I am so excited to reveal a custom brand and Squarespace website design for my incredible Artful Branding client, Little Lion Studio by Laura Rae.
Little Lion Studio is a children’s photography studio experience where children are documented while they are encouraged to roam, play, and explore. Each session features a Petite Closet of curated high quality wardrobe pieces just for your little lion to wear during their portrait session. Through a custom illustrated logo, whimsical icons, handwritten typography, and a neutral color palette we positioned the brand as elevated yet a playful and friendly children’s brand.
Laura first came to me when she was still in the beginning stages of dreaming up what the Little Lion experience was going to look like. She had an incredible vision for where she wanted to take the brand and being brought on as a creative partner to bring this brand vision to life was an absolute honor.
Little Lion marries Laura’s background in elementary education, her love for children, and her talent for photography together to create a warm and welcoming experience for both children and parents. I loved the mission Laura set out to achieve: letting children be children, documenting them at play, crafting sessions that are child led, and preserving details for parents to enjoy for years to come. I just knew we could create an intentional brand together that reflected that why behind her work.
It’s always my goal to learn about my client’s process and their ideal client before I make any design decisions so I know the brand will solve a problem for them and serve them well for years to come. Since this is Laura’s second business, our main goal was to take things off her plate and put things on auto pilot while maintaining a seamless and elevated client experience from start to finish.
•Create a brand and website that welcomes potential clients into the Little Lion experience by highlighting differentiating factors
•Create a scheduling system that automated the booking process and allowed clients to schedule their own sessions directly on the website
•Create an elevated/high end yet approachable/whimsical children’s brand that could grow and expand over time
The Design Process
With these goals in mind, I selected each design element with intention. For the main font of the brand, I knew I had to have a hand drawn font with small imperfections. I happened to stumble upon a font that I knew would be perfect right away and it ended up complimenting the hand drawn lion I sketched beautifully. Because we were doing such a detailed illustration for the logo, I wanted the typography to be clean and simple.
For the hand drawn lion- the goal was to make it look friendly, playful, and approachable but not scary.
For one of her alternate logos we incorporated “By Laura Rae” to establish some credibility right away. Laura has built a personal brand with a ton of recognition so her idea to add this to an alternate mark is simply brilliant.
This has to be one of my favorite tagline marks ever. We paired an understated sans serif with a hand drawn evergreen and that touch of whimsy is just what it needed. Throughout the entire design process it was a delicate balance of designing a high-end brand but also making it feel playful and the hand drawn illustrations ended up being the perfect touch.
Laura’s color palette is one of my all-time favorites. We chose to pull tones from her work which is light and airy but also has a “Minnesota” vibe to it. We used beautiful neutrals as the main hues across the brand, complimented by a gorgeous green as the accent.
The neutral palette is a reflection of the clothing selections Laura curates for each session. This was a strategic decision because we wanted potential clients to get a hint of what to expect when it came to wardrobe selections.
Here’s what Laura had to say about working together…
“I’ve booked SEVEN shoots in the last 48 hours…paid, booked, and on the calendar and I did nothing…while on vacation! All because of your website! You are amazing.”
WEBSITE & MOBILE DESIGN
For the Little Lion website we designed a custom Squarespace site that would walk potential clients through the experience and allow them to seamlessly book a session right on the site. By incorporating a scheduling calendar, clients are able to choose their session type, date and time, and pay in full to book their session. This puts the inquiry and booking process completely on auto pilot.
Within 48 hours of launching the new site, Laura had booked 7 shoots while on vacation. This is why I do what I do! Good design allows you to live more life outside of your business and solves a problem for you. Your website should be an extension of your team- working hard and booking clients for you. Branding is an investment but when it’s done right you will see a return on investment sometimes even within the first 48 hours of launching!
View the full live website here.
Are you ready to elevate your brand? I’m currently booking Artful Branding & Website clients for Fall 2021 and 2022 start dates. If you’re looking for a complete rebrand + custom website design, I would love to chat with you and see if we are a good fit for each other! Click below to get started or view all of our services here.
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I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.
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