Up until now I haven’t used this blog to talk about my recent projects – but no more! My hope is that my approach to these projects could help you with how your approaching your own. Let me know what you think in the comments section once you’ve had a read.
So anyway, I recently completed a project for a client who wanted a brand and a website for a new business he was creating that could design, install and maintain the most luxurious aquariums.
Both the brand and the website needed to evoke quality and inspire excitement, yet stay clear and simple.
My first port of call was the identity; what should we call a luxury aquarium business? We agreed that I would spend half an hour brainstorming as many name options as I could. This list included names drawn from:
- Species of tropical fish
- Types of coral
- Picturesque lakes from around the world
- Amalgamations of the clients’ names
- Foreign words for water, lake, ocean, etc.
Once whittled down to the best, this list included:
Pick of the bunch was Lagoa, which is Portuguese for lagoon.
(Out of interest, which would you have chosen?)
Now I had the name I progressed to the logo. It needed to evoke quality yet stay simple, so I chose a Google Font (as Google Fonts are the best) called Playfair Display.
This had the right look for the brand and also came in a variety of weights – both regular and italic. This allowed me to add a strapline ‘Luxury Aquariums’ under Lagoa to reinforce what the brand was about. Add a couple of horizontal lines flanking the strapline and underlining the brand name and we were there – simple, yet stylish:
The use of a Google Font also meant that when it came to the website, I could use the same font for headings – maintaining a consistent look with ease.
As with all the websites I create for small businesses, I don’t build bespoke. It’s time consuming and therefore costly, and prices many small businesses out of having a decent website.
The way I get around this and keep the cost down is to customise pre-made, high quality WordPress themes. You still need a keen eye for good design to keep them looking good, you need a firm handle on website best practice to make it a good experience for the users, and you also need a bit of coding experience here and there to customise certain elements. Beyond that, it cuts dozens of hours out of the build.
For Lagoa, we settled on a theme called GoodzShop by the clever team at Themes Kingdom.
Whilst the client wrote the copy, I sourced images of colourful tropical scenes and tropical fish that would inspire and excite the user, as well as evoke a feeling of quality.
The structure of the website was simple: a homepage, three services pages and a contact page. Once it was all built and the content dropped in, the website came together very quickly.
Importantly, I customised the theme by adding buttons in key places where a user might convert. This is important as you need to make it very easy for someone to get in touch. If they have to jump through too many hoops or search for more than 5 seconds to find your contact page, you’ll lose them.
So there’s Lagoa, the new brand in the luxury aquarium scene. What do you think? Add your thoughts below…