The Evolution of a Brand & A New Look Rock n Roll Bride

I am a firm believer that the best brands are constantly evolving. As business owners things flux and change over time and so its really important to regularly check the way you’re presenting yourself to see if you still feel on the right track. In July 2010, we launched the new look Rock n Roll Bride. Before that my ‘brand’ was a slightly chaotic mix of things I’d made myself in Photoshop and a header image that a friend had kindly created for me.

katheaderfinal

It was adequate and many of my readers had great affection for the look I had created, but I wanted to take my blog to the next level. I wanted to make this my full time career and a more professional image was needed. I called upon the skills of Shauna Haider of nubbytwiget.com. I’d admired her designs for a while and knew that her aesthetic would work perfectly with the clean and modern style I had in mind. Honestly, she was the best money I’ve ever spent – and continue to spend – on my business! She took my jumbled ideas and created something cohesive and beautiful – something that was so ‘me’ but something that we could continue to adapt and evolve as my business grew.

rock n roll bride header 2010

And adapt and grow it has. When we decided to publish a print magazine in 2011, Shauna designed the first issue to compliment the look of the website. However when issue two went into production, we felt a cleaner, more high-end and editorial look would really make it stand out. Inspired by magazines like ELLE, W and O, Shauna’s vision was that if we wanted to do this properly, we should be inspired by only the very best. She created something truly beautiful. Fresh, modern, clean and inspirational but still with flashes of my personality, style… and signature pink of course!

RocknRollBride_Issue2_1

RocknRollBride_Issue2_14 RocknRollBride_Issue2_15

RocknRollBride_Issue2_12

But the website was starting to look dated. It had served Rock n Roll Bride well for a solid two years and had seen it grow from a small sideline hobby to a full time career for both Gareth & myself. We decided we needed a new look, a fresher perspective and one much more in line with the high end editorial vibe of the magazine.

But sometimes things that look amazing in print just don’t work online. Certain fonts, layouts and colours can look skewed and odd. We weren’t sure if it would work, or if it was even possible to code our ideas, but we were going to give it a damn good try anyway. Shauna started the design work over the Summer and Gareth was finally able to start the backend coding over the Christmas break.

He finally finished at 7.43 this morning, and we went live at 8 am.

layouts

And here we have it. On first look you might think it’s a pretty simple design and wonder what the big fuss is about. And in a way you are totally right. It is remarkably simple but with some seriously modern techy things working away in the background. We wanted to strip the design back, focussing on only a few key elements. But ultimately, and just like the high end magazines that were our inspiration, to really let the content do the talking. Our ultimate aim is for the design was for it to enhance this content rather than distract from it.

There are a few elements that I don’t think I’ve seen on another wedding blog and I’m pretty excited about them. Firstly we’ve opted for a completely responsive layout. Try looking at the website on a number of different sized screens (desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet) and see how awesome – if I do say so myself – it looks! The site also adapts beautifully as you resize your browser window, so you need never see another horizontal scroll bar!

We’ve stripped back the sidebar to just the adverts and a link to the magazine store. We wanted no distractions from these two vital elements. We’ve moved pretty much everything else to the website footer.

And finally, one of my favourite features is the interactive header. We wanted to change the header from an image of me to just the Rock n Roll Bride logo for a cleaner, more editorial look when you first land on the site. However the real magic happens when you click into a wedding feature. The clean header is replaced with a magazine-like cover image and logo (check out this morning’s real wedding post to see this in all it’s glory). In a nutshell it’s my way of making every couple a cover star! I love, love, love this feature and I really hope you guys do to.

rocknrollbride header 2013 article

Strong brands are rarely built overnight. They’re a constant evolution and they take hard work and dedication. I’m a workaholic, a perfectionist and I’m never satisfied - I’m always looking for the ‘next big thing’ and the next step to staying ahead of the competition. But with today’s refresh I can hand on my heart say that I’m completely thrilled with the way it looks (for now anyway!) I can’t stop staring at it and I can’t wait to publish all my content in such a beautiful setting. Thank you, thank you a million times, thank you to Shauna & Gareth for all their hard work and whip-crack-taking over the past few months. Take a break (and get some sleep!) you guys… well, until the next crazy idea anyway!

