How we redesigned the Gemma Milly Brand
17th Mar 2016
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Hi, I’m Tom, Gemma’s husband and handily a graphic designer and photographer too. Before we moved to Dorset I was a designer for the snack company graze.com, I’m now freelancing for various startups around the country and for my wife, Gemma.
We decided that a rebrand was on the cards about 5 months ago. Gemma’s business was going from strength to strength and she was getting lots of new customers. The problem we had was that the brand didn’t really reflect Gemma’s work and the user experience wasn’t as good as we thought it could be.
Reinvent the Gemma Milly brand to be mature and reflect the elegant aesthetic of her work.
Give the customer a great experience from the first time they visit the site to the moment they receive their stationery.
Gemma put in a lot of work honing her logo, doing countless styles and iterations. We wanted it to show off her talent as a calligrapher but also give customers an idea of Gemma’s personality, almost like a signature.
I set to work on the website and look and feel of her brand. It was really important to us that the website communicated Gemma’s style and the considered approach she takes to her work whilst making it really clear that the customer was dealing with a real person.
I sketched several concepts of how we wanted users to navigate the site, then whittled the ideas down until we were fairly certain we knew what would work. I took the fairly unorthodox approach of signing up to a free squarespace account, where I could test the concepts. I got as many opinions about the functionality of the site as I could before progressing.
Once I was happy with UI I took the developed concepts and used a program called sketch to design the finer detail. This is where every pixel is questioned and we really dialled down into what to keep and what to scrap. Again I got feedback from other designers and developers before handing it over to be built.
For Gemma’s last site we used a developer called Rick Chadwick (rickchadwick.co.uk). He’s a very talented developer who happens to be a great chap too, so it was an obvious choice to use him again. We knew we wanted to manage all of the content on the site after it was built (CMS) The difficulty we had was choosing which platform to use. After a lot of discussion we decided to use Perch.com which allows ultimate flexibility and a completely bespoke design.
You can be the judge of that! Both Gemma and I are incredibly proud of the site and hope that it is both a better reflection of Gemma’s brand and a better experience for all of her customers. We love feedback, both positive or negative so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any thoughts, questions or great ideas!
Top Tips for Designing a Wedding Website
Keep it Simple. It’s always tempting to go with style over substance when designing a site, but ultimately you want your customers to be clear on exactly who you are, what it is that you offer and how to get it.
Know your audience. It’s always useful to get feedback and opinions about your site as it develops. A great start is to use surveymonkey to gather as much information about what your customers are interested in before you start to design.
Make sure it works on all devices. People are browsing sites on their smart phones more than ever, make it as great an experience for them as it would be on desktop.
Tell a story. Through the styling and photography on your website your customers can get a real sense of your brand (and whether they connect with it) without having to read a word of copy.
Content. A website is never finished, the reason we use a CMS is to keep content fresh and give customers more reasons to keep coming back.