We have been working for the guts of a year on a new website. Thank goodness for the patience of saints! We have been blessed with great friends who have lovingly and patiently guided us through to what I think is going to be a great site that we can only aspire to do justice to.
The process has really challenged us to hone in on our logo, our branding, our strap-line and our packaging. Getting something that works across all platforms, epitomises who we are, what we are about and engages people in the story of what we are trying to do.
+Nigel Smith we have managed to get the logo, the brand colour and a strap-line.
The scent, all lower case with the white 'c' emphasises the meaning to us as a business. The angel encompasses our desire to be messengers of change and blessing and the strap-line adequately conveys the fact that we make cleaning products that are ethically made and guilt free.
All this is portrayed on a pale blue background which is clean, neither too feminine or masculine, and reminds us of water.
Having this has helped us in getting the right background colour palette for the website. The colour themes for each product line/range will carry on to our packaging (eventually - when we have the money) and the angel and word "scent" are, as we speak being transferred into stamps which we can then use on our soaps. Thanks to +Luciana Teixeira Gomes and her new stamp-making business.
Which leads us to our packaging. Its been long disputed and hours upon hours of my life have been spent on this one thing alone. We have looked at paper, fabric, glass, wood, plastic, aluminium, cardboard, ribbon, scrap-booking. I've pursued labelling companies, made my own boxes, cut glass bottles, talked to designers and still, we have been missing that essential ingredient. I've considered boxes, parcels, bottles, jars, kilner jars, cosmetics jars, bamboo, banana leaf and starch packaging for that ever so evasive product that is natural, organic, sustainable, fairly traded, enironmentally freindly and yet crucially fit for purpose. Don't believe me? Take a look....
And, did I mention cheap? Having own-brand products have been so incredibly expensive for a start up such as ours that we have had to come up with solutions without the important advice of designers and their help in personalising our packaging to suit our brand.
So, I am truly delighted to be looking at a possible end in site. We may well have the solution.... Having got frustrated at paying too much for plastic boxes I eventually sought the courage to enquire about a direct supplier. If I am able to standardise all our soaps into a limited array of packaging options I thought it might just be possible to purchase in large enough quantities to permit us buying from manufacturers. Plastic boxes - sorted.
Which leads me to introduce a possible new venture for us in 2014. Now it is fair to say that it won't look much like these - the logo is all wrong and the angel image is in the wrong place but it does give an idea of where we are heading. Subject to feedback and prices. It may even be the appropriate time to look into a crowd funding venture as a way to finance it. It is fair to say that I, Garreth am quite excited by this new little possibility. The hope is for something that looks high-end, luxurious and ethical. The thing for us to avoid is the pitfall of it becoming too tacky or unnecessary.
Time will tell.