In 2011, Lisa Spearman began selling her woodland-inspired children’s clothing patterns online. She wanted everyone, from beginners to experts, to experience the joy that sewing and embroidering had brought her. Her line of classical, imagination-fueled patterns—called Big Little—quickly gained a loyal and enthusiastic following. When she came to us for a new name and logo, the goal was not to completely change her beloved brand, but rather to create an identity that fully captured and showcased its adventurous, whimsical spirit.
Take a look at the Before & After versions of Big Little’s transformation to Twig & Tale, then read on for the story behind it:
Rebranding a Well-Loved Company
We began by brainstorming new business names for Big Little. So much of the inspiration behind Lisa’s brand had its roots in classic storytelling, in the sense of childhood wonder we’ve all experienced as we read about characters exploring the woods, that it only made sense to start here. The name should be “natural, playful, but classic and enduring,” Lisa said. In a world where we are so often in a hurry, her patterns instead encompass the slow sew, “the type of sewing where you take your garment and a small stitching bag with you, and simply enjoy the slowness and freedom of hand embroidery.”
Nature, narrative, and timelessness became paramount as we brainstormed naming concepts. Options ranged from the sweet and literal to the more abstract and earthy. As we delved deeper into the process, Lisa shared an anecdote with us: “A little story (or tale if you will!). My little 5 year old girl broke her collarbone today and when I arrived she was all upset because… ‘Mama I fell over in the woods and I have twigs and moss and nuts all stuck in my hair!’ But her language is so fairytale-esque it was interesting to listen to the words she came out with!”
And so, Twig & Tale was (re)born. Before starting work on the brand’s new visual identity, our designer, Sarah, discussed project objectives with Lisa, and was soon feeling pumped:
“We need a design that is sweet, hand crafted with love, something that will suit patterns and photography showcasing boys’ and girls’ designs with a slight lean towards a more unisex style, something that is timeless (like your patterns) and something that will grow with your business and lend itself to LOTS of different digital elements since your business is profoundly digital,” Sarah said.
She began with a focus on the look and feel of the brand, captured by combining hand drawn elements like typography with minimal, clean, nature-inspired illustrations. While a few concepts included woodland animals, others incorporated twigs and branches, or combined elements like animal tails with twigs. As she revised and refined the logo, the direction began to shift more in the direction of twigs rather than animal imagery. Like Twig & Tale’s name and inspiration, the new logo told a story:
“I wanted the twigs to look “snappy” and dry, almost like drift wood, something you could see scattered along the beach with big pebbles and shells whilst also suiting scenes with lovely lush, overgrown forests,” Sarah explained. “The kinda twigs little kids would pick up to have play-swordfighting or take great pleasure in crunching beneath their welly boots. I also wanted to create a stronger connection between the twig graphic and the text below. I wanted them to look like they belong together, they are a set.”
The new design also acted as a bridge between kids, for whom Lisa’s patterns are made, and adults, who sew the clothing. While more of a “grown-up” logo, it still captured a sense of fun and adventure. “Playful fun for kids but also for the mummies (and possibly daddies!) who are buying your patterns and love the process of creating clothes for their babies.”
Lisa was delighted. “This suits boys and girls, is child friendly yet grownup, has a distinctly natural feel, and is bold yet somewhat delicate. THAT, my friend was a hard thing to achieve – and you DID it :)”
We love being a part of the Before & After stories for exciting, imaginative businesses. Is yours ready to start a new chapter? Come talk to us!
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Sharon Fain has created a workbook to help you rebrand (or brand) your business, based on an Aeolidia design project. This workbook is not only inspirational, but it is actionable. There are takeaways for each section, and areas for you to fill out and dream big for your business. Sharon has generously offered this ebook to you, and you can get the PDF directly from the link below:
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