Aeolidia Redesign – the Website Design Brief

Aeolidia: high time for a redesign

We are redesigning Aeolidia! From the ground up, starting with the brand. While we aren’t changing what we do or who we like to do it for, 2013 is the year of being purposeful about my business, and of focusing on changes to improve how we present ourselves to clients.

When I started Aeolidia, it was just me, doing my best, designing and developing websites. Now we’re a team of 22, and every designer and developer on our team is better than I ever was, which turns out to be a great feeling! The problem is that I (along with Shoshanna, for the current version), designed all of our past websites, so our website has the misfortune of being worse than our clients’ websites. Nice for them, but not a great first impression for us!

I’ve spent all year writing for our blog about why the logo should come first, and talking to potential clients about what the best investment for their business will be, and getting more and more uncomfortable with my own DIY website. The logo has always always been an afterthought, and I’ve never liked it.

I have finally put my money where my damn mouth is, and I can tell already that it’s the best money I’ve ever spent on my business.

The Team

While many of us are collaborating on ideas, plans, and preferences, my official hired guns are:

  • Jena Coray: strategy and help with marketing.
  • Mariah DeMarco: logo and print design.
  • Dewi Faulkner: copywriting.
  • Sarah Moule: web design.
  • Shoshanna Love: web development.

Clearly, it was almost impossible to make the decision, because I’ve seen what everyone at Aeolidia can do! However, we have our team and plans are in place.

We’re 95% there on the new logo, and let me tell you: it’s a beaut.

Changes We’re Making

  1. We are redesigning the logo, marketing materials, and website! Super fun times.
  2. We are dreaming big for our clients, and taking more time and care to help potential clients see what we can see when we plan for their businesses. I’ve been getting great feedback from people about the questions I’ve been asking and the proposals I send.
  3. We’re beginning to work on involving the whole team in social media, so you can get to know everyone, not just me! More on that later.

The Website Design Brief

Mariah is hard at work on the Aeolidia logo and print materials. Here is the info I sent her to get her started.

Tagline:
Yes! I do want to change the tagline, for sure. I do think the logo needs a tagline, don’t you? The name is so odd that I think a little description of what we do is called for.

I want to indicate “creative” and “small” and “friendly” and “problem-solving” and “design” and “web” somehow. Thinking, thinking!

Merman:
I am willing to see it with or without the merman (or a new or adjusted merman). I am leaning towards keeping him in the branding somewhere and somehow, but, while I love him dearly, I am also open to throwing him out. Since I’ve never approached our branding purposefully, I don’t want to tie our hands by insisting on something that just kind of “happened” to Aeolidia.

I also identify with the octopus and seahorse. Though Zoe pointed out that the octopus kind of looks like it’s trying to ensnare our clients, which may not be a good message. The merman could be a little oceanic guide to help our clients through the process.

Identity:
You know all this, but Aeolidia is fun and friendly place to work with expert-type people (who will end up feeling like friends) on your creative small business. Mostly to develop a web presence, but for all the other bits and bobs that support that goal. We are professional, punctual, and very client-oriented.

Target customer:
Easy! Our target customer came up with a crazy idea of a product that she wanted to make, and maybe enlisted a friend to help out, and has been spreading the word about their little business ever since! She values her own hard work, believes in what she does, is willing to invest money when it makes sense, knows when to delegate tasks, wants to increase awareness and sales without getting too big, and has a fun time doing it all!

She shops local and small internet businesses herself, pins design inspiration on Pinterest, frequents craft fairs, and has an appreciation for things indie, quirky, silly, upbeat. She is optimistic, open, and friendly, feeling that similar businesses are more “colleagues” than “competitors.”

Describe your ideal logo:
This is hard! I don’t want anything particularly trendy – or retro-trendy! I want something that is at the same time timeless but also seems new and unusual, like the viewer hasn’t seen a logo just like it before. Fun and playful, but can still be taken seriously! Maybe a feel like we’re showing you the logo with a little wink on our face.

I want to avoid “cute” and “whimsical” as well. I personally LOVE cute, but I get clients who specifically say they don’t want a site as whimsical as ours when they write in.

Sorry, this is more of a “nos” list than a “yeses” list!

Color preferences:
Kind of! I want to stay away from “girly” colors, and see if we can interest more men in our services. We’re pretty skewed towards women right now. I like seeing a small amount of warm orange, as on the current Aimee Ray theme, and blue of course is well-loved and also nautical.

Branding Decisions Revealed

I’ve been debating how best to share the Aeolidia redesign process with you, and decided to make it an email series. That way, I’ll be able to keep up with my regular schedule of small business info and project case studies here on the blog, and not have unfinished work mingling in with portfolio pieces.

I’m sending out the first newsletter tomorrow, Wednesday the 7th. Hurry and join the mailing list now, and you can get the first peeks at our new branding.

Sign Up to See the Aeolidia Redesign

Subscribe!

Tomorrow, I’ll share our ideas for the tagline, a joke of a tagline that almost made it, and our ultimate decision. Oh fine, and I’m also showing a teeny peek of the new logo. Only via email!

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