Turning a lifetime hobby into a new business with professional website design and branding.
We first met Jeremy and Jonathan Anderson at a small café in Toronto to discuss an idea they had for a new business venture. For years Dick Duff, a family friend had toiled away in his kitchen making organic beef jerky and creating new recipes. Jeremy and Jonathan had grown up gnawing on the jerky on family fishing, and camping trips and the community around Dick had grown to love his jerky as well. Friends and neighbours had grown to love the beef jerky so much in fact that Dick could barely keep up with orders and requests. Seeing a unique opportunity, the three men agreed to turn the hobby into a business, and that’s where our Toronto web design company joined the story.
In our preliminary meetings with the trio, we sampled the jerky – it indeed is the best I’ve ever tasted – and mostly reminisced about fishing trips, camping adventures and the great outdoors in general. Sharing the common bond and love for the outdoors we all knew it was a perfect fit from the start.
Every once in awhile a creative project comes along that you feel really nostalgic or passionate about and you tend to pour a little extra love into it. After identifying our needs and creating a project scope, we broke trail on what was to be another great creative adventure.
Setting Branding and Website Design Goals
- Branding and logo design – all startups and new businesses begin in the same place. We need to establish a new brand identity with a custom logo design that will serve as our guiding compass throughout the rest of the project.
- Creative package design – following completion of the logo design and support marketing materials, we needed to create a branded package design to allow Dick Duff’s to get their product to market.
- Custom e-Commerce Website Design – Dick Duff’s planned to primarily sell their product online initially, so it was paramount to create a fully branded online retail experience with professional website design.
- WordPress development – to allow Dick Duff’s to self-manage their website content and online orders, we opted for a custom WordPress backed using the Woo Commerce platform to handle the day-to-day website orders.
Our Branding and Website Design Process
Discovery and Strategy
Our team felt there was something special about this project from the start, and we soon discovered that the Dick Duff’s trio was as passionate and ready to get their hands dirty as was our Toronto web designers. We kicked off our discovery process as usual with our brand discovery questionnaire to get everyone thinking and sharing ideas. Design for startups is unique in that, for the most part, we’re working with a blank slate in all regards of the project, and our clients rely on our expertise and creative experience to really bring their ideas to life.
Understanding the unique nature of this branding project, we collected a series of different beef jerky packages both from Canada and the US and laid them all out. As a group, we identified what was working and what was not for the competitor’s branding and package design and began compiling a list of elements we wanted to include in our work for Dick Duff’s.
It is during the discovery phase of a project we would usually study the website analytics profile to learn more about what type of users are interested in the business or product and how they’re engaging with the brand. In the case of a startup, we just don’t have this detailed information to work from. It is in scenarios like this that our clients genuinely place their trust in the capable hands of our Toronto web design agency.
As part of our team began the creative logo design work, our web design and development experts started building the initial sitemap for the website to follow. Through exploring the sitemap with our client, we help them understand and create the navigational experience that users will eventually use to engage with their brand and products.
Following our site mapping exercise, we develop wireframes that are shared with our client through a prototyping tool to allow them to experience the wireframes in context. Wireframes serve as both a blueprint for the creative user interface design that follows, as well as a visual exercise in establishing page architecture and conversion strategy.
Hand-crafted Logo Design
Creating a logo design, whether it’s a simple refresh or a brand new identity is a challenging task. The logo serves as the cornerstone of a business and is often connected to the owner on a profound and personal level. Of all marketing materials, most companies use the logo is the element that almost never changes. For a logo to enjoy a long successful life, it must be timeless, and the client has to feel like they can depend on it for years to come. Understanding these basic facts, our Toronto logo designers carefully crafted three initial concepts to share with our clients. Each idea appealing to the underlying nostalgia and passion jerky lovers share, but approaching the emotions in unique visual directions.
In most cases, we avoid presenting too many different ideas to our clients to avoid confusing them with too many ideas and also making a tough decision a little simpler by keeping everyone focused on just a few core ideas.
Ultimately, we all settled on a rustic design that featured an iconic compass and traditional feeling and sense of simplicity. One of the many great elements at play in the new logo design is the ruggedness or texture that offers our designers an opportunity to carefully weave the brand element into the rest of the creative work.