I added a new page to the site back in September: Previous logos for hellomelissa.net. The page shows the previous logos I’ve created for this site and tells the stories behind each one. If you’re into graphic design or the evolution of my website (or websites in general), be sure to check it out!
If you have questions about how I decide to brand my site and the designing that goes with that, please ask and I’ll answer in a future post.
In my day job, I do document and graphic design for corporate training materials. (Check out my LinkedIn profile for more info.) Most of my work is done for established brands, which means there isn’t really a lot of room to play. I satisfy my need to experiment (and use hot pink!) in the logos and branding I create for hellomelissa.net.
This was the first time I actually purchased a font for myself. (Glengary NF). This wordmark isn’t particularly special design-wise, but the clean, easy lines of the typeface really appealed to me.
I was getting itchy for a change, but didn’t want to muck around with a new colour palette. The font I chose (Love Ya Like a Sister, free on Google Web fonts) was a definite departure from my previous one. I like a lot of Kimberly Geswein’s work, and I wish I could use it more in my day-to-day work, but I think it would scare the suits.
I liked the previous logo, but I got itchy again in a few weeks. As much as I liked the handdrawn feeling of Love Ya Like a Sister, I missed having clean lines. I also decided I was going to lose the hot pink and go to shades of purple. I purchased this font (JennerikInformal™) and created another basic wordmark.
I came up with this logo quickly after spending some time applying a new responsive theme to the site. I love this font (ChunkFive Roman) and it looked great on my favicon and Facebook avatar for the site. I experimented with a few different backgrounds, but never really landed on anything I loved. I did bring back the hot pink in a smaller dose.
I seem to get itchy for new logos around the same times of the year: early fall and mid-winter. I’ve been wanting to play with a handwriting-style font for awhile, and when I found this font (Jennifer Lynne by Brittney Murphy), I decided it was time. This logo took more time than the others once I found the font. I spent a lot of time making sure the letters joined up like real handwriting would. I spent a lot of time in Adobe Illustrator fussing over the kerning and connections between each letter. I’m happy with the results. I managed to keep some hot pink in there! My website’s theme tends to look better on darker backgrounds, but I feel like I can change up the background without having to redo the logo at this point. That will be a good way to keep things interesting and help me practice my pattern tiling.
Handpainted/watercolour-style script typefaces are everywhere right now. I kept seeing new ones crop up in the various design newsletters I receive. When I decided to redesign hellomelissa.net’s logo and site this time around, I wasn’t sure if this was where I wanted to go. It felt like this type style would be too trendy. Then I remembered that a personal website can be trendy, because it’s easy for me to change it up when the trend passes. I don’t need to go through an entire art department or rebranding process. It’s all mine and I have complete control! It took me a few days to choose a typeface (I was waffling between being on-trend and some other styles), but once I did, the logo was built fairly quickly. I loved the description the creator wrote for Smitten – “a hand-inked, ‘semi-script’ font with tight kerning, and a fun, imperfect baseline. It’s nice and bold, plus a little gritty”. It lived up to the description and met my need to balance between girly, grungy, and fun. I wiggled some of the individual letters around to make it look that much more imperfect. I used one of the vector freebies that came with the font to create the dot (which was naturally done in my on-brand shade of pink). I was also thrilled to support an independent designer through Creative Market. I hope they treat their sellers well – I really enjoyed perusing this site and will likely shop there again..
I came back from the third annual Blissdom Canada inspired to write more (thank you Haley and Ali). I also got ideas and tips for improving my iPhoneography skills (thank you Schmutzie). I had told Haley that I needed to ‘kick my own ass a bit’ and I think this conference has helped me do that. I’d like to thank all the organizers and speakers for all the work they did to make it a success.
(An aside, when I told Sean that the conference was at the Sheraton Centre downtown, he looked at me and asked “are you staying at the Sheraton Hotel in Canada? Have you been selected to represent the school at the National Grammar Rodeo?Sean makes me laugh. This line is from Season 7, episode 21 of the Simpsons. I couldn’t find a video clip of it so you’ll have to catch the episode in syndication sometime.)
I was thrilled to be able to tell Susan Cain how fascinating I found her book in person at her book signing. When I showed her my Kobo with her book on the screen, she told me that it was the first time she had seen the ereader version of her book. To think she had to come to another country to see it! That makes me smile.
I also stayed in a hotel room all by myself for the first time. This is a big deal for me.I wrote about wanting to do this back in January 2011 but haven’t been able to make it happen until now. When I bought my conference ticket, I booked the hotel room that day, knowing I could always cancel, but also knowing that I wouldn’t. I’m a person who needs her alone time and I don’t get nearly enough of it. (Funny, I’ve written about this before too.) As much as I was enjoying the conference and all the learning I was doing, I couldn’t wait for that window between sessions where I could check in to my room, dump my stuff and sit down in the quiet for a few minutes before I got back to the noise of hundreds of people at a conference.
I finally got that opportunity, but it was cut short because it was in the window of time before the aforementioned Susan Cain went up on stage to speak about introversion. There’s a joke in here, right? I was not missing that talk, so I put my stuff down and zipped back downstairs and took part in the rest of the conference. I did not regret my choice. I learned from all of the speakers, and the questions that were asked of them.
I had considered skipping the closing party to enjoy my purchased solitude. I didn’t have a costume and I had been stuffed up most of the day so I wasn’t sure I should be unleashing karaoke on anyone*. My need for a few drinks and a few laughs (and let’s face it, the karaoke) trumped my need for solitude at that point and I had a good time with everyone. Of course, I lived up to my introvert ideals by having the best moments when listening to conversations and occasionally contributing versus cutting it up on the dance floor. (Dancing can be fun, but it’s not my strong suit.) At the end of the night, I went back to my quiet room, had a great sleep in a king-sized bed and lounged around Sunday morning before I packed up, checked out and went home.
So Blissdom gave me a lot this year – more than what was on the website and in the conference brochure. I’m saying out loud that I plan to make the most of what I’ve been given. I hope you do too. How do you plan to improve your blog or other online work?
* I don’t get my love for karaoke either. I am totally on Team Introvert, but for some reason, I love doing karaoke. I think it’s because it’s a forgiving medium. You can be bad and people will still cheer you on. My experiences around karaoke really need a post of their own.
You can still read this blog by coming directly to the site or by visiting links from either my personal Facebook feed (hi family and friends!) or the hellomelissa.net Facebook page. You can also subscribe to get an email every time this site updates using the subscribe option in the sidebar.
Isn’t it neat that there are so many ways to get great content from many sites automatically? I love the efficiency of the web.
Some backstory. Like many other bloggers, I previously used Feedburner to manage my RSS feed. Service has been shaky and rumors of its demise have been rampant. (See these posts by Schmutzie and Cecily for more context.) I’ve opted to stay with WordPress’ built-in RSS feed rather than move to a paid service for now. If I decide I want more data about my feed (everyone loves stats right?), I may move it again, but for now, this is where it’s staying.
Like so many other bloggers, I’ve chosen a word for 2012. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a big year, and not just because there are theories that the world is going to end come December. (Personally I don’t buy it, but lots of people do so I have to acknowledge it.)
The word I’ve chosen for 2012 is:
I want to create great content for hellomelissa.net
I want to create more in general
I want to create a happy, settled, comfortable home for me and my family
I want to create the life I want for myself, which will benefit my family
It’s a short list, but they’re pretty lofty ambitions. Wish me luck.