Creating a Brand Through Multi-Platform Web Design

,Wonderful You: Fashion & Beauty, Site, Blog, Social & YouTube Content

wonderful--you.com - 2015-16

 

Award winning life and style that doesn't play by the rules. Content heavy and cross platform, wonderful--you.com brings together video and written content in a truly unique user experience.

It's a strange concept, fashion blogging. A very personal space on the web has found the power to become big business. There is a very delicate art in keeping a sense of identity and personality within content while also expanding into collaborations with brands and into the market of attracting and sustaining followers; followers who quickly tire of repetition or contrived content.

To take the leap from part-time, recreational, albeit award winning, blogging to the world of being a professional internet person, Wonderful You's Megan knew she had to up her internet game. Blogs had moved on and were becoming full sites, social persona and the multi-channel aspect of content creation meant that in order to succeed Wonderful You had to become so much more than the Blogger layout she had had designed 4 years previous when starting out.

 

Within that time WY's following had grown to the tens of thousands on Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin' and her YouTube channel, launched to support her blog had over 20,000 subscribers with each videos view count reaching thousands and thousands.

Home Page Desktop Layout - Landing & Blog Detail

When we first started chatting about a redesign, WY was, rightly so, focused on how she wanted her new site to work. She longed to ditch the traditional blog feel and find a way to bring all her content together from across multiple platforms. The main blog had been powered by Blogger for four years and as such had developed a strong following as well as Megan's understanding of its tools. Resisting the urge to switch to the more easily adaptable WordPress, I was convinced we could create something totally unique by building a bespoke web frame hosted through Adobe Business Catalyst, and pulling in elements from each of the platforms (Blogger, YouTube, Social) feeds, and redesign the main Blogger to seamlessly integrate into the new site at feed and post page levels. This would allow us to mould a totally new kind of user experience, content heavy, yet allowing Megan to still create content in the way she always had while building one cohesive brand.

 

With the techy bit sorted, or at least mapped out, I was beyond excited to get stuck into some branding so I could really think about how this site would look, feel and work. Megan had previously had a Blogger template designed which encompassed perfectly (and beautifully) her then Blogger Bio "as a country bumpkin who loves fashion." However over the years her content had developed, alongside her online presence and I could clearly see the brand she was creating in this alone, however this wasn't evident in her blog theme nor any of her online stations. There wasn't consistency, there wasn't a brand.

 

The temptation to let the brand designer in me take over and produce mood-board after mood-board, ident and logo ideas, schemes, themes and reams was great. However from conversations it was clear the importance here was going to be to let the site do the talking. The way it looked, the way it worked would become WY's brand, and USP, the content she was creating was so powerful and full of identity in itself, all it really needed was framing in the most beautiful way. I did not produce a single mood-board nor multiple branding options. Instead I asked Megan for both brands and sites she liked, either for aesthetics, experience or ideally, both. And we kept coming back to COS.

 

The fashion retailers site, much like their clothing, is crisp and oozes class in its simplicity. With striking photography doing most of the heavy lifting, the branding and subsequent content that you need to read falling effortlessly alongside. I knew almost instantly this approach would be perfect, and give the site landing page the drama Megan's content demanded.

Home Page Mobile Layout

YouTube Video Thumbnails - 2016

In creating the site, I couldn't resist breaking up the beauty of the monochrome branding with a bit of fun. The one element of Megan's online trail that could be considered consistent was her love of foxes. Cheeky little illustrations of foxes lined her social headers. Such quaint bits of country fun wouldn't hold up in our bold new clinical white world, so I drew up a geometrical little dude; and the symmetrical lines that draw his outline while the site is loading, is unashamedly, my favourite element.

 

Focusing on bringing the remainder of Megan's content to the new site, I relied on staple fonts such as Brandon Grotesque and Helvetica Neue to give users the options to explore each of the 4 categories within the blog; Fashion, Beauty, Travel & Lifestyle. I pulled in an insta-feed nestled against the footer and site navigation.

 

In between was one final critical element to bring Wonderful You's new home to life - a space for video content. An iFrame YouTube gallery would have sufficed to fit the remit, however the brand we were creating was a totally unique user experience, totally content dependent and totally Wonderful You. I endeavoured to pull in the gallery in such a way videos could be played directly within the site using a lightbox. As Megan's video's lined up side by side within the new site she was mortified at the inconsistency of her thumbnails with the sites new aesthetics - easily rectifiable by redesigning to match, however it was these details that would set Wonderful You apart.

Business Card Front/Back - Lux Card Detailing

From there it was really all just about consistency. Our new little fox friend would make his way into a funky pattern that would serve as a social header across all platforms, each new video has an elegantly matching thumbnail and all of Wonderful You's content has a home in the new site. A brand was born.

 

3 months later Megan dyed her iconic red hair, (then swooping it's way through TV ad break after TV ad break for Schwartzkopf - LET YOUR BODY TALK!), orange; becoming a walking, talking, content creating version of her site.

 

A public thanks to Megan for trusting me to recreate Wonderful You. She's a huge success because she is so dedicated and put so much of herself into every piece of content she creates and I am really pleased we were able to convey this so well in the site.


She also stole my heart. I love you MG.

 

Thanks for reading - Peace,

Jx

Check Out Wonderful You on her site and across all social:

Discover the power of branding in it's simplistic form. Outstanding brand identity can create powerful emotional loyalty from your customers and convey your values and USPs.

 

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From exquisite design to print that you can't keep your hands off, to straight up works of art on the canvas or silk-screened on a tee, graphic art & design was our first love, and is still the joy of our hearts.

 

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