Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Spotlight: DM Home Remodelers (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my post yesterday, focusing on work that I created for DM Home Remodelers, including some of my process work. If you missed part one, you can still read it here.

The Door Hangers

These are simple leave-behinds that can be used to canvass a neighbourhood at an affordable price. Here, we decided to tie in the look with the classifieds ads as well as the website design. Many of these projects were being worked on concurrently. Consistency in the corporate identity was also an important goal, to encourage trust and brand recognition.

(door hanger design, without diecut)

The final door hangers emphasize the corporate colours, tie in to the welcoming atmosphere of the website, and showcase a photo of a real renovation project.

The Customer Brochure
Although the brochure was finalized after the website launch, I'll discuss the brochure first as the website is a much larger project.

As I was formatting photos for the website around the same time that I was working on the brochure, I was able to choose photos from the website galleries that would also appear crisp and interesting in print. Copyediting and strategic photo placement really helped this piece come together. I also chose to use a tint of their corporate brown as the base for the page colour. Interestingly, when printed on a semi-glossy paper, this resulted in an almost golden sheen when light reflected off of it at an angle. This sheen works well with the design and the company. Again, a strong foundation as well as new creations are being emphasized, especially when this piece is seen in print.

(brochure design, exterior, with fold lines)

(brochure design, inside, without fold lines)

The Company Website

Last but certainly not least, we come to the company website. My clients had previously worked on their text and knew exactly what they wanted to say about their business and what they provide to customers. They also had an idea of how they wanted to structure the site with straightforward categories to ensure that information was easy to find.

I generally begin my website designs with a mockup in Illustrator. I am more of an expert with this program, which speeds up the process. However, the major reason I use Illustrator for the layout is that I can precisely place various elements and export pieces as needed without always needing to use slices or trim exported images. Photoshop is an excellent program as well, but I prefer to focus on photo editing in Photoshop and manipulate simpler graphics in Illustrator.

I presented three concepts (two of which were extremely similar). The chosen concept features sky, grass, and soil as a footer. It is bright and welcoming and reiterates the branding colours. Utilizing PHP, I created a number of includes to ensure that editing certain repeated elements would be very easy to accomplish and that these pieces would appear consistently whenever they were used.

The includes were primarily the side menu, the header, and the footer. There were also includes created for the gallery section previews. Some sections have multiple pages, and creating includes for these previews allows for easy expansion.

The final website has 21 pages, with plenty of room for expansion if needed at a later date. The gallery utilizes Lightbox, to simply and easily showcase photos without using popup windows or navigating to separate pages. The contact page uses a form (fully tested prior to launch, of course) for emailing queries. It also conveniently includes phone numbers and the fax number for the business. I also created a small, green, house-shaped favicon (with the house shape from the logo), which is a nice addition for bookmarking.

(screen grabs from live website)

Although I've included some screen grabs above, I encourage you to check out the live website as well. There is a lot of information included that is helpful to anyone considering a renovation project. And, of course, if you are looking for renovation services in York Region or the surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to contact Dave and Mike about your project. I'm sure they would love to help you!


Although there are other pieces I have created for DM Home Remodelers as well, I hope that the selection of work that I have shared in these posts has given you a good idea of the corporate identity I helped develop for DM Home Remodelers, as well as my approach to creating branded materials for this type of business. I plan to do more posts like this in the future, about other client work, as it's a nice way for me to share some of my rationale while also showcasing my clients. I hope you have enjoyed reading this spotlight! If you are one of my clients and would like to see some of the work I created for you showcased on this blog, please get in touch to let me know.

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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Spotlight: DM Home Remodelers

About the Company
Serving York Region and surrounding areas, DM Home Remodelers has over 30 years of experience in renovations. Fully licensed and insured, they specialize in custom kitchens, custom baths, tiles and stone, wood floors, interior painting, trim and mouldings, finished basements, interior remodelling, and more.

Disclaimer: Although I know the owners of the company personally, the reason they came to me was that I was the best fit for providing a fully developed corporate design package including their logo, business cards, newspaper classifieds ads, promotional door hangers, promotional brochures, and their official website. They are very happy with the projects I worked on for them.

Working with DM Home Remodelers was a pleasure. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects for them, and I hope that their customers enjoy them just as much as I enjoyed creating each piece.

Now, on to the real discussion. This will be a bit long, so I am splitting this into multiple posts to make it easier to read through. Feel free to skip ahead to the project types that most interest you.

The Beginning and the Logo
After meeting with Dave and Mike to discuss the vision for their company, I began the design process by reviewing their supplied materials and researching the identities of similar businesses (focusing on local businesses). The first part of the identity I worked on was their logo.

The logo is an extremely important part of their corporate identity. I always begin the logo design process in black and white, sketching different ideas even if I'm not sure they will work. It's important to sketch out as many thumbnails as possible to realistically evaluate what could be feasible instead of relying on assumptions. Sometimes, even if a concept doesn't work as a whole, there may be a portion that is salvageable that could lead to the final solution.

When I began working on vector concepts, I primarily focused on type based logos. While including a graphic was something I always considered, I wanted to ensure that the type was strong on its own and that any graphic only added to the effect. There was also a focus on mixing a professional, yet friendly and approachable vibe.




(logo concepts)

After consulting with the clients, they indicated the concepts they felt were most in tune with their business and I began revising. After the second round of concepts, the official logo was chosen. At this point, the black and white version of their logo was finalized. The next step was to add colour. It is always important to begin logo design in black and white to ensure that the concept is appropriately flexible. If it does not work in black and white, there are probably better options.

I worked with the clients' preference of green and brown, showing various shades of each colour and a combination option. The combination of a green house graphic with brown lettering was chosen as the final colour variation for the logo. This combination reiterates that the business is professionally grounded and emphasizes the focus of the company on improving homes with renovation services. Green is traditionally associated with growth, and that is very fitting here. The earthy brown alludes to a strong foundation and can also tie into materials they may use in their work, such as wood and bricks. This helps the logo resonate with customers, building on what customers looking for renovation services already know: strong building materials and renovations that refresh a home, helping it grow into something better.

(final logo)

The Business Cards
Following the logo, the next project to develop was the business cards. There was one round of concepts that I presented. This included various layout options as well as a variety of traditional designs versus some more unique or contemporary options. From there, the clients chose the most suitable option and it was revised. The final business card design is clean, simple, and professional.

(business card concepts)



(final card designs)

The Newspaper Ad

The first classifieds ad was up next. As this was for a large, local newspaper, the ad was designed in black and white. The first design was similar in structure to the door hangers which I worked on around the same time. The ad was eventually revised to a smaller size for continued use, as it was a more effective use of their budget. Both ads emphasize the services offered and highlight that DM Home Remodelers is a company that loves to assist with home remodelling projects. Happy to discuss projects, the ads also highlight that they offer free estimates.

(newspaper classifieds ad, revised variation)

Please return tomorrow for the continuation of this behind-the-scenes peek at materials designed for DM Home Remodelers. I hope you have enjoyed looking at the pieces shared thus far!

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Hi! My name is Emily.

Welcome to my art blog. I am an independent graphic designer and illustrator from the Toronto area. I create print and web solutions for a variety of businesses and individuals with a personal touch and conscientious approach.

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