design

New Brand and Website for Candice Prentice

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

Many times, the branding process doesn't begin when a business does. When a business is just starting they tend to DIY as much as possible to save on costs and make sure that their business will grow before hiring a professional designer. I actually love this fact because it means that I get to work with businesses and individuals who already understand their brand and simply need help communicating it.

When Candice Prentice, cozy mystery author, first approached me to design an updated website for her to share her work and her blog, I was thrilled. Candice already had a very clear idea of her audience, her style, and her brand, but wasn't sure how to pull all that information together to create a consistent visual brand. We worked together closely throughout this process to make sure that her vision was being reflected in my design work.

Mood Board

As in all projects, we started with a series of questionnaires that helped Candice communicate her brand and her ideas to me so that I could be sure that my design fit her unique mission and personality. Her "readers run the gamut from working moms to retirees to single people, and even some men," which means that her audience isn't as specific as in some businesses, but she was still very clear on who she was writing for and what they wanted: "they're looking for mysteries that are intriguing, but safe enough to leave lying on table in the living room around curious children of reading age."

Once I really got to know her brand, I looked through the Pinterest inspiration board she created and pulled all this information together to create a mood board for the project. She wanted her brand to feel "warm, cozy, mysterious, safe, inviting, intriguing, interesting," so I chose warm colors and images that reflected a eclectic and welcoming atmosphere.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

Logo

Once Candice approved the mood board, I finalized the color palette and started work on her logo design. As an author, we wanted her logo to be simple, but still recognizable so that she could use it across her website, social media, and book cover design without having to adjust it to fit the medium.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.
Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.
Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

I started with a few design options and we narrowed it down based on her preference, industry standards, and Candice's needs. The final logo is a simple, sans-serif font with little decoration, but we did choose to reuse the coffee cup icon on her website later.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

Collateral

Once her brand basics were complete, I then began work on the collateral items Candice had chosen: a business card design and social media cover images. Because Candice wanted to use an image that would bring consistency to her design, we began this part of the process by searching for a stock image that matched the feeling of Candice's brand.

Ultimately, it was Candice who found the image we moved forward with and I edited the original slightly to better reflect the colors in Candice's brand.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

From there, I created a few business card design options and Candice chose her favorite for me to revise and finalize. The design is simple and elegant, but still retains the warm and cozy feeling of the overall brand.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.
Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

 I also designed the cover images for Candice's Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

Website

After the collateral design, I was ready to begin work on Candice's new website. She wanted a website that could be "a place for readers to engage with me. A place for them to be able to purchase my books. A place for them to contact me, if they need. A place for me to engage with my readers." The website needed to include a blog, links to all her books, and a place for recipes, in addition to the normal About and Contact pages.

To accomplish this, I actually set up two blogs: one for her writing, where she can share mystery stories, and another for her recipes with a drop-down menu for the different types of dishes.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

Although this website was designed on Squarespace (using the Bedford template), I customized it to match Candice's new brand. Instead of the basic white background, I made the site a light, buttery color to reflect the pages of old books. I also went outside the strict grid design that many sites use because, as an author, Candice's website needed to be inviting, warm, and layered.

I also used a lot of custom CSS in this project to enhance little details, like the recipes, which were created using the Squarespace Menu Block. We also needed to include different disclaimers on each blog because of the information that Candice is going to share with her readers.

Candice Prentice | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand and website for a cozy mystery author in search of a brand that is warm and intriguing.

I loved working on this project because Candice was so involved in the process and was able to trust my decisions as a designer. We had regular phone calls to discuss the brand and get feedback, so this was a truly collaborative experience. Candice's new brand and website are a reflection of her personality, audience, and the work that she does, while standing out from the normal "author" websites. You can check out the full site (and get some great recipes) here.

Samantha was wonderful to work with. She’s detail orientated, organized, and dependable. Our work together began with a series of questionnaires, which were detailed and insightful; in fact, they helped me clarify what I wanted in my own mind so I could more clearly communicate what I wanted and needed from her.

After she began to build my website, she kept me informed, and I watched what she did, step-by-step. During that process, she continued to consult with me about my likes and dislikes, and she was never impatient when I made requests or ask for changes. We communicated regularly by phone and email. She answered all my questions promptly, and she kept to the timeline she promised.

Samantha delivers what she promises. I highly recommend her.
— Candice Prentice

Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


New Brand for Moments on Film from Stephanie de Geus

New Brand for Moments on Film from Stephanie de Geus | Lemon and the Sea: Logo design for three companies

When Stéphanie first approached me about working together I was a little overwhelmed that the thought of designing logos for her three different websites that all had a consistent vibe. I'd never done a project like this before - usually when I design a logo, it's only a single logo that then is translated into a few different logo options for different platforms. Once I started digging into Stéphanie's vision, though, I knew that this was a project I wanted to be a part of.

