Benny + Lou, a baby clothing store that approached us during its infancy, seeking assistance with business branding and visual identity work, is one of the many businesses we enjoy working with as they embark on their journey of starting a baby clothing store.
Founder Marissa Cornetta, who named the online boutique after her grandparents, envisioned it being a retail destination for stylish, comfortable pieces made by small brands with high-quality fabric. Her taste for classic, sophisticated looks with a playful, darling twist really drove the project’s creative direction, from the copy we developed for her home page to the business stationery and unboxing experience that Jess on our team designed once she finalized Benny + Lou’s logo.
Working with a design team like ours to create a visual identity when your brand is just a newborn definitely has its perks. Whereas many businesses often stumble and learn from their branding mishaps along the way, with Marissa we were able to apply our decades’ worth of design experience to her new boutique. She got to skip the growing pains, and we got to bring her vision to life.
Inspired by the child-like sophistication so prevalent in Marissa’s approach, Jess created a logo that paired a simple sans-serif font with a scripted type, showcasing the uniqueness of each element but also how beautifully they go together, like children. She also introduced an illustration of three leaves to be part of the Benny + Lou branding: “The 3 leaves remind me of little kids of different ages with their individual heights and personalities.”
Meanwhile, I got to work on copy for the Benny + Lou site. Though the home page would be very minimalist with not a lot of copy, these few words play a big role in introducing customers to the brand and inspiring them to explore the site’s offerings. In the case of Benny + Lou, the home page copy served as a kind of manifesto or mission statement—elements of the home copy ended up becoming central to brand’s messaging, popping up in places like Benny + Lou’s Thank You card and Facebook page:
The sweetest little things for the sweetest little ones.
In developing the Benny + Lou style guide, Jess wanted to exude luxury along with childlike approachability, two qualities that were underscored by choices like a watercolor version of the logo, which gave it a wonderful sense of depth and individuality. The color palettes of dusty blue, dark navy, light tan, and pale pink added a sophisticated twist to the more traditional pastel children’s colors. They’re soft, cozy and calming. These would become the guiding principles for the collateral we created for Benny + Lou, which included business stationery, unboxing experience, shopping bag/gift wrap, social media graphics, and newsletter graphics.
Early on in the project, Marissa had expressed to us the design styles that best describe her vision for Benny + Lou—they included brands like William Sonoma home, Club Monaco, and Serena & Lily. Jess noted how all are different but have a sense of simplicity in common: “So many are simple, but unique and well executed.” By designing Benny + Lou’s logo to be flexible in how it can be used, it became easier to bring in the graphic elements and patterns that we paired with her branding. “Plus,” added Jess, “I believe the refined simplicity will stand the test of time, and mold better with your business as you grow and perhaps diversify your offerings.”
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