Posts tagged branding

LadyLounge is an SF-based volunteer collective of women and female-identifying persons who meet once a month for a variety of enriching potluck experiences led by members. Topics range from the arts, to health and wellness, to horticulture—but the common thread is a supportive, inclusive community of women helping and teaching other women. The organizer reached out to me to design the identity and a system of graphics for the events.

But what is the voice of a modern feminist support group? I started out exploring more traditionally feminine aesthetics, but quickly tired of what I realized was expected clichés: scripty fonts, pastels, gentle florals. From there I turned to a colorful, unapologetically bold approach. The wordmark is a combination of strength and directness in the all caps, sometimes-slab serif structure, but a few rounded edges soften the intensity.

For the system, overhead photography works beautifully to compliment the topics and drives a variety of unexpected and nuanced color combinations and textures.


The logomark


Event graphics

Herbal remedies.jpg
healthful cooking.jpg
houseplant hangout.jpg

I’m excited to continue designing for LadyLounge and see how it evolves over time!

Personal branding

I’ve been messing with gradients and colors that I find to be delightful for the past few weeks, but the other night I started playing around with some abstractions of my new initials, JVH. I always find it interesting to see how different designer set themselves up for iteration and what journey that iteration takes. In my case, its always a tangential mess that I can read clearly but I imagine it looks like chaos to outsiders.

Here’s the clean version of the top contenders and my path of exploration:

Artboard 1-100.jpg

And here’s a peek under the hood at the full story, which is all the steps that you don’t see in the above graphic:

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Inconceivable Branding

My partner Thomas and our friend Trip are working on a concept for a company that would be a combination of artists collective and games/event company. I am very supportive of this endeavor, as they clearly have incredible strength in their ability to create both small and large-scale events that celebrate fun and play in totally new, absurd, thought-provoking ways. They scrapped together a website pretty quickly, but to create legitimacy, they needed some serious design love. So Thomas asked if I could whip up some branding for them. 

The challenge was to communicate the creativity, levity and playfulness of their vision, without being too childish, or formal, or high concept. Inconceivable, by definition, speaks to an sort of intangible inability to grasp something mentally—which makes finding a graphic interpretation extra difficult. But I came up with something we all felt good about.  

I defined a palette that was bright and lively, but brought it back down to earth with a beige to level out the energy a little. I toyed around until I discovered a type + pattern solution that speaks abstractly on a few levels: there's the transparency and layering of ideas, different people collaborating and participating, and also a notion of respecting yet playing outside of the lines. 

My next challenge was thinking about a unique way to treat the index page of events that they have produced. So I cut out images from the photo sets and worked them into compelling compositions using the styles I had created for the logo. 

These treatments felt good, but were lacking any kind of interaction. Squarespace is a darling for being easy to use, but it fails to provide customization to the interactions or styles that really make a site feel unique (without many hours of custom CSS/HTML injection). So I came up with a little easter egg in the form of an animated GIF: the main logo is actually animated to disappear over the course of a minute. I felt this was a delightful and simple way to get at that playful, mischievous vibe that I felt the site was lacking. 

Refresh the page if you missed it and want to watch ;) 

Refresh the page if you missed it and want to watch ;) 

Overall, this was a fun, quick and dirty branding exercise. I do enough professional design that I'm generally happy to lend my skills to my partner and friends if it means total creative control and an opportunity to explore something new. 

Check out the website here: