The Design Challenge
With the tools available on the web these days, starting a blog can be as simple as signing up to a blogging platform like Wordpress, Blogger or Tumblr and hitting publish.
But as Danielle & Justine rightly recognised, it’s another matter to incorporate blogging best practices; and succeed in standing out from the blogging crowd ~ especially when everyone has the same access to the same template.
The novel idea and niche topic for their blog was to profile the inspirational thoughts and professional achievements of leading women working in the Built Environment.
The design challenge rested with how to present these insights in an engaging way to an architecturally motivated market; and began with the need to create a distinctive identity (and logo) for the Gazella brand that would become recognised as the ‘go to’ blog for a great read.
The Development Process
With close (and regular) collaboration required, it didn’t matter that Danielle and Justine both had busy careers working on major construction sites around Melbourne and were unavailable for discussions during the day. The Jin & Co. team on the project simply met with the girls after hours.
The first thing tabled was a sketch drawing they’d done.
D&J: “We wanted to start with branding ~ and create something with a strong and distinguishable logo. But obviously we all firstly had to be really clear on who we were trying to appeal to; and image-wise, how we wanted to be professionally seen.”
It came down to this. The primary target reader of the Gazella blog was young, working professional women. However, whilst the interview subjects were women, the themes and topics covered were universal ~ so it was important to not alienate male readers through the website’s visual design and branding treatment.
Gazella also wanted to inspire the younger generation of university students through providing insights into the working processes, philosophies and habits of successful professionals.
Appealing to ‘Millennials’ was clearly a major element to address ~ this is generation born between 1977 and 2000 with traits that include being image-driven, technology reliant and preferring multi-tasking.
From this, Jin & Co. began exploring some initial branding concepts.
The Creative Solution
With ‘Millennials’, image is a key factor in the way they determine ‘cred’ and quality. So after much discussion, we all finally settled on abbreviating the name to GZLA ~ to create a bold, stylised mark that would speak to the audience.
In an overall visual design sense, we also opted to use bold, contrasting typographic styling ~ with the aim of balancing a minimalist, cutting-edge look with content readability.
We also knew that for the tech-reliant, multitasking ‘Millennial’ reading the web happens on a mobile or tablet device ~ with tapping not clicking. This meant the layout needed to be mobile friendly; with a responsive design that automatically readjusted its viewing format according to the size of the device being used.
D&J: “The strategy was all about building a platform for telling our interview style stories well ~ capturing (and sharing) the determined spirit of inspiring women ~ and basing our blog on the three key ingredients to success ~ great topical content, unique presentation and continuous improvement. All of us were on the same page with that ~ and the design solution reflects it.”
During our review sessions with the Gazella girls, we also worked closely with them to build an interface that would create a highly polished web and social media presence ~ and at the same time, be flexible enough for Justine and Danielle to easily maintain.
The End Result
D&J: “We now have a working website that looks fresh and feels right. Ultimately, the goal was to represent ourselves as professional ~ and the feedback so far has been so positive in this regard. We are thrilled to have our name out there and the brand looks and strong and confident. Jin has really captured the essence of our vision for Gazella ~ and our future is the brighter for it.”
D&J: “Beyond being well priced, Jin & Co. were so responsive and accommodating. From the start, Jin was able to tease out of us our design ideas and really helped us to formulate a clear statement of ‘who and what we are’. His team likewise, were always there for support and information ~ and showing us how to make the most of the tools, like email marketing software, handing email, analytics for tracking our audience and key website success metrics.”
D&J: “Through the launch phase, their helpful tips and technical know-how were so valuable. Nothing was too much trouble for them; and they patiently helped us learn how to navigate Wordpress, Mailchimp and the blogosphere.”
If you’re interested in starting a blog (or in need of a more exclusive look to the one you already have) view our collection of available-to-buy (and personalise) boutique designs.