Southern Savers is a site that makes saving money on groceries easy and rewarding. When Jenny Martin decided it was time to give the brand a new look, she first tapped Matthew Smith of Squared Eye for the web design, who then brought me in for the identity and illustration. What a great project to work on! Jenny has done such a good job of building up this business and works so hard to make saving money easy for the rest of us. She’s passionate about her work and loves what she does so I was thrilled to be a part of the project.
My part started with a call and questionnaire to learn more about Jenny, Southern Savers and how she interacts with visitors and fans. Next came a mood board, a part of my process which gives me a really good feel for what the client likes and dislikes, and Jenny gave us really great feedback—She was excellent to work with! Because Jenny is such a big part of the Southern Savers brand, her personality and likes/dislikes played a bigger part than normal in this particular project.
After that process, I take all of her feedback from the mood board and sketch out several concepts (or directions). The direction she chose was one that used an illustration of her trademark magnolia, but paired it with an aesthetic that was along the lines of an older general store. A palette of blue and green seemed to really fit her personal aesthetics, as well as what she was trying to accomplish with the brand. Those colors generally evoke a sense of calm and casualness, obviously very appropriate for approaching something like Southern Savers, where people may think it’s going to be complicated based on their past couponing fiascos. The hand-lettered type has an old-school feel without relying on weathering techniques, but is also clean and updated and pushes the classic southern style forward.
From the beginning I wanted other illustrations to play a role in the branding, and give Matthew Smith from Squared Eye some nice visuals to work with as he designed the site. In my initial sketches, we presented some ideas of what accompanying illustrations might look like for each direction so that Jenny could see where we were headed. Once the logo was approved I moved my attention to the illustrations for the learning page of the site and to creating a small brand mascot—Martin the chipmunk. These additional elements add a lot of fun and personality to the overall brand and were a lot of fun to create.
Overall, it was really great to see a team of people come together to work on such a wonderful project. I’m really pleased with the way it all came together, and I think our team did an incredible job on the IA, Site Design, Development, Print Collateral and Project Management. The new site and brand has received great comments and reviews from it’s users, and as always I’m excited to have played a part in that. Check out the Southern Savers site to see this brand in action and to start saving money on your grocery bill!