I want to inspire people to live the life they know they can live. So I want my brand to breathe that as well.
— Stéphanie de Geus

Stéphanie already had some basic logos, but felt that they didn't reflect her vision for what she wanted to accomplish. She described her brand as passionate, creative, wild-hearted, free, inspired, joyful, unique, original, brave, and daring. Her ideal client is "a #girlboss who is in LOVE with what she does (with a vengeance), someone with a deep desire to help and make the world a better place." Now that's a mission and vision I'm on board with!

Mood Board

I started the design process by creating a mood board based on Stéphanie's questionnaire and her Pinterest board. It was really important that this first step was right on target so that it could guide the rest of the design.

Color Palette

After the mood board was approved, I moved on to finalizing the color palette. This was a fairly simple task, as Stéphanie loved the colors in the mood board and I just had to round them out with a few neutrals.

Logo Options

I always start my logo designs with a few options and refined from there. Because I was designing three logos for this project, I chose to start with Stephanie's photography business, Moments on Film. Although none of these initial designs really stood out her Stéphanie as "the one," we were able to use these as a starting place to move forward.

Icon Design

In addition to text logos, Stéphanie wanted to incorporate some icons into her brand that she could use with the logo or separately, depending on the platform. These icons (for Moments on Film and Stéphanie de Geus) were the next step in my design.

Final Logos

Once the icons were finalized, I was able to combine them with an updated logo design that brings together a very simple sans-serif fonts with a fun handwritten one. The two together, along with Stéphanie's brand colors, truly reflect the feeling Stephanie was trying to achieve.

In the end, Stéphanie truly loved her new logos and I loved working on bring her vision to life in a way that reflected her.

I loved your approach and how you really took the time to get to know me and my business. You communication was clear and you really created three lovely logos for me.
— Stéphanie de Geus

If you're interested in working with me to create a brand or website that reflects everything that makes you unique, check out my services or send me an email. I'd love to chat with you!


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


New Design for Welcome Packets

New Design for Welcome Packets | Lemon and the Sea: Custom designed welcome packets for a variety of creatives including photographers, videographers, and event planners. Each packet was designed to match the client's brand and audience.

I recently started offering Welcome Packet designs for creative businesses. I love taking each brand and translating it into a web or print document that communicates a lot of important information to clients while still being on brand and looking great. I'm featuring three of my designs here along with some information about each business.

The Film Still

Michelle at The Film Still creates brand videos for creative entrepreneurs. She focuses on helping her clients communicate the "why" behind their business and is really hands-on in the video process.

"I don't just make a video. My process is designed to help clarify the business purpose. Help to flesh out the Why story. My clients are as involved as they want to be. They have final say on music and editing decisions - it's their vision, I am just the one bringing it to life. I will offer any advice I can, but at the end of the day, I see it as their vision, their story, not mine." 

Michelle's business values are authenticity, creativity, fun, and the importance of your story. Her videos are all about being real - like meeting over coffee.


Working with Lemon and the Sea was so easy! I had absolutely no clue what I wanted, but somehow she created the most perfect Welcome Pack. She took the information I gave her and ran with it to create a Welcome Pack that was exactly what my brand needed.
— Michelle Roycroft

I loved Michelle's business vision and her passion for telling stories through video. To design her Welcome Packet, which will be given to clients after they inquire about her services, I used her brand colors and created a simple, yet elegant design. It was very important to include all her package and office information, but I also included really fun quotes about the process that connect with the creative entrepreneurs she's working with.

 

Events by Chantal

Chantal is an event planner who works with brides who want a wedding that is natural, airy, and romantic. She works hard to connect with her clients both before and after their event.

"I work hard to make my client process as simple as possible. I love to spoil my clients. It begins with an initial inquiry, and follows with a free consultation. The consultation I love to get to know the bride and groom, and discuss their wedding dreams, and answer any general questions they have. I love to be there for my clients. The wedding weekend I orchestrate everything from rehearsal set up and planning, to ceremony set up, making sure vendors know where to be and when. Even after my couple is married, I send anniversary cards, birthday cards, and check in with them!"


It’s very nice, I like it! I do have to get you more text, but otherwise I really love it!
— Chantal Stephens

Chantal's design is elegant and fresh. And while she didn't have all her photos and copy complete, I was able to create a beautiful design that fits her brand and the brides she works with. I love designing Welcome Packets in this way because it's easy for my client to go in and update images and text once they are ready without having to come back to me for each small revision.

 

Aislinn Rain Photography

Aislinn is a wedding and family photographer who needed a Welcome Packet for her family sessions. She works with clients who value print products and high quality photography that will last a lifetime. Her brand is high end boutique with an exclusive feel, but is still very personal. Aislinn works closely with her clients during their photo shoot and during the reveal session afterwards.

