logo and really make things come to life. You can see the color palette and some of the inspiration images from the mood board, plus flushing out typefaces and secondary logos. These secondary logos (or sublogos) can be used in a variety of ways across anything Matt and Julie might need for their brand, and help add cohesive life and character. The ampersands especially come in handy – being better suited to a square area, they work great for small profile pictures (think gmail or Instagram), and can also be employed as their website's favicon (the little image that shows up in your browser tab). They'd also make adorable stamps and stickers! 

Next, we use the Brand Elements sheet as a set of "guidelines" to design the website. Matt and Julie were looking for something that felt much more updated than their old site, but was also easy to navigate and clean. We wanted to make it very clear where we wanted visitors to go on the site (see their work, see their collections, and contact them!). After a few weeks of setting things up and fine-tuning the details, the site was ready to roll. The screenshots don't do it justice, so check out the whole site here!

I'm really excited with how everything turned out, and mostly about how excited Matt and Julie are with their new brand and website. I really can't describe how awesome it is to help clients to feel known and to express that in their business's branding. Plus, the friendships that inevitably form from such intimate work are a big bonus ;) Make sure to go check out Matt & Julie Weddings – I know you'll love them, too. 


We could not be happier that we chose That's Pretty Ace to design our new brand! When we started our company together three years ago, we spent countless hours designing our own website. Fast forward to now, we knew that our current brand was not a reflection of who we are, and we knew our website was not displaying our work in a way that was compelling or beautiful! We knew we needed an overhaul and we were so excited to start the journey with Brittany! Brittany was so great to work with; we feel like she was able to know us and have a true understanding of who we are. We loved the inspiration board off the bat and knew the rest of the design elements were going to be perfect and they were! We also loved the design process timeline – having a week to respond with our feedback and knowing we would see designs within a week after that was awesome. She understood what we wanted to accomplish with our brand and was able to create a new website and brand experience that is so perfect for us! – Julie of Matt & Julie Weddings

New Website for Wondrous Whimsy

Back-to-back posts of client launches? It's like Christmas around here! 

My client process has been keeping me busy, and I'm excited to not only give you a look at the finished website for one of my latest clients, Wondrous Whimsy, but also share a behind-the-scenes look at how I created it. 


I met Samantha during our freshman year of college – both art majors, we sat down next to each other in 2D Design class and hit it off right away. We ended up spending a summer studying abroad together and even lived as roommates for two years! After college, Samantha headed back to her hometown of Austin, Texas and I started my first job in Dallas and life took us our separate ways for a bit. But God has a funny way of reconnecting people at the perfect time :)

Shortly after my move to Austin last year, we grabbed coffee and I had a chance to hear all about Samantha's amazing calligraphy business... and the new and very special service she was looking to offer. She explained that the fully custom suites aren't what works best for every bride –it's very in-depth and it can be overwhelming, especially for brides who aren't looking to be involved in every detail of the design process. So Samantha put together five ready-made collections, available to be customized and ordered directly from her site. These collections are a great (and affordable!) option for brides wanting Samantha's style and quality of work without the custom design process. 

There was one snag... Samantha had been trying to figure out how to add commerce to her Squarespace site to accommodate her collections' needs, but she was having trouble figuring out how to best go about it. I was thrilled to jump on board and lend her a hand.

We started out by sitting down and talking through the design process for the ready-made collection. We worked through not just how we wanted the process to work for Sam, business-wise, but also how we wanted her customers to feel as they moved through the site. Sam had so many wonderful ideas to add – options to order samples, explanations of how to choose printing and paper types, and the ability to add on fun details, like wax seal stamps and envelopes with Samantha's gorgeous calligraphy addressing. 

What we ended up with was a site that not only functions as needed, but also functions beautifully. Samantha pulled in Ellen Westscott of Westscott Weddings and Jess of Jessica Scott Photography to style and shoot her new collections – and the images are stunning. I can't even! Truly, a good site will get you far, but adding in those high-quality, branded images takes things to the next level in the best way. 

I'm so thrilled with how the site turned out, and even more thrilled that Samantha is in love with the outcome, too. Screenshots don't do the site justice, so head over and check it out... and maybe get lost in Samantha's gorgeous artwork! 

New Brand + Website for Jessica Shae Photography

Things have been a little busy around here! I've booked over 20 projects so far for 2016 and it feels like this year has flown by quicker than any before. 

