Can I just tell you how much I loved working on this project for Jessica Jeremiah Photography? And when you get to work with such a sweet friend . . . BONUS!
I met Jessica Jeremiah about a year ago at where else . . . girls bunco night! That's right, I said bunco. What could be more fun than sitting around with a bunch of fun ladies throwing dice? Not much I tell ya!
Jessica and I discovered that we had a lot in common and quickly became friends. She approached me about helping her build a website for her growing photography business and I was excited about the opportunity.
We set out on a journey to build a site to showcase her gorgeous photography and create a brand foundation upon which she could continue to grow her business.
I'm excited to share with you my branding and web design process for refining her brand and creating a website which showcases her amazing photography.
Creating a beautiful brand
Mood Boards & Color Palettes
Always start with a mood board. Why you might ask? Because a mood board sets the stage for the entire project. It pulls together colors and images which are representative of the brand and provides the tone for the project.
Jessica loves taking pictures outdoors and uses the beauty of nature to enhance her work. I wanted to capture the colors of nature and incorporate Jessica's love of blues and greens.
I had no shortage of gorgeous images to choose from to create the board, so I selected a few I felt best represented Jessica's work and pulled them together to create a visual guide for the project.
Before I started using mood boards to help me select colors for a project, I would spend hours playing with various color combinations. Once you have all the images in a grid layout, it's easy to open photoshop and use the color picker to select colors straight from the images. I now spend a lot less time on color selection and the results are so much better than when I just chose random colors and hoped they worked.
The end result gave me a beautiful color palette to work with for the rest of the project.
Logos, Illustrations & Sub Marks
For the next stage in the branding process, we refined her logo and developed a few sub mark variations which can be used on websites and other collateral pieces she needs for her business.
Jessica already had a font she loved, so I took her original logo and tweaked it just a bit. The font she initially chose has beautiful looping characters and speaks to her joyful style of photography.
I wanted to add a camera into her design because well duh, she's a photographer ... so I chose a lovely antique design which she can also include in various collateral pieces as needed.
I created a secondary logo using the camera as an additional option for Jessica to use.
How awesome are the sub marks? I created this set using the J's in Jessica's logo. I chose to use a slight variation of the first J to create balance in the design. The designs turned out beautifully. She can use the images to create stickers, add to stationary designs, use as a quick signature, the possibilities are endless.
I typically like to choose 3 fonts to work with on a branding project. I chose fonts from Google Fonts which were already integrated into the website template I would be working with. I like Google Fonts because they are free to download and install on any computer. Jessica can install the fonts on her computer and use them for future projects keeping a cohesive brand design.
If your current website doesn't offer the ability to use additional fonts, you can check out my guide on how to select, use and install Google Fonts so you can enhance your current website.
Building a beautiful website
Once we finalized Jessica's complete brand board, it was time to dive into designing her site. Jessica has the most stunning images to work with, and I wanted to make sure they took center stage in her design. I chose to use Joomla! for the website's CMS (content management system). Joomla! is a CMS very similar in nature to WordPress. I happen to have more experience designing with Joomla! and felt it would be a perfect fit.
We set up hosting with SiteGround which is the host I use and have been very happy with. They offer extremely affordable hosting plans, excellent customer support, and their focus is primarily on Joomla! and WordPress sites. You can learn more about how to set up hosting with SiteGround here.
We chose to keep the overall design simple, clean and focused on her gorgeous photography. Large hero images were incorporated on almost every page of the site. I designed most of the pages so the content would scroll over the images, giving the viewer a longer look at Jessica's amazing work.
We mixed a fun scripty header font with a classic serif font and a modern san-serif font to pull everything together. The color palette we chose from the mood board beautifully accentuates Jessica's outdoor photography. Don't you agree?
I loved working with Jessica and helping her create a beautiful brand that she can be proud of. I'm honored that I had the chance to work with such an amazing friend and photographer. Her work is simply stunning and I can't recommend her enough. You can see her work here: http://www.jessicajeremiahphoto.com