We’re lucky to have a number of talented web designers and developers in our network at TheWayoftheWeb. But we didn’t have a lot of time and money to get a new logo and website up and running.
So I thought it would be really useful to share the process we went through…
Our new logo:
For a long time I’d blogged without investing in a proper logo and identity. So I was enormously grateful to the talented David Darnes when he offered to donate his skills a few years ago to support me starting out as a business.
Having originally been influenced in naming my blog (and now the business) from martial arts and Eastern philosophy, plus speaking to David about my background in both digital and print, he came up with a great book-based logo which we used until this month.
It’s still a logo I really liked, but as our business has changed and evolved, and with the need to finally change the website from a simple blog to something more suitable for our company and network of specialists, we felt it was time for something different.
Having chatted briefly with some of our designers, the plan for the new logo emerged fairly quickly and organically. We wanted to ensure a larger font size with more clarity in a range of different settings, as we needed options that made sense from a 16×16 pixel favicon to the 2000+ pixels sizes for Google+ and Youtube cover photos.
So to achieve this, we settled on two versions of the logo, both featuring the same fonts and colours to have consistency across formats and to be recognisable in each setting.
This gives us more flexibility, both in terms of which option we use, and what other elements we can include for specific locations. But we wanted something graphical to represent the brand, and the ‘cogs in cloud’ was a moment of design genius.
As a virtual agency which works with both staff and clients through a wide range of online tools, obviously we have close ties with cloud computing. Without cloud computing services, what we’re doing would be twice as hard – project management, collaboration, accounting, offsite backups, etc are all made easier, as are serving websites and applications.
And within that cloud are the cogs that make this business machine run – the amazing people that we work with (that’s clients, partners and employees). Despite the brilliance of technology, any computer, software or project is only as good as the people that built it.
So that’s our logo – brilliant people brought together within the cloud, and following a shared philosophy.
Our new website:
Until now, TheWayoftheWeb has simply been a blog with some pages briefly outlining the services we offer, and it has never really operated as a cohesive way for clients to find out what we do or how we do it.
That’s been fine in the past as 99% of our work came from word-of-mouth recommendations from clients and former colleagues, which is wonderful.
But as we’ve grown, there’s a need to be accessible to anyone that hasn’t already heard about us, and to really clarify what it is we do.
The CMS choice was logically always going to be WordPress – there are other platforms out there which are definitely worth considering, but having used WordPress for many years and offering WP development and design in our portfolio, we have to show we can eat our own dogfood.
On top of this, we installed the Genesis framework – again, we’ve used this framework and many of the themes provided by StudioPress, so we’ve got a decent understanding of the benefits and how it all should work together. It’s the same framework we can offer to clients, so again, we’re using exactly the same technology as we offer to others.
But to stand out from other agencies building on the same platform, and to get the basics done fairly quickly, we chose to install the Modern Portfolio theme, and customise from that starting point. As standard it’s responsive (so it adapts to mobile and tablets automatically), and has had just a few minor tweaks to appear as it does right now.
There’s still a long way to go before we’re happy with the site. Having set a deadline at the end of April to go live, we knew that we could have waited and spent a lot more time tweaking and polishing to show our perfectionism.
But although that’s often the right approach for client work, sometimes it pays to get stuff out there so it can live and breathe. Especially when client work rightly takes priority, and our own site development could end up on the backburner if we weren’t careful. And we can immediately start measuring the difference with a real audience, rather than in closed user testing to see if we were on the right track.
It means you can see what we’re doing as we do it. And we’ll then share what we’ve done to make improvements, whether it’s for SEO, Social Media, Content, Design or Conversion Rates.
After all, using this site (and other internal projects) as our playground means we can quickly roll out proven, successful work to clients.