Creating a brand design for a blog

Franny Bolsa

A successful design requires research and listening skills

One of my favorite projects in 2012 was a brand design for a new blogger friend Lisa Waszkiewicz of Frannybolsa.com. We met at BlissDom Conference 12, a great blogging conference in Nashville.

Lisa contacted me to help her give her site a personality and style that reflected all the aspects of her blog. She said she had chosen me ESPECIALLY because I doodled on all my notes during the conference! I liked her immediately!

Whenever I begin working with a new client I review their existing material with a curious eye. Does the material (website, brochure, etc.) communicate their marketing message clearly to their customer.

Lisa’s website was great, she is an awesome writer – but I didn’t understand the name – FRANNY BOLSA. How did that name come to be the title of the blog? WHO was Franny, was it Lisa or someone else? Was Bolsa a last name or something else entirely. Before I designed this logo and website, I needed to understand the name and the reason she chose it.

I put together a long list of questions and emailed them to Lisa before our meeting – below is Lisa’s comments about our first meeting and the final logo.

Hand drawn Branch with pearls Copyrighted material - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Working with a graphic designer is 10% design and 90% communication. Unless your graphic designer also happens to be a psychic.

Becky asks question. She has a whole worksheet full of ’em. She listens. Intently. With each question she pulls your design vision from your head until you can both see it sitting there beside you. We sat together and talked up a creative dust storm. I had a sense of what I wanted. The feel of things.  Working with Becky, brought my senses and feelings into shape.   And what beautiful shapes they were. The graphics for my site tell the story of the things I love. Things that call to mind front porches,  warm sunshine and the smell of love that fills a kitchen. The details make me stop and want to sit a spell. A pattern on a cowboy boot, The twist in a strand of pearls. The joyful bloom of a sunflower.  Visually stunning.  Each image a flag for Becky’s design talent, but more importantly, her gift for communication.”

Lisa Waszkiewicz, FrannyBolsa.com

Hand drawn Branch with pearls

The research and questions I prepared before the meeting led to a great discussion with Lisa. I learnedFranny” was her grandmother’s nickname and Bolsa” is Italian for bag. (Click on each name to get the whole story.)

Hearing Lisa tell me her inspiration for the blog and why she had chosen the name helped me understand what I needed to create for her.

As you read her blog you’ll see the elements I designed express both her pride in her grandmother and her love of her family. She is “Just a girl telling stories” and they’re wonderful stories!

Check out the continued brand design for Franny Bolsa on Facebook and Twitter

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About Becky Bayne

Becky is an independent graphic designer with over 20 years of experience. She and her husband live outside of Nashville, TN where she enjoys creative photography, gardening, and baking for her family.

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