26 comments

  1. Congratulations Kat it looks FAB! Your hard work and inspiration are awesome as ever. I really can’t believe it’s been TWO years. Can’t wait to see what you do in the next two! With all best wishes, Kerry. xx

  2. Kirsty

    Awesome new look! I pretty much think Rock N’ Roll is the best wedding blog in the whole wide world!!!!

  3. OMG I love love love the interactive header – what a great idea!!! Now I need to send you a wedding asap so I can see my couples as the cover stars! ;-)

  4. Love the new look Kat! The hard work Gareth and yourself have put in has really paid off.

    This post really resonated with me and in two places I went, YES, that’s exactly how I feel.

    “I am a firm believer that the best brands are constantly evolving”.

    “Strong brands are rarely built overnight. They’re a constant evolution and they take hard work and dedication”.

    I am still not 100% happy with my brand and have written a post to go live tomorrow explaining why which I’m a little nervous about but will be glad to put it out there.

    Congratulations!! x

  5. Nikki

    Kat, I love this post, so true! The new look is fantastic and works really well. You inspire me more and more every time I log on, hopefully one day you’ll be featuring the weddings I hope to plan :-)
    Nikki x

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so proud to watch your evolution and see how we’ve gone from a logo design to all these other projects that represent your brand! It makes me so happy to see these series of projects finally come full circle (the media kit, magazine #2 and website). You and Gareth have put so much hard work into this brand and deserve the accolades. Go Team Rock n Roll Bride!

  7. Hi Kat

    I love that your site is forever evolving and think it’s a great idea to have a clean up, as you can easily get things too cluttered (I am def a sufferer of this too), but I just wanted to let you know that I can’t see the site properly.

    I’m not sure if there is a glitch due to it being day 1 etc., but I’d thought you’d rather know.

    I can’t see the interactive header, I can only see your logo on a white back ground. And the main body of the text is in the centre, the rest of the screen is completely blank.

    As said I’m not attempting to rubbish your blog and lay out at all, I just thought I’d better let you know in case you were unaware. I’m looking at it from a PC by the way, in case that makes a difference.

    Sorry!

    K

  8. Post author

    Hey Katie thanks for the feedback.

    it sounds like youre using an old browser which doesnt support all the bells and whistles of a responsive design like this.

    If you are using Internet Explorer 7 or 8 they are too old to support the responsive design we have used which allows the site to adapt, stretch and scale to different display sizes.

    So that everyone who visits the site can enjoy our content, regardless of what browser version they’re using, the website is designed to display in a more basic layout for older web browsers.

    You should be able to read all the articles ok but some of the fancier effects have obviously been stripped away. If you want the full experience, you could upgrade your web browser (it’s free) or install one of the other popular web browsers, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as a replacement (also free!)

    Hope this answers your question!

  9. Hi Kat

    I’m using Explorer but not sure of the version (it’s a work’s pc – shhhh! – so would imagine it’s an old-ish version).

    I can only see the article’s if I scroll down, there is no way for me to search or look for a specific topic, ie: About, Blog Love, Submissions etc.

    I’ll get home and have a nosey again from home :-)

  10. Post author

    Katie – I had a snoop and you’re using Internet Explorer 7 (OK so Gareth snooped – he knows ALL!) and it doesn’t support the responsive layout fanciness.

    You’re seeing what you’re supposed to – basically just the articles themselves. You can still read the posts at work (naughty!) but you’ll have to go home or get onto a more up to date web browser to see the website’s full beauty!

  11. A-MAZ-ING!!! absolutley love it.. i need a Gareth & Shauna in my life :) no seriously, you all make a great team & work soo hard – the branding is brilliant. Congratulations! xxx

  12. Once again I like the new look of Rock’n Roll Bride. And again, I agree with the fact that a brand should evolve — we went live about 2 months ago and I already have ideas for the next version of the website; Marcio’s so gonna kill me! :D
    Nice work.

  13. Thanks Kat! Yes it’s fab from home. I might screen grab this and send it to my manager….just to see if he’ll update the system for me… worth a try! :-)

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