When Susana approached me to design her brand as well as her website for her new company DeLight I was “delighted” as she would say it :-) The idea sounded so interesting and as I love designing for female entrepreneurs who are just starting their business she was my ideal client. A wife and mom, who moved to Dubai with her husband where she saw a potential in the market to start her own business!
We met shortly after our initial contact and she told me in detail about her plans to start a business for lighting decoration for weddings, private parties and events at any location. Her husband’s company does big lighting installations in Dubai and Portugal and Susana has travelled the world with him to see and experience different lighting installations. Therefore she has seen many good and also many not so nice decorations. However she saw a great potential to light up private events through beautiful and tailored lighting decorations, especially here in Dubai. So the idea of DeLight was born. Susana is Portuguese and ‘De’ means The - so the meaning behind the name is 'The Light' that will delight you in your event.
Susana had very detailed notes and ideas about her business which was a fantastic starting point for the branding and website design journey together. I told her about my process and asked her some questions about her target customer, details for her website she needed to think about and we agreed on a time schedule. We were both equally excited to get started but before I needed Susana to do some homework.
Step 1 - Research
I start all my projects with an extensive questionnaire that my clients need to fill in for their brand and for their website. In this questionnaire I ask again about the idea behind the business, their goals, their target customer, their products and their competition among other things.
I also ask them to collect images on Pinterest that reflect their desired brand. These images need to show what they want their customers to feel when interacting with their brand. From this Pinterest board I can see which colors my clients are drawn to and if they will fit with the business idea.
When I looked at Susana’s Pinterest board I could immediately see a trend for dark brown and gold colors tones. Of course she chose a lot of different lighting effects at night which portrayed a very warm and inviting but also magical image overall. Unintentionally Susana already showed the way to go for the color palette for her brand as well as the type of images she would need for her brand and for her website.
This exercise is always so interesting as people have often either no idea about colors for the brand or have a color in mind which might not fit to their brand but subconsciously they ultimately choose the color direction for their brand themselves through this Pinterest board. Susana for example had a black and white logo in mind when she came to me but we both saw - after talking and doing my research exercises - that black was too hard for her brand and while she needed a dark color, it also needed to be warm like her lights.
Once I get back the questionnaires and Pinterest board I do my own research on competition and the idea of the brand. Then, after working through all the information I got, I double check if my own vision for her brand fits with my clients vision and if I still have any questions.
Phase 2 - Inspiration
From Susana’s inspiration board on Pinterest I looked for similarities, the look and feel of her brand, which colors would fit and any other elements that I could adapt for her brand. From there I created this moodboard:
It shows clearly the warm, inviting and soft feel but also the dark color tones as her product will almost always come to life at nighttime. The dark tones also create a big of mystery, magic and glamour which Susana will also create at events through her lighting.
This moodboard ensured that Susana and I were on the same page and I kept it by my side for my whole design process from concept phase to website design in order to make sure we had a cohesive look that always reflects the same image.
Phase 3 - Logo concepts
I designed two complete logo concepts for DeLight to really understand what can be done with her logo and brand. The first one was a little more classic and played with the letter L. And the second concept was a little more modern and elaborate. Both concepts would probably appeal slightly more to women as women are the ones planning the parties and ultimately Susana’s target customer. And they reflect the warm and inviting yet glamorous and magical feel from the moodboard.
Susana initially preferred concept number 1 but after some careful consideration choose concept number 2.
Phase 4 - Brand Style Guide
I took the chosen logo concept to finalize her color pallette and the design of the primary and secondary logo as well as her submark.
I also created a pattern and an icons for her to use for any collateral items. And we choose photographs to be used on her website, her collateral items and any marketing material she would want to produce in the future - all reflecting the brands image and incorporating her brand colors. I put all this information as well as font recommendations in one guide for Susana. She can use this in the future for reference when creating branded material but also briefing her future staff about her brand in order to keep the consistency in her brand.
This is just an extract of this guide.
Phase 4 - Collateral items
Although I show my clients a design idea of some collateral items like the business cards while I do the initial logo concept, I always go back and sit down on all collateral items after the branding process is finished to revise or change things up.
For DeLight I designed business cards, a thank you card as well as a price list and her social media profile and banner pictures.
You can have a look at DeLight's facebook here. And her LinkedIn profile and Instagram profile are similar.
Phase 5 - Web design
And finally it was time to design her Website on Squarespace.
By determining the logo including variations, the colors, fonts and patterns beforehand it makes the web design process so much easier. And it was so nice to see her logo, color palette and fonts, her images and her brand really come to life.
The rest of the website had to be simple to use, show her different event options as well as her process and of course how to contact DeLight. And Susana also wanted a blog for her to share about her recent lighting decorations.
It was also important that she would be able to manage and update her site herself which is why I always use Squarespace to design websites. Squarespace makes it very easy to update information and to take additional stress of my clients shoulders.
We were both very happy with the final result for DeLight! Click here to see for yourself and find out more about DeLight.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. And if you have any questions, please send me an email!
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