When Zach, a co-owner of Live Oak Films, first reached out to us late last year, I was blown away by his demeanor. Zach is talented and creative, as one would expect within the industry of film, but he’s also kind and thoughtful and highly driven as well. Here at Rowan Made, we choose to cultivate strong partnerships through the idea of like-mindedness, a connection we felt early on with Zach.
A few weeks back, I put out a call on Rowan Made’s instagram to see what all of you wanted to see more of around here. One of the surprising responses I got was centered around color theory, something that I honestly never even considered covering before. Because: Who Am I to talk about color when you can find details all over the internet?
So far, I’ve shared posts about how we use square moodboards as well as why we cut clients out of the curation process. But I haven’t gone deeper and explained how we move from concept to creation to completion. It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked, so I thought … why not share a little how to right here on the Rowan Made blog. Let’s dig in, shall we?
I will be the first person to tell you that gathering helpful client feedback is not the funnest thing in the world. In fact, this is an uncomfortable subject for me — one that I’ve been navigating for six years. AKA, the entirety of my career. Seasoned creatives will tell you to develop a thick skin, but I think it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Cadence & Eli are a husband and wife photography duo located in Minneapolis, MN. They came to us earlier this year for a full on rebrand and together, we aimed to create a balance between their appreciation of classic simplicity and unexpected creativity. Seriously, though … if you look at their work, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. And then below, I’ll walk through our design process and share everything that’s been created thus far!
One of the most requested topics I receive from other designers is how to work with developers, so I thought I’d finally dig in and outline what I personally do. But to help balance things out, I’ve also brought in a friend (and collaborator) of mine, Janine Isabelle. She is a developer who will be sharing her own knowledge and thoughts throughout this post so that you get two different perspectives. Not just mine. ;)
Before creating a moodboard, I used to invite my clients to a shared Pinterest board and have them curate brand imagery that highlighted typography, tone, and color, so that I could see what they “liked” before digging in. The results? Not so great. You see, the majority of my clients don’t have a background in typography or color and simply refer to what they know or what they have already seen. And because of this, I often received a slew of imagery that felt disconnected or unhelpful, leaving me with even more questions than where I began.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to design for an up and coming business with a mission of bringing simplicity and intentionality to the table, one salad at a time. The founder, Ally, came to me with a strong strategy already in place and I instantly knew that we’d be a good fit based on their needs and her attention to detail + timeliness. Strong relationships do truly make a project collaboration that much better and below, you’ll see where we ended up:
When Ashley + Jared of Sugar & Cloth approached me to redesign their lifestyle blog last year, it was a no brainer. They’ve been my go to DIY source for as long as I can remember and it was fun to be apart of their fresh website redesign. Its been live for a little while now, so I thought I’d chat about the process.
As some of you may know, besides designing here at Rowan Made, I’m also the co-founder of Be Free, Lance, an online workshop for designers who are looking to build a successful freelancing business from the ground. We’ve been at this for a few years now and are so excited to launch our new website and marketing video, as well as open registration for our main workshop and mini courses! And since this was a collaborative design project, I thought I’d share more below …
A few months ago, I received an email from Celine Magtaggart, a fourth-generation East Bay (CA) resident that wanted to shine light on all of the good things happening in her community. So! 24 East was born. This space “shines a bright spotlight on local businesses and products, highlights nonprofit causes and programs, and showcases local design and style.” But before the website could launch, we needed to start from scratch and work through the branding + web design process …
For the past few months, I’ve been trying out a new moodboard method after being inspired by my friend Jen, who’s been practicing this for awhile now. Basically, the idea is that instead of fitting a bunch of images together like a perfect puzzle (like this or this), I pull project inspiration and fit those images into a simple grid of squares. Doing this helps give each image some breathing room and quite honestly, has saved me SO much time.