Guys, I’m SO excited to introduce the new branding and website for What Lynn Loves! Rather than do a generic blog post about it, I really wanted to take you behind-the-scenes so you could understand how it came to life. I’m not a Graphic Designer (far from it) so I hired the talented Meg White to help me out. That being said, I couldn’t really do this blog post without her input so I decided to interview her! Read on as we pull back the curtain and tell you more about my new branding and website – a project that started waaaay back in June.
Meg, can you us where you found the inspiration for the new What Lynn Loves’s branding?
With this travel blog, a lot of my inspiration came from your home base of the west coast and so it made sense to incorporate waves and ocean-tones. Looking through your photos as well, the touch of orange seemed to be a nice addition to bring it all together. From the name “What Lynn Loves”, there’s a hint of personality, so using a script font brought that in as well. From there, the two L’s made a perfect compass, so was a nice secondary design element to work with.
I feel like you really nailed it with the branding. I remember being so floored with the first draft and I really didn’t know how I was going to choose what to move forward with. In fact, I didn’t really make a lot of changes. For the logo, we just added one creative element (the “squiggle” as I called it) under one of the logos that I loved. And the brand colours were so on point I didn’t make any changes at all! I was a bit on the fence about the secondary logo because I didn’t really understand where I’d use it – you were so patient with me!
So I’m curious, what do you love most about the new What Lynn Loves website?
I’m always a big fan of large, scrolling homepages with each section being unique and showcasing something different. With What Lynn Loves, there are so many great visuals, with amazing imagery, pops of colour, and the fade in effect is a nice addition. Something fun like the side pop up menu makes it feel like there are lots of fun elements to explore.
I love this too and I found that was what was really lacking on my original website. I also love that I can categorize my travel destinations better on my blog, have better SEO, and have the ability for more interactive newsletter sign ups. Overall, it just flows better and I feel like the style is just more in line with where I’m at professionally.
Ok, so what was the biggest challenge with my project. You can be honest, ha ha!.
Just the initial transfer from Squarespace to WordPress. Squarespace is an amazing platform as well, but it can be a bit more limiting for blogging. With the transfer, each post had to be tweaked to work for WordPress, but once that was done it was seamless to make everything else look good!
For me, this was reason enough to hire someone. There’s no way I could have done this on my own. Also, Meg is forgetting to mention how I’d be MIA in the middle of things when I’d up and disappear for a week or two to go handle a work crisis, literally. (For those who don’t know, I do public relations and crisis management for a luxury hotel company. This year has been buuuuusy!)
If you could change anything about the outcome, what would it be?
Tough call! But as blog posts were the main priority, we kept the inner pages like your ABOUT page quite simple. There are lots of opportunities to add a little oomph and personality to these pages, so something we can totally revisit in the future!
I’m so excited about the potential to build it out more over time!
What can a client expect when they sign up to work with you? Can you walk us through your process?
It all depends on what they’re looking for, whether it’s a brand, website, or like you – both! The digital world is constantly changing as well, so I help decide what will be a good fit for the client and their business. We normally start with a questionnaire to provide some insight into who you are and what you’re hoping to achieve creatively for your business.
I found your questionnaire super helpful because I actually really needed to zero in on who my target audience was and how I wanted to position my blog and business. It was something I’d been avoiding forever and needed the nudge to dig down and get it done!
From there, I find Pinterest boards to be very, very helpful as most clients have a general idea of the overall vibe they’re going for, so any visuals help. After that, the creative and fun part can start! You’re right, I definitely had an idea of what I liked – and didn’t like – when it came to logos. I already had a Pinterest board with examples of both! My favourite part about the creative process was looking at WordPress templates, which I didn’t even know was a thing! It gave me a really good idea of what I liked in terms of layout and function, and what I didn’t. Once I had it narrowed down to two, you gave me some really good advice about what kind of photos I’d need for one of them. I was able to make my final decision on the spot!
Tell us a bit about how you got started doing Graphic Design.
Growing up, I was very artistic (I come by it honestly – my Mom was an art teacher and let’s just say sports were not my thing) and wanted to incorporate that into my love of technology (straight up 90’s kid who grew up alongside computers). Everyday it feels like I get to troubleshoot problems and find different solutions which is very rewarding, all while making the world look a bit better.
Travel is also very important to me, so I wanted to create a lifestyle where I’d be able to work from wherever I was. FUN FACT: My first website I built was when I was ten years old and it was a Mary-Kate and Ashley fan website (I’m sure it was neon with comic sans).
I love that! My first website was the OG What Lynn Loves blog, ha ha! What’s one piece of advice you’d give aspiring Graphic Designers?
Find your niche! Try to find a collective group of people who are in the same industry (and possibly an industry you’re interested in as well). You’ll start to develop a style that will fit within that niche and attract similar clients, and they’ll be able to connect you with their network. For myself, I’ve been very involved in the British Columbia wedding industry and have been connected with so many vendors from all over. And second favourite, travel blogs (of course!).
What are you working on now and how can people get in touch with you?
A lot of my design time is spent over at @thecoastkit as I work on creating Squarespace website templates (an amazing DIY-friendly way to create your own websites) and getting to work with clients from all over. All of our templates names are based off of places around the world that we’re inspired by! For more personal stuff, find me over at @megwhitee where it’s a mix of craftiness and (for the time-being local) travel.
Thanks Meg! Guys, be sure to check out her work and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you get all my tips and guides straight to your inbox.