Melody Nelson, a local boutique gift and homeware store, have just updated their on-line presence. They commissioned me to create a strong visual identity for their updated site which they could then carry over on to their new online gift shop.
The illustration solution we finally went with was a hand painted border of swirling ornaments, cats, bees and iconic buildings accompanied by their existing logo (I designed the logo a few years ago).
These swirling ornaments are much more than just pretty decorations. They were carefully designed to visually convey the message that the store carries fun, beautiful, quality gifts sourced from Europe and America.
The brief and sample images the customer originally supplied suggested they were after a fairy tale appeal with wrought iron style decorations combined with a whimsical hand painted freshness.
Here's a rough sketch design I sent in response to the brief. Just a quick scribble to get the idea across without taking too long about it.
It was decided that I was heading in the right direction, but the buildings should sit vertically, the vespa should go, and I felt the design should be a little less complex and perhaps less symmetrical.
To produce the final art I began by playing around with typefaces such as woodtype ornaments, which are a range of existing digitised swirly decorations, but they all looked a little too clean and sterile for my liking. So I grabbed out my brush and ink and drew up a bunch of swirls, lines and little characters.
Here's the bee enlarged. As you can see the line work is quite free and unfussy.
The art was scanned in and placed into image editing software with all the items on separate layers. I could then rearrange items at whim until I was happy with the complexity and balance. The resulting art was made into transparent GIFs to float, in careful arrangement, over the parchment background.
And there you have it - a strong, unique visual identity appropriate to the store's philosophy.
Of course I wish Melody Nelson all the best for their new on-line gift shop and encourage all to have a look, and perhaps purchase an item or two.