Our Rebrand: An interview with Melin.

Designer wireframing

Our Branding Process.

In case you didn’t notice – we have a new name and a brand new brand! It’s been a crazy 3 months with the whole team working really hard to make an amazing product. Fin, our Business Development Manager sat down with Melin, our Design Director for a behind the scenes look!

Melin, the new brand looks incredible. Explain why we wanted to rebrand. What was the driving force behind that?

Awww thanks Fin. Well, our old logo was created several years ago when our mission wasn’t as clear as it is now. It was a handwritten type which worked because we were doing a whole range of services alongside WordPress development; printing, photography, etc. However, as we’ve grown and specialised, we needed to put the digital element right at the front of who we are. The new name and logo really does that and will help avoid confusion about who we are and what we do.

That’s great. What did the process look like?

Well, it was pretty fast! We made the decision to go through the rebranding process which can take a really long time, but we wanted to get it done before the end of the year so we could completely focus on our clients in 2017. And we did it… just.

We started off by looking into who we are as a company and business. We went through 5 branding workshops that I ran and they really helped us nail down our vision, both as individuals and as an agency. Although some of those exercises can feel like a waste of time, they really help you find out your principles and check whether they are real or just aspirations.

It was a crazy process: working out concepts, ideas, whilst we were working tirelessly on the studio refurb. We didn’t want to just rebrand; it needed to align with our strategic communication and company values and that involved a lot of early mornings, late nights and hard work!

Agency planning in Cardiff studio
Research process for WordPress Agency
Design process for Digital Agency

Talk about the brand: why does it look the way it does?

For us, being friendly and having a human connection is very important because the source of our drive is to help businesses grow. That means we genuinely love helping people with the online aspect of their business. The typeface we chose really reflects that: it is friendly, modern and relevant, as well as reflecting confidence. I love it!

I feel our colour scheme is a combination of professional and serious but also dynamic and young. Having the gold makes a statement: we’re edgy without being abrasive.

What were some of the challenges?

Time was a major challenge. Working on your own brand is hard enough normally because it’s hard to distance yourself and get a true perspective. Add the pressure of working in a building site whilst our new studio was being built and it was a crazy, crazy time. When you’re working on your own brand, you’re also aware that you’re not doing client work and that adds pressure too.

WordPress Agency pattern
Illustrate Digital custom icon
WordPress Agency new name

What are some of your favourite features of the new brand?

I really like the freedom that we have with this brand. The idea around the dot gives us so many variations. It’s a lot of fun – just like us! I love flexible identities and so having 3 different versions of the logo with multiple colour applications was a conscious decision.

The digital age is flexible and changeable and a digital company should reflect that. Almost all communication takes place online these days, so we wanted that flexibility and playful element.

It’s always a struggle saying that something is completed because it’s so difficult to say when it’s good enough. At the end of the day though, getting something done is better than not doing something and so someone has to take a brave, risky decision to say “okay, launch this now”. Normally it’s the client but this time it was us. That was scary but I’m so glad we did.

Melin is our chief web designer (officially known as our Design Director) here at Illustrate. She's responsible for how beautiful and usable a website is and you'll usually find her deep in versions of wireframes or mockups. In the rare times that she's not passionately working away at 1am, Melin loves to immerse herself in the design community of Cardiff and is currently the host of CreativeMornings in the city. She also loves good food, going to the theatre and rearranging furniture in our studio.