With little turnover time between clients projects, plus planning our upcoming move from Austin to Jackson, Mississippi, I have a few fun brands that haven't made an appearance on the blog quite yet.

So if you enjoy Elle & Company client project reveal days, you're in for a treat... I have 2 new brands and websites to share with you (along with a little snippet of the process behind each one)! You'll get to see one today and the other next week.


Jessica Shae Photography


Jessica heard of me through her friend Lillie, who I'd worked with on several projects, most recently Stewarding Life Wellness. Jessica has been in the wedding photography industry for several years and was looking to make her brand better reflect who she is and what she offers to her clients. It's so much fun meeting with clients at this point in their business adventure – they've been in their business long enough to begin to see it take shape and see what is working and what isn't. They're ready to solidify their mission! 

Jessica is a hard-core literary lover and it made my heart happy when she sent me a Word document completely filled with quotes she loves. I'm pretty sure that at one point she told me "Anne of Green Gables is my spirit animal" and I immediately knew we were going to have fun! Jessica loves anything floral and has a deep appreciation for vintage antiques. She sent me over a logo that she had been working on previously and wanted to take things to the next level. So this is what I sent her...

 

Options 1 and 2 included the silhouette and lettering of the logo she provided, but we were both immediately drawn to option 4. After discussing the options a bit further, Jessica decided she wanted to see organic calligraphy and a revised color palette for option 4. Which led us to her final logo...!

All the heart eyes, right? I spent so many hours re-working the flowers in her "bouquet" to be something sweetly feminine and full, but still compliment (and not overwhelm!) the silhouette shape. So much researching botanical prints and trimming them out! I'll admit... I truly relished the work. We made up a one-color option too, for whenever that need may arise.

And then we moved on to her Brand Elements sheet. I combined literary type with vintage-style elements and leaned heavily on our floral bouquet. 

Jessica opted not to do the four collateral pieces included in my standard package, so we moved right along to her website at this point. I included typography with a literary nod, beautiful calligraphy, and gave Jessica some sophistication with the navy and grey palette. Screenshots really do not do it justice and you must go see it for yourself! (And maybe schedule a session with Jessica while you're at it...!)

So tell me – what do you think of Jessica's new brand and website? We're so thrilled with how everything turned out, but feedback from you is always welcome and appreciated. Can't wait to show you next week's finished project... she's a stunner! 

New Brand + Website for Jessica Scott Photography

With every client branding project, I make it my mission to not only create a distinct visual identity for each business but to develop a system for how all of the design elements work together.

Not only does it make for a more polished, professional brand in the long-run, but it makes it much easier to implement a brand into my client's website and collateral items like business cards, social media images, product packaging, etc. 

Jessica Scott's new brand goes down as one of my favorite design projects because of the system we created with her incredible calligraphy logo, strong black and white color palette, and bespoke typography. The overall look and feel is a confident, authentic representation of Jessica and her work. I'm excited to share the design process with you and offer a behind-the-scenes look at how I strategically incorporated each design element into her brand! 


Step 1 // research

I start each design project with a kick-off call with the client. We have an in-depth conversation about their business, their mission, and their goals for rebranding. We talk about their workflow and their website, and discuss what's working and not working currently for them. I also ask them to do a little homework by putting together visual inspiration in a Pinterest board. I'm always interested to see which colors and styles my clients are drawn to and determine if they would be a good fit for attracting their ideal audience. Sometimes it's spot on, other times it needs a few tweaks and adjustments.

Jess's was spot on.

She identified her business as primarily wedding photography, but seen with a lifestyle photographer's eye. Jess has a passion for capturing the essence of a person in her photos, and has begun doing a lot more lifestyle and brand photography. Her work is moody, elegant, and slightly edgy – much like Jess herself. 

We had so much fun coming up with words to describe her brand: Austin mid-century, effortlessly elegant, a blend of masculinity and femininity, artistic, with a music industry undertone (she is married to a handsome bearded musician, after all). 

The second I landed on her Pinterest board, I saw some really great potential. These look was a perfect balance of what Jess was looking for.

I combed through her Pinterest board looking for similarities, saved the strongest images that aligned with her brand description, and filed them away to add to her Brand Elements sheet.

Usually at this point in the process, I create a Mood Board using 10 images from the Pinterest board and include a suggested color palette. Jess and I are close friends, so we skipped that step and moved right into her logo design.


