I’m super excited to celebrate my latest client as she launches her new brand and website today! When Michelle first reached out to me about designing her blog, I thought, “What an interesting combination—running and eating donuts.” But the more I learned about her story, the more excited I became.
Michelle travels a lot for her job, and she’s also a runner. (In fact, she is currently training for a full marathon!) She discovered a while ago, as she was training for these races, that she had to take in a lot of calories in order to keep up with her training. So she started eating donuts (naturally).
While in New Orleans, she stumbled upon a donut shop listed on The 33 Best Donut Shops in America (by thrillist.com). As she looked through the list, she realized the author hadn’t actually visited all 33 shops, and a lightbulb went off, ”I should try all these donut shops before I turn 30,” she thought.
That’s when Donuts for Miles was born. Michelle travels around the US discovering the country’s best donuts and running trails, and shares it with all of us through her blog. How cool is that?
I have never craved donuts more in my life than I have throughout the span of this project! It’s nearly impossible to spend weeks looking through images of delicious donuts and not want some for yourself. (I only indulged a couple times.)
Here are the details from this super fun (and delicious!) design project.
My branding design process always begins with creating an inspiration board. Because it’s the first step, it’s the most important. Creating an inspiration board that correctly depicts the brand’s style and feel is crucial for the rest of the design process. Every step to follow hinges on the design of the inspiration board. For me, it’s the most exciting phase, but often the most difficult.
I used the words Michelle chose to describe her ideal brand to create her board.
Fun, bright, delicious, adventurous, fried, warm, inviting, honest, bold, and creative.
I was so excited about the bold colors and fun photos, I knew this project was going to be fun.
Michelle already had a logo in place, but she wanted it to be freshened up, with the option of switching to a new logo. So I came up with a few new logo options, as well as a couple updated options to her already-existing logo.
Ultimately, she decided to go with a variation of her pre-existing logo. With a little freshening up it had a whole new look and feel. Here’s the before and after.
The colors and style of her final logo made it really fun to create the rest of her brand. I came up with secondary logos, a brand mark, a color palette, fonts and patterns. When creating the color palette, I tried to keep in mind the colors and types of donuts she would be photographing, to make sure they would all work well together.
The style guide is exactly that—a guide—for my client to reference long after I’ve completed her brand. She will reference it anytime she needs to know which colors or fonts to use, or anytime she’d like to use a variation of her main logo. It presents her options in an organized way.
Social Media Branding
Social media branding is one of my favorite parts of the process. It’s the portion of a brand (other than the logo itself) that is in front of people most often. Facebook banners allow you to be a little more creative with the design, and it’s fun to come up varying profile images to coordinate.
Along with the banner and profile images, I created an email signature and a social share template (a Photoshop template for Michelle to use on her blog and Pinterest). Here are the results:
Next is my favorite part—creating the website. The first part of the website design is the most difficult—organizing the content in a clear, efficient way. I began by creating a site map (a “map” of how I’ll arrange the content on the site).
Michelle knew she wanted to include a map of the US on her home page that would identify each donut shop she’s visited and every race she’s run. This wasn’t something I had much experience with, but I was excited for the challenge. I’m a nerd and love learning new skills.
And now the map is one of my favorite features on her site.
Another large factor in choosing the right template for her site was the blog setup. She has two blog pages included on her site—one for donuts and one for running—and I knew she wanted the blog pages arranged in a photo grid, so that helped narrow it down. It was pretty easy to setup and the template I chose will make it seamless for Michelle as she writes her blog posts moving forward.
Here are a few shots of her final website!
Every branding project is uniquely fun, challenging, and fulfilling. There’s nothing better than your client being pleased with the result at the end of their project. It was so great working with you, Michelle! I think I speak for everyone when I say, “We cannot wait to follow along with your donut-and-running journey!”
Be sure to check out her live site here!
Do you have a business in need of a new brand or website? I’d love to work with you! Visit my services page to learn more about my packages.