Big Cat Creative: Branding & Website Design
Time to celebrate! Here it finally is. My brand spankin' new brand design and website! (And I'm really excited about it, can you tell?) Designing is fun most of the time, but designing for your own brand is MORE fun, and more stressful.
After a few months of slaving away, going back and forth, and back... and forth... I finally did it. And I couldn't be happier with the results.
With the launch of my website comes the real work: the launch of my business. My first ever business. And a business that needs to succeed (or I'll be going hungry, and you don't want to see me hungry). So there's a lot of pressure to have it perfect.
But here's the thing. It will never be perfect, and it will always be improving and expanding (like any successful business should). I have seen this inspirational quote on Instagram too many times: "Don't let your desire for perfection get in the way of your progress" - or something like that. Either way, it spoke to me.
So here I am, calling it 'done' and releasing my brand to the world, and hoping everyone loves it as much as I do!
After I had decided on a name (don't get me started on how long that took, I could write a whole blog about it, maybe I will...) I decided to get work on my branding.
Like I do all of my branding projects, I starting with a lot of pinterest scrolling and a moodboard. The name Big Cat Creative invoked some sort of jungle vibes within me and I was off to a good start.
It seemed that everyone who was anyone in this industry had such 'pretty' branding. Appealing to a feminine audience is something I wanted to do (#GIRLBOSS!) so I tried to 'pretty' up my branding in an attempt to fit in with what everyone else seemed to be doing. I didn't try this for very long. I soon realised this just wasn't working, and I kept falling back to a more edgy a bold style because, now I realise, that's just who I am.
Once I had finished my moodboard, I knew I was on the right track.
Once I had the moodboard in place, the logo came to me quite quickly. Don't get me wrong, I probably did 100 logos before I decided on the final one...
LOGO COLOUR DEVELOPMENT
But of course the logos encompassed everything I had originally put in my moodboard: rough textures, a mixture of bold and script fonts and geometric lines.
FINAL LOGO DESIGN
Once the logo was done, I put together the branding style board. This is a fun step, watching the whole brand really come together. At this point I also started envisioning the website and how it would look and feel.
BRANDING STYLE BOARD
I love the grungy concrete textures vs the greenery. I think it's bold, modern and goes with the brand name perfectly. I also added a few bronze accents as those colours just fit perfectly together.
In a similar fashion, I used a bold, clean typeface for the majority of the branding vs a more feminine and soft font used subtly throughout.
The use of business stock images was necessary for the development of the website, but I made sure to source images that were styled well and on brand, but also business focussed.
Overall I loved where my brand was heading and I got started on my (first draft...) website! I don't have any examples of the first one I set up. Actually - I started on Wordpress. (Blog coming soon on why I didn't stay with Wordpress). That first website was OK. By most peoples standards it was probably pretty good. But I wasn't happy with it. So I kept persisting.
I persisted all the way to Squarespace *angels come down singing* and I haven't looked back.
In terms of layout, I wanted the homepage to be inviting, big and bold, but I wanted the navigation to be easy and obvious. I wanted the website to show you around, without you having to actually look for anything.
I wanted the design to flow, and the pages to be consistent with my branding and overall aesthetic.
Mostly I wanted this site to be a live portfolio. I wanted to show people what I can do with branding and websites, by just having them look at my own. Because you won't sell your branding and web services, if your brand and website aren't on point!
I'm so happy with the final outcome. I think its edgy, but feminine enough. I think it flows nicely. It has oodles on information on it for my potential clients. I also think it's totally me. Which was harder to portray than I thought it would be. But after many attempts, I got there. Though I'm sure it will always be changing, I'm happy enough with it now to show it to the world.
I hope you love it as much as I do - feel free to leave a comment below, I'd love to chat!