Step 2 // logo concepts

During our kick-off meeting, Jess told me that she was interested in hiring a calligrapher to create a logo for her. I was over the moon when she told me she had in mind Samantha of Wondrous Whimsy – a perfect fit for Jess's look. Samantha brought a gorgeous logo to the table that was just as elegantly edgy and artistic as Jess and her work. 

After the primary logo was finalized, I came up with a secondary logo to give Jess a little more versatility. While the original horizontal format works great for things like website headers, stationery, and cover photos, it doesn't work quite as well inside of a perfect square or circle. This secondary logo is a much better alternative for profile photos and icons. 

 
 

By setting standards for the logo formats and how each one will be used, we already started to develop a "system" that was going to work well for Jess's brand.


Step 4 // Brand Elements

Once we decided on the form and composition of the logos, I came up with a few different color options for them, and added in the color palette, fonts, and additional design elements in Jess's Brand Elements sheet. 

With the color palette, fonts, and custom patterns established, we were ready to move forward implementing the "system" we've created into Jess' collateral pieces.


Step 5 // collateral items

While I try to lay out as much of the brand as I can before I get started on the collateral items, sometimes it's helpful to jump in and add to the system as I go.

Before I got started on Jess's website, I designed her business cards, thank you card, New Year's postcard, wedding pricing guide, and senior pricing guide.




I used simple, clean lines throughout to maintain the effortless elegant look we were going for. We used a serif font in uniquely bold ways to nod towards Jess's classy tomboyishness. Open white space with stark black lettering feels just edgy enough to make an impression. 

Because I wanted the collateral items to feel collected, I didn't use all of Jess's brand colors on each item. Instead, I used that simple color system to stick primarily to black, white, and the soft grey and popped the green as a surprise in her envelope liners. The green and pink brand colors are also well-represented in Jess's work – the green foliage that she often includes and the warm blush of the skin tones in her portraits. All of the items are still cohesive, but they aren't over the top matching. 

I'm a little biased, but I love how these turned out – especially those business cards! We worked with a local letterpress printer to print her secondary logo as a blind emboss. It turned out delicious. 


Step 6 // website

But nothing was quite as fun as seeing all of the colors, fonts, and design elements come together in Jen's new website.

During our kick-off meeting, I asked Jen about the purpose of her website and what she wanted to emphasize most. Before the re-brand, Jess had divided her work into two separate websites – one for weddings and one for senior photography – and she was missing a place for her lifestyle photography. Because many potential clients find her through her website, she wanted to place the most emphasis on her photos so clients would see her variety of work and book her services. 

So that's what I focused on. I came up with a layout that featured Jen's photos front and center and I also categorized them in the top navigation so users would easily be able to access the other pages on her site, view her work, and book a session.

The typographic buttons throughout the site incorporate some of that classy nod to masculinity that's seen in other elements of the brand and the subtle two-tone background establishes the effortlessly elegant style of Jess and her work. I love the way the modern clean lines contrast Jess's stark, stylish logo and the classic, old-world typography. 

And you know what I love even more? This site was designed in Squarespace without a single bit of code. Click here to see it for yourself!


By determining the fonts, colors, logo variations, and patterns, we created a system for Jess and maintained consistency across every aspect of her brand. 

What do you think about this new brand and website for Jessica Scott Photography?

Brand Growth for Stewarding Life Wellness

About a month ago, a dear client of mine from last year reached out to me. I was so thrilled to hear that the dream they had been working on for so long was finally happening – they were opening up shop! 

Lillie and her husband, Jake, have a passion for helping people "take control of their health through a functional approach to hormone imbalances, weight issues, energy deficits, and digestive disturbances." They had gotten a space in a historic part of town and were looking to update a few things to go with the shop. I got to work right away!

First up, Lillie and Jake needed to add the word "wellness" underneath their logo. This would better explain upfront what they offer to their clients, and is what they were looking to use for their official business name. 

From there, I created an additional sublogo for them to use...

And a handy flyer for them to hand out to guests. 

And lastly, Jake and Lillie needed email signatures and business cards, so we put those together. 

Just look how cute their new place is! Lillie had signage made for their new office and I just love how everything is coming together for them. She has great taste, am I right?

It is always a joy to work with Lillie and Jake, learn about their goals for Stewarding Life Wellness, and build new pieces to compliment it all. I couldn't be happier with the final product!