If you have been following Chai & Home for more than a couple of years, you know that I regularly say I am going to redesign the web site. Well, as you can see by looking around, I’ve finally done it! Chai & Home is going to be six years old this November and the site design was about 5 years old, which is like 50 years old in Internet years. In that five years, the world of design and web site aesthetics had really changed and the old girl was looking a bit dated (I’m still talking about the web site). The issues I saw with the old site were that the editorial column was too narrow, the type was clunky with an irregular hierarchy, and my logo wasn’t really expressing what I want my brand to be. Here are some of the changes I made:
I started Chai & Home when I was still working for the man, and the logo was done by a colleague of mine I sat next to. I was really into the embellished ampersand at the time it was created, but with current trends emphasizing minimalism, I found that it was looking a little old fashioned. So, I’ve removed the fancy ampersand and I reduced the size of the mark in relation to the type. The result is a much more modern, cleaner, identity.
One of the biggest things I’ve had to work out is how the shop logo and the blog logo are differentiated. This is a technique I’ve seen employed by other bloggers turned product entrepreneurs and it seems to fit my situation nicely.
Color & Type
When my colleague did the logo, he worked out some “corporate” colors to stick to but I never really used most of them. I’ve streamlined the color palette to just mustard, black, and grey, and adjusted the type hierarchy so it is clearer and simpler. There were a bunch of different fonts used on the previous design and now there are just two, so hopefully the site will be a little faster as a result. The article column is also a whopping 800 pixels, which means bigger images too. The previous column was 640.
The change I am most excited about is the presence of what I’m doing on social media on the blog. Although I only post on the blog once or twice a week, I am creating content on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest daily. This new site design brings these items to the blog, reflecting more of what I am creating on a regular basis.
And of course, not just the web site changes. The updated brand also necessitates rolling out these updates on my packaging. Here is what the new scheme (new in front, old in back) looks like on my cake topper header card. Because the logo is much smaller on a product, the house gets a little bigger treatment. I’m still futzing with the fonts on these but it’s pretty close to what I want.
I’m still ironing out the kinks on the new web site so let me know if you see anything funny going on…and do let me know what you think of the changes!