"The Reveal Session is pretty special.  They come into the studio.  There's wine and snacks waiting on them.  Their photos are printed and matted.  They have a slideshow.  It's unique in that there's few that do it this way."


I pride myself in fueling my business with authenticity. I value real life moments that aren’t overly posed. I believe photography is one of the few things you can invest in that increases in value over time.
— Aislinn Rain

Aislinn had lots of great photographs for me to choose from when designing her Welcome Packet. Because she's working with families, I wanted to feature a wide range of session types to help connect with all the families she's working with. I used her brand colors of soft blue, gray, and white to create a design that is very simple so that the images become the focus.

 

As I do with all of my clients, I gave each of these lovely ladies a questionnaire that helped me get to know them and their business. Because of the in-depth answers that I received, I was able to put together a beautiful custom design for each in just a week that fits their brand and works perfectly for their target audience.


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


New Brand for Each Instant Photography

Each Instant Photography | Lemon and the Sea: A new brand design from Lemon and the Sea for a lifestyle and senior photographer featuring green, brown, and pink color palette and a watercolor + font logo. Also featured are the Welcome Packet documents created for this brand.

Sometimes in a creative business you don't have a specific client, but you really want to create something. In my case, I had been thinking about designing a photography brand, but didn't have a photography client at the time. Instead of waiting, I decided to go ahead and create a brand that I loved for a specific type of photographer.

To start, I got very detailed about the type of photographer I was designing for: a portrait photographer targeting both men and women who wanted to stay away from the pretty pastels that are so popular right now.

Mood Board

I started this project just like I do any other: with a mood board of images and colors that reflected the brand I wanted to build. The feeling is moody, natural, and comfortable.

Logo Ideas

I loved the idea of incorporating a pretty watercolor with a more moody brand.

logos-05.jpg

Final Brand

The final brand is still a bit moody, but is also bright enough to appeal to a wide audience. To compliment the logo, I created some simple alternatives. Two patterns round out the branding and allow for a lot of flexibility.

Collateral

Because building a strong client relationship is so important in any service-based business, I created a variety of collateral to be used in a welcome packet for new clients including a contact card, welcome letter, ad, pricing menu, and business card.

I loved creating this brand, especially when building welcome packet collateral that incorporated all the brand elements so that everything would be consistent and recognizable.

Need a new brand or a welcome packet?

Get in touch to see how I can help.


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Working through Design Hesitation

Working through Design Hesitation | Lemon and the Sea: When you just aren't feeling your design, but you don't know how to move forward.

This is something I see all the time - a client is excited to get started on a project, but freezes in making decisions because they are afraid to commit to something so big.

Two Types of Hesitation

There are two types of design hesitation and both can be resolved, but you have to know which you're dealing with.

You Can't Make Up Your Mind

This type of hesitation occurs when you have some great options that you're really digging, but you can't seem to decide which way to go. Maybe it's too different logo options that both fit your vision or three blog templates that all look great. It can be tough sometimes to decide, but this is a good type of hesitation because you already know that the right option is in front of you.

When you're going through this, I don't suggest turning to Facebook to help you vote, as I've seen quite a few times, but there are some ways to help you make a final call.

  • Sit with it for a few days. I recently had a client who loved two different logo designs so much that she couldn't decide which to choose. She asked for a few days to get back to me and then sat with the options. She would look at them every once in a while, think about them, and then go do something else. This really helped her because she didn't feel like she was forced into a decision - she got to make up her mind on her own time.
  • Ask your audience. While I don't suggest asking a jam-packed Facebook group to weigh in on your decision, it can help to ask your target audience what they think. Try sending out the options in your newsletter and have your readers vote (with the approval of your designer). That way, you know that the people who gave you a response actually know your brand.
  • Go back to your business values. If you don't want to put the decision to your audience, go back to your business values and see what design choice best matches where you want your business to go.

Even with great options, it's important to take your time to work through your hesitation because you want to stick with the design you choose for a long time.

You Don't Feel Right

This is a more difficult type of hesitation to deal with because it can be hard to give a voice. There are times when a design simply doesn't feel right - no concrete reason, just something in your gut. As a designer, I know that reaction and I respect it. If you look at a design and think that it should be perfect, but you know that it isn't, don't back away from that feeling.

Let your designer know that you're feeling that way and they can help you express it and move into something better. If you're designing on your own, don't be afraid to lean into the hesitation and take time to sit with it quietly. As you take time to get into that uncomfortable space, you may find that the design doesn't fit the feeling you want your brand to have and can take that and move in a different direction.

And if you're afraid to get started?

I get it. Starting a design can be scary. It's a lot of decisions and a lot may ride on it - your business, your livelihood, your client base. My best advice? Just start.

Just start playing around with ideas. Create a Pinterest board of images that inspire you. Try out new color schemes. Play around in Canva. You aren't committing to anything yet, so just have fun.