I've known Alex for a few years now, so when she approached me with an idea for a new business I couldn't have been more curious. She explained that she wanted to provide hands-on marketing consulting for skilled creatives, needed an amazing brand identity to be the face of this new adventure, and was just as enthusiastic about working together as I was. The only issue? She hadn't nailed down a name yet.
The Name Game
I'd been itching to offer naming assistance along with my branding services for quite a while, and this was my chance! I started the process off much like every other branding project I take on—with lots of discovery and strategy. Of course we wanted the name to sound cool, but even more so it had to make sense for her chic, fresh, and fun new brand.
So we began with Alex filling out my comprehensive brand questionnaire and curating a Pinterest board to guide the style of the brand. Alex listed off all the names she'd been considering, and I provided some suggestions of naming structures that work well for creative companies. Next came a series of calls to narrow down on our prospects until we finally landed on the winner—Creative Picnic.
Creative Picnic put the emphasis on bringing creatives together, embodied a light and fun atmosphere, and had just the right ring to it. Better yet, Alex wanted the visuals of the brand to be sophisticated yet playful, which she described as “Gatsby with a bite.” Let's just say between the dreamy Art Deco style and rich subject matter of a picnic, I couldn't wait to dig in.
Logo & Brand Design
With the perfect name and some stunning brand strategy under our belts, I set off to design the logo and supporting brand elements. We knew the logo had to work well on top of photography and loved the idea of vibrant visuals peeking through the logo for some extra intrigue.
To accomplish this simplicity paired with some dynamic lettering and chic custom typography, I created a logotype and mark that would work independently. Being careful to not make the picnic theme to blatantly literal, the mark takes an abstract approach to a picnic basket and has the simplicity to pair perfectly with other visuals. This mark also plays well within a few secondary lock-ups to round out the brand, allowing for extra flexibility.
I include a few collateral pieces in every brand identity project, but leave it up to my clients to choose the pieces that will be the most useful for them. This helps tailor my process even more to their needs while taking the collective excitement to a new level. For the Creative Picnic collateral, Alex chose custom icons, business cards, and a MailChimp newsletter template.
I absolutely adore icon design, and love how they add a whole new facet to brands. I also do my best to create icons that will work well to represent certain aspects of the brand but will also be flexible for use in other areas. We knew with a name like Creative Picnic, we had a perfect opportunity to center the icons around items you'd bring to a picnic. Taking the same abstract approach we used for the mark, these came to live in a glass of sangria, pineapple, apple, and carrot.
You may already know of my passion for custom brand patterns, and for this project I really went wild. Simple geometric plaids allude to a traditional picnic blanket and subtle scallops call to mind more of that Gatsby-era style.
Meanwhile, any time I've got an iconic mark or icons to work with they can easily be transformed into the most gorgeous patterns. For Creative Picnic, I had both! So from those basket and picnic icons came two stunning new patterns that take the brand to a whole new level.
When it came to business cards, Alex wanted to make an amazing impression and when she mentioned gold foil I was obviously 300% on board. With this in mind, I created chic designs that paired metallic and clear foil with a mix of paper stocks for the back side of the cards. With the CP headquarters in none other than NYC, this was also the point when we discovered just how handy that apple icon would be. Talk about serendipity!
I'll absolutely be sharing photos of these cards once I get my hands on some of them, so stay tuned for that. As for the newsletter template, you can take a peek at that on the Creative Picnic case study page.
This project was an absolute blast from start to finish and has quickly become one of the crown jewels of my portfolio, which seems appropriate with all those stunning jewel tones in the CP palette. As for Alex's experience working with me, I'll let her speak to that.
“Working with Melissa is like having your own personal magician, business coach and cheerleader. Building a brand from scratch can be intimidating but Melissa is so encouraging and eager to give you guidance along the way that it makes you feel more confident. Melissa goes above and beyond for her clients and does not rest until she gives you the best product.
When I first came to Melissa with my business, all I had was an idea and passion. I had no clue what I imagined my branding looking like or even what the name would be but the “mood board” process was super helpful in allowing me to visualize exactly what I wanted. Once we decided on Creative Picnic, it was full steam ahead. Each week a new piece would come together and I became more and more excited. Waiting for her to unveil the logo was the scariest part for me because I literally had no idea what to expect but she nailed it. She was efficient, accommodating and energetic throughout each round even when I had changes I wanted to see.
I’d definitely recommend Melissa to anyone looking to level up their branding. She treats every project with the utmost professionalism and knocked ours out of the park. If I had to do it over again I’d choose Melissa every time.”