Brand and Web Design for SGYS

By Sara Stuart

Shortly after I had launched Sarasure and began blogging, I couldn't believe how fun and fulfilling it became for me. This newfound passion and drive led to multiple conversations with my family and somewhere along the way, two of my siblings joined in on the fun.

For example, my brother, Joe, is a musician/visual artist/video blogger (vlogger) and has a YouTube channel called Minimize to Satisfy whereas my sister, Steph, is the creator and blogger behind a fun, personal fashion and lifestyle blog called SGYS. What can I say? I clearly come from a very creative and expressive family.

I'm particularly excited for today's design project launch because it involves the brand development and web design for my sister's blog. So let's recount this personal collaboration by taking a look at how SGYS was made.

Branding for SGYS Lifestyle Blog


Inspiration Board

Clean, bold, feminine, modern, friendly, and fun were a few adjectives Steph used to describe her vision for SGYS. Drawn to a messy watercolor texture and a pastel color scheme, she also admired bold lines and the sharp contrast of black and white with a hint of bright, metallic copper. 

I started off the project by asking Steph to create a separate, secret board on Pinterest and fill it up with photos that suited the visual inspiration she desired for her brand. Here's a look at what I did with some of them.

SGYS Inspiration Board

When I reviewed her board, it was eerily similar to how I had mine for Sarasure. The thin, organic meets geometric line art was a definite reoccurring theme while the soft, feminine look of calligraphy represented itself as well.

Design preferences must be genetic...



Next, I took to sketching out a few ideas using the SGYS inspiration board as my guide. My mission was to create something clean and orderly with a splash of friendly chaos.

SGYS Logo Sketches

SGYS had three logo concepts to choose from.

SGYS Logo Concepts

Stephanie had originally expressed interest in using the shape of a wire hanger for a logo concept. It wasn't until after I incorporated this with the SGYS lettering that we both agreed it wasn't the strongest option and decided that we would use a similar shape for the submark instead.

Concept one became the best choice because it was easier to read, was simple yet bold, and it meshed well with each branding adjective. The form of this logo is both feminine and modern and exhibits a great deal of fun, playful energy.

SGYS Brand Style Guide


Brand Style Guide

From there, I made a brand style guide laying out all that was made to bring the SGYS brand to life. This included various illustrations and icons that paired Steph's beloved watercolor texture with sharp, black line art.

SGYS Brand Style Guide


Web Design

Once all of the artwork had been designed and approved, I began working on the SGYS website by applying graphics, color schemes, and photography to the Squarespace template of Steph's choice. A few coding tweaks here and there led to this clean, modern, and user-friendly website.



Social Media Cover Art

The fun continued with custom social media cover art for each social media account in promotion for the SGYS website launch.

SGYS G+ Cover Art

As of November 7th, the SGYS blog is up and running! Check it out and let us know what you think!

Are you in dire need of a personal brand that fits for your blog? If so, contact Sarasure for a free consultation!

Brand and Website Design for Viridian Ivy Images

By Sara Stuart

I recently had the pleasure of working with a very talented local photographer named Jessica Patton. Last summer, Jess did an engagement session with Zach and myself and we absolutely adored her and her style. So when she contacted me to rename and rebrand her business, I jumped at the chance to work with her again.

Viridian Ivy Photography Brand and Logo Design

I truly believe that the people who walk into your life are there for a reason. Jess is the type of person that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed when you hate taking photos (like me) to capture moments that feel authentic. She spends time getting to know her clients and once you meet her, you’ll see that she’s as genuine as her work. Her subject matter is very much influenced by raw emotion and her love for the outdoors. Based in Northwest Ohio, she’s more than happy to travel for her clients and the right location.

Now that I’ve given you some background on Jess, here’s a walk through our branding adventure together.



We began the project by focusing on a brand new name. Jess wanted a name that conveyed emotion, was inspired by nature, told a story, and had a vintage ring to it. Most importantly, she wanted something that reflected her new vision and would suit her ideal audience. Shortly after I assessed her answers to the questions I had given her at the start of the project, I began researching names. (I had so much fun with this process that I created a post about it here.) A few tweaks and eliminations here and there led to Viridian Ivy Images.

