Creating the Artwork for my Brand
It was about 11pm in early July. I was lying in bed and had a thought. I’m going to start a children’s gifting website and I’m going to call it Love From Aunty. I then turned over and went to sleep. True story.
The next morning I checked to see if there were any other companies called this, there weren’t. There’s two ways to spell Aunty, I was torn on which one to use but the decision was made for me as the Instagram handle for the other one was taken. I bought all the domains including .com and .co.uk so if anybody misspells anything, they still land on my site. Try it, totally works!
So then the research started. After months of being locked down alone, it was so great to have a purpose again. Up to that point I was only leaving my house to collect prescriptions for people. I finally had something to do that didn’t involve Netflix or Zoom quizzes! I created a critical path and picked 1st September for my launch date. First on the list was branding.
Those that know me, know I’m a very creative person… in my head. I can’t physically create anything other than mesmerising spread sheets. Outsourcing my logo design was a must. I did a lot of online research and asked friends for suggested contacts to find the perfect graphic designer to send my brief to.
So what did I want the logo to represent? My original business model stems from wanting to help people who live overseas, away from their families, to send gifts to their loved ones in the UK. So red, white and blue although as a retailer, we generally avoid red! More on that later. A travel theme also fits well with this. When I was at boarding school, I remember the excitement of receiving airmail post from my parents.
Design Brief: “I like the idea of using vintage travel iconography and airmail prints to tell a story on the packaging. Suggesting to the recipient that the package has come from overseas.”
I needed three images; a main logo, a round image for use on social media and stickers for gift wrapping, plus a tag line. Step forward Amy Goodall from Mad About The Brand. She sent me some initial ideas and there was one clear winner. We then tweaked this together over several days.
Now, I’ll introduce you to my best friend Emma at this point. Emma is a branding specialist, living in Tokyo. We met while working our first London jobs together at Daisy & Tom nearly two decades ago. Emma was sending emails to me about hex codes (eh?!) and making sure I had a logo that could be printed in limited colours. Invaluable advice. She also asked me how the logo looked in situ. Erm?
So cut to me, hand drawing my logo onto Amazon cardboard boxes. It soon became clear that a single colour (black) stamped onto cardboard looks terrible with a filled in black heart. Very gothic and death like. So this was quickly amended to a cut out heart shape for printing purposes. It was at this point that I decided to go square due to the wasted space in the middle of the logo. This was really noticeable at the top of my website.
Now, I needed a tag line. My brother sent a group message to his mates and Jordan, a Human Rights Barrister, immediately responded with “Boxes of care, when you can’t be there”. Sold. Jordan has also been my legal team throughout all of this. Helping out with trade marks and IP. It’s not what you know eh?
Amy finalised my artwork, including the Instagram roundel, well before my deadline and sent all the files over (and hex codes!). Incidentally, we did try the airmail border in other colours but it didn’t work as well as the red and blue. I am trying to embrace the red!
Just as an aside, and I thought this was really lovely. One of the other talented graphic designers I asked for a quote, Claire Cooper, contacted me to see what my final artwork looked like. You will definitely have seen her work in action, she has worked for some amazing clients. She gave me some brilliant Instagram pointers and I’m really grateful to her. People helping people. We should all be more like Claire.