CASE STUDY: Haven Design Studio

What I really want to share with you today is the high-level steps of how I worked with a client to design their brand identity system. This process is several years in the making, so I have learned a ton about what will give my clients the best outcome and also how I've learned the best ways to work with them. This example is only one version from start to finish but the big picture has remained the same over the years.

Step 1: Q&A

We began our discussion around what direction and vision they had for their business and for their website. Both phone calls and filling out my online questionnaire helped each of us get to know goals and insights about the business. This continued throughout the entire process but I always love to learn and document client thoughts in their own words.

Step 2: Primary + secondary logo designs + elements

For most of my projects, we follow up mood board options with a set of 3-4 black and white logo layout ideas. We begin with black and white because I was always taught that if a logo doesn't work in one color, it's not a great design. Also, color can get distracting in the beginning. Sort of like looking at the wood beams for the framing of a house before you choose the interior paint colors of each of the rooms.

With Haven, they had a logo they were fond of AND it was a clean design. So what I did was created a few different modifications for them to choose from while using the quatrefoil they loved so much. The color of green was a distinct discussion point and we landed on one that was not too bright but not too grey. Then the color palette was extended to include 4 more colors to make their work (and that green) stand out.

After that, we worked through pattern ideas, font combinations, and full-color palette to complete their Brand Style Guide. The imagery used for their site included photos they had already compiled of their work projects and years of talent.

Step 3: Three chosen collateral items

This is where the brand style guide items come to life. For Haven, we worked through business card design options, social media profile options, and newsletter header options. Even though they were not currently sending a newsletter, they wanted the element to have on hand to eventually share with their email list.

These collateral items were chosen in the Q/A portion of the process.

The art for each is provided in either web- or print-ready files and shared with the client for future use.

Step 4: Desktop and mobile website

Finally, we come to the website creation for desktop and mobile. To begin, I worked through a simple diagram showing the pages of the site as well as how they would all link up to each other. After we discussed both the details of the diagram and their desired copy and photography (shared via email/Dropbox), the initial composition was set-up in Squarespace.

We made sure that the URL host, website host and new business email account host were all speaking to each other. Yes, it requires some coding and confirmation emails, but easy enough to work through so it all functions seamlessly.

After a couple of rounds of basic edits, the site was complete. The admin rights were handed over to the Haven Design Studio team to upgrade their trial (with their company credit card information) and enable the site. With Admin rights, they can go in and connect their social media accounts with simple login information. I shared instructions with them on how to do this but am also able to help with this set-up as well.

Then we celebrated all of this hard work!

To see the full gallery of art, click here >>


If you (or someone you know) are wondering what other steps are needed to create an identity and website that suits your needs, do not hesitate to reply to this email.

At Colleen Hartley Creative, I seek to share the work of an entrepreneur in a more beautiful way. If you have an amazing business and need to get the word out there with a decent brand identity, schedule a call with me here. :)

All my best,

Colleen