The word viridian means blue-green. From the beginning Jess expressed her love for blue mason jars, earthly accents, and almost everything nautical. This color alone brought out a description for all three of these interests and felt poetic. Whereas the word ivy symbolized memory, faithfulness, friendship, and marriage. Together, they fit what we were trying to express quite well.


Inspiration Board

In addition to giving Jess a project worksheet filled with questions about her new name, brand, and website, I asked her to create a Pinterest board that illustrated her vision for her new brand. Earthy, natural, authentic, emotional, and airy were a few adjectives she had given me as an answer to describe how she wanted others to see her brand. From there, I took all that I was given to create an inspiration board that suited the tone, color scheme, and design aesthetic we were after.

Viridian Ivy Inspiration Board



Then I began creating logo concepts that reflected Jess’s new name, inspiration board, and design goals. It was clear that she loved calligraphy and script font, so I started with a few basic sketches, and then took to hand lettering.

Viridian Ivy Logo Sketch

We ended up with four different concepts to choose from.

Viridian Ivy Photography Logo Concepts

After much consideration, Jess and I agreed on the first concept. This hand lettered logo had movement that was light and airy while the softer texture and color gave off a natural, earthy feel.

Viridian Ivy Photography Logo


Brand Style Guide

Once we had a logo chosen and finalized, I started working on a submark that would double as a watermark for Jess to use for her preview shots. We were both very interested in exploring additional visuals that could be used in her website design, so I created a flourished submark plus several ivy vine illustrations and icons. Here’s a look at the entire brand style guide for Viridian Ivy Images:

Viridian Ivy Brand Style Guide


Website Design

Using the Squarespace account I had asked Jess to sign-up with, I added in the content and photography that she supplied to me. Next, I began implementing her branding elements into the design. Since Jess and I share a deep appreciation for texture, I added in a lace texture to the hover animation over the buttons. For those of you who enjoy texture just as much, you might like my post on effectively applying this to your website design here.

The overall website is very clean, organized, and representative to her new brand. Here’s a snapshot of her homepage:

Viridian Ivy Website Homepage Design

To spice up Jess’s about page, I also created six interest icons that illustrated her content.

Viridian Ivy Interest Icons


Social Media

Since Jess chose my brand and web design package (Package B), it included three different social media art pieces that we decided to focus on the Viridian Ivy Facebook page. Here are a few of my favorites:

Viridian Ivy FB Banner
Viridian Ivy Facebook Banner
Viridian Ivy Facebook Banner Design

As of August, 26th the website for Viridian Ivy Images has officially launched! Check it out for yourself here and let me know what you think!

Are you in need of a new brand and website? If so, feel free to browse my services, view my process, and contact me for a free consultation.

Five Fun Facts About Me

By Sara Stuart

Compared to most, I'm a pretty private person and I usually keep things to myself, my family, and closest friends. I think this is something Ron Swanson (from Parks and Recreation) and I have in common. However, since I'm new to the world of blogging, I thought I'd break the ice by sharing five fun facts about myself. Here we go!

Fun facts about Sara Stuart

1. I'm A Natural Night Owl

I was born a little bit before midnight and while I was a baby, my mother had difficulty getting me to fall asleep at night because I wanted to sleep during the day instead. Ever since then, it's been a running joke that I'm a natural night owl amongst my family. Although I primarily work within normal business hours, I'll occasionally stay up late if I feel restless or inspired. My thoughts are often clearer, I feel more productive, and it's nice to have some quiet time alone.


2. I Have A History With Cherry Pop-Tarts

One of my earliest memories as a child involves a Pop-Tart. Unable to sleep, I was hungry and I got up out of my bed to find my mom eating a cherry Pop-Tart at the kitchen table late at night. Being the oldest out of four children, I saw this as some quality one-on-one time, so I decided to join her. It was so satisfying that after that one time, I developed a habit of eating when I couldn't sleep. What's my go-to snack now? It's always a cherry Pop-Tart.


3. I'm Very Fond of Birds

My parents were strictly against having cats and dogs in the house, so we owned birds and guinea pigs instead. I've had three pet parakeets throