Last week I mentioned I was planning to share more of the business, and today I’m kicking off a 3-part series of how I tackled rebranding Bella Carta over the summer, and how we ended up with the brand we currently have. I do feel that building a brand is always evolving, and I’ve even made a few minor changes after I landed on my brand board, but I am still thrilled with the final result.
Prior to tackling my own rebranding, I did some research on what, exactly, needed to be included, and looked to several designers I admire for guidance on how to proceed. Small Business Rebranding is such a fascinating world, and there are so many designers who not only offer this service, but who also produce stunning results. While I would have loved for one of them to tackle this for me, that wasn’t in the budget, so I decided to try it on my own.
My very first step was to create an inspiration board on Pinterest of images that really resonated with me – not just graphic design images, but anything from outfits, to home décor and typography. I had read that this was a crucial first step in a rebrand, and that you should focus on imagery that you love, and that you feel resonates with the core of your business. Narrowing down the images was difficult – I pretty much “love” anything that I’ve pinned, so I tried to really find images that spoke to the direction I wanted my business to take.
Right now, Bella Carta offers a wide range of products – invitations, announcements, stationery & address stamps, for really any occasion. In doing this exercise, I also knew that a big next step for us would be to include wedding invitations and stationery, so I wanted my brand aesthetic to appeal to a wide range of clients. When I started to put into words what I want Bella Carta to embody, I realized at our core, I wanted the business to feel familiar and approachable. I want my clients to come back every year for their children’s birthday parties, holiday cards, personal stationery, baptisms, graduations and baby announcements. I want the busy mom who pushed off a party to the last minute, to know that she can email me and have something the following week. I don’t want customers to feel restricted by their budget or the size of the party. I want all of my designs, regardless of the event, to feel clean, classic and timeless. I want every design to always include something slightly unexpected – a little touch of whimsy, or a small detail that makes it feel personal. I think this inspiration board is a really great illustration of all of those things, and helped me make take the next step in the redesign process.
Once I had my board together, I started to pull colors that were reoccurring, and that would work well together both online and in print. Slate Blue & Grey were the perfect neutral pairing, and coral and green seemed to be a natural accent to those. Sophisticated but still playful. Classic with a little whimsy. A strong foundation to build the rest of our business on.