As some of you may have noticed, Positively Present got a little an makeover this weekend!
One of my work goals this year was to make the brand more personal with hand-lettering, a meaningful logo, and some tweaks to the colors. It's taken me seven months, but it's finally ready and I couldn't be more excited about how it turned out! :)
I know it can be unsettling when a brand you've been following changes its look (just think back to how people reacted when Instagram changed its logo!), so I wanted to dedicate a post to explaining the new look. Plus, I spent a ton of time thinking about and working on this update (and I know some of you love the behind-the-scenes bits!) so I thought it would be fun to share the process.
A lot of what you're used to will be the same -- this isn't a crazy overall of the site -- but there are some new things die-hard Positively Present fans will pick up on. Most of the website tweaks are a result of suggestions you made in the recent Positively Present Reader Survey (thank you so much for your feedback!) so I have a feeling you're going to like them! The ultimate goal is to have an inspiring, easy-to-use site that allows you to have quick access to inspiration.
WHY THE REFRESH?
While talking to a friend a few weeks ago about my work-in-progress refresh, he asked, "Why do you need to change the branding? Don't you like what you have?" It was a great question because it really made me stop and think -- and explain to him -- exactly why I'm making changes to the brand.
Because I work on other people's brands over at Twenty3, it's hard for me not to constantly think about changing Positively Present. I'm always researching and coming up with creative ideas for client logos, and it's a constant internal struggle for me not to change Positively Present regularly. But I know how important consistency is so, over the past few years, I've tried to make minimal changes. Even as I've brightened the colors or tweaked the icon, I've tried to keep the brand relatively the same for consistency's sake.
Continuing to work as a graphic designer has expanded my knowledge and skill set and, while looking at the logo over the past year or so, I realized it just didn't feel like something I designed. The icon, while I've grown to love it, doesn't have clear meaning for my audience and, as someone who does a lot of hand-lettering for a living, it somehow feels wrong not to have a personally hand-lettered logo. So, from a design perspective, I felt like it was time to step up my game and bring more personal touches to the branding.
Also, from an emotional point of view, it felt like I achieved some sort of milestone when Positively Present turned seven in February. I've always been fascinated by the concept of the seven year cycle. Apparently every cell in our bodies is changed over a period of seven years, and research has also shown that we change mentally and emotionally every seven years as well. With February 2016 marking the seven year anniversary of the site's launch, it seemed like a fitting time to revamp the brand. Over the past seven years, a lot has changed for me -- and for Positively Present -- and it feels right to update the brand to reflect that.
That being said, I didn't want to make drastic changes to Positively Present. I love what I've created and I know how much people get attached to brands (I always have a mini-freak out when a brand I love changes its look!). I knew I wanted to make changes -- make it more personal and more me -- without isolating loyal fans or taking away from the essence of the brand.
- LOGO : One of the first things you probably noticed is that the logo is different. It's a bit darker and bolder and, rather than using traditional fonts, it features hand-lettering done by yours truly. ;) I spend a lot of time working on hand-lettering and illustration in my design studio, Twenty3, so I knew I wanted to include those two elements in the updated look. I ultimately ended up with something similar in feel to the old logo, just a bit more personal.
- ICON : The icon might look like a mashup of simple shapes, but this aspect of the rebrand is extremely important to me. When I was a kid, I created a logo (see below) and I told myself, "Someday when I have my own business, this is going to be my logo." I actually still love that little sun/moon logo, but it wasn't quite the right fit for Positively Present. I did, however, use it as inspiration to create the new icon.
- TAGLINE : You might have noticed that Positively Present has a new tagline! The old tagline -- "Inspiration, advice, & tips for making the most out of life" -- was created mostly as a way to convey the site's content to new readers. I thought long and hard about what I wanted the new tagline to be, and I ended up with three words that sum up the essence of Positively Present -- "Positivity. Awareness. Self-love." Self-love is such a huge part of the brand and I really wanted to incorporate it somehow. The tagline was the perfect place to do that!
- COLORS : Though I was initially contemplating the incorporation of black into the new look, I ended up going with a much darker gray and more saturated hues of orange, yellow, and teal. To me, everything looks more vibrant and colorful, but still stays true to the brand colors that I've been using for years.
THE WEBSITE : WHAT'S NEW
- BANNER : The updated banner, now centered, features the new logo and icon and gives it a lot more breathing room with lots of clean white space. You'll also notice that there's a beautiful teal-colored bar above the banner with easy-access to links you might need to find more info or do a little shopping!
- FONT : After many years of requests, I've finally made the font larger so hopefully it'll be much easier to read. I've also changed it to match the new Positively Present tagline's font so there's consistency throughout the brand and the actual website.
- SIDEBAR : The sidebar got a bit of a makeover, which includes lots more white space and new images. Hopefully the less-cluttered look will make it super easy to find what you're looking for. And, speaking of finding what you're looking for, I moved the Search bar up, as many of you suggested in the survey. Now it's extra-easy to find blog posts on any topic. I've also added Categories and Archive sections in the sidebar so you can check out all of the articles related to a specific topic or time period.
- SHOP : I'm still in the process of updating the shop so that'll be easier to find and purchase Positively Present products. Stay tuned for a refreshed shopping experience soon, but in the meantime you can still check out books, ebooks, and products here.
- HOMEPAGE : I'm also in the process of considering a static homepage for Positively Present, making it look more like a traditional website and less like a blog, but that's still a work-in-progress (and I'm still not certain I want to do that...), but it's possible that might be coming in the future.
I really hope you guys like the new look! I've been working hard on it and, though it might not be drastically different, I'm really proud of the changes I've made and the time I took to carefully identify why I was making changes. If you have any questions about the branding process or want to know more about my design work, feel free to leave comments, email me, or check out my design studio, Twenty3.