DesignDevelopment New branding & a new website for Website Design Ltd Written by Finn - 17/10/2022 If you’re a client of ours or a regular visitor to our blog, you may have noticed things have changed a little around here; we’ve had a rebrand! Have a read, see what’s changed and why, and get to know our new branding. The logo It had been a blue rounded box with a slab serif ‘WDL’ sitting in the middle since before I started my Website Design Ltd career. How it had come about, not even my long-standing design colleague, Richard, can remember. It wasn’t a logo anyone really liked or disliked, it didn’t mean anything, it just used an abbreviation of the business’ name, which to be fair, was easy to say and remember. However, a logo is your brand mark, it promotes your business, tells people who you are and logos often communicate what it is you do. A blue box with three letters isn’t going to cut it. I’d expressed my concerns about the logo before and Richard was on board. Then not too long ago, we sounded out our managing director Elliot and a rebrand found its way onto the table. Approaching a complete rebrand is no simple task, especially when, as expected, everyone in the business wants to be involved and have their say, it’s the company they’ve devoted (in most cases) years to. Nonetheless, ‘design by committee’ never materialised. We approached this rebrand, and in turn, the design and build of our new website as we would a project for any client, only this time, Elliot and the management team were that client. Working with Richard, we did our research and started to generate initial ideas. From there, we developed a few of these before our Creative Lead Andy was brought into the fold. Again, from that point, we continued with the refinement before Richard took our concepts into the management meeting. Fielding various questions and debating each version in turn, one was eventually chosen, which we took forward and finalised. With the brand mark designed, we then set about creating versions that allow us to use the logo across multiple formats, for various purposes. Considering size, space, colour and legibility, we settled on numerous versions, while retaining one consistent brand image. During any idea generation period, we naturally consider the wider brand and this internal project was no different. Following the completion of the logo, we looked to finalise brand assets, including the typeface choice, colour palette, patterns, backgrounds and image treatment. All of these elements are easy to use for someone who knows how to and while those designing with our brand assets are only likely to be Website Design Ltd designers, brand guidelines were prepared by Richard. The document was shared with our colleagues, along with a simple file structure of elements they might frequently need access to. Being a designer, I went all the way with the branding on this, even replacing the file icons to represent our brand or the software needed to open the file (‘cute’ was the word Matt used). The website Since I joined Website Design Ltd in January 2016, I’ve seen our website go through some significant redesigns. Even from the day of my interview to my start date, the company’s website had changed. Much of the focus during past redesigns was on form and styling, proving these iterations to be more like reskins. However, with this redesign, we adopted a different approach, focusing on usability and user journeys and we included a wireframing stage within the process. In preparation for starting this new project, Andy and I spent some time using Mouseflow to see how users were currently navigating our website. This allowed us to see what pages users tend to land on, the content they look at and where they drop off the site. From there, the sitemap was reshaped and initial ideas were sketched out before I began building the interactive wireframe with UXPin. Form and function are two key elements of website design. We thought we could add another ‘F’ to that, while also helping with accessibility and user preferences; flair, in the form of a light and dark mode toggle. Our branding was designed with darker backgrounds in mind, but we had the versions making it suitable for lighter tones. We introduced a toggle at the wireframing stage and were able to demonstrate how we envisaged this working even on the prototype. We also followed ‘mobile first’ processes, ensuring complete responsiveness and device compatibility. This made sure the website always provided clear signposting, accessible messaging and manageable content, no matter the device it would be accessed on. Wireframe complete, we moved on to the design stage, utilising all of the brand components we’d already created. As with any website design project, we approached the design in two parts, the initial design, followed by the remaining pages. The initial design was just the homepage and during this stage, we checked in with the rest of the team to ensure we were all happy with how things were progressing. With the homepage complete, we then progressed to the remaining pages, of which, there’s a lot and a considerable amount of image artworking was needed for all of our individual service pages and case studies. Once they were all complete and approved by the rest of the team, the development phase could begin. If you’re reading this, you don’t need telling, Rick absolutely aced the build on this and we’re all extremely happy with the results. All that remained was the written content. With Andy taking the lead on this, the team got together and we assigned pages based on our area of expertise, getting all of the content completed before it was then added to the site and passed through a final review. With branding that clearly defines the business and a website with a streamlined user experience, we’re confident we’ve built a brand and website to last. If you like what you’ve seen, maybe your business is due a rebrand and your website, a refocus too? Written by Finn - 17/10/2022 Copy to clipboard Copied More news Keep reading View all articles Advantages of having an Account Manager assigned to your retainer The benefits of marketing campaigns and why design is important Close Here comes Santa Claus… Our opening times We’re closing at 1pm on Friday 22nd December,reopening on Tuesday 2nd January. We’re closing at 1pm onFriday 22nd December,reopening onTuesday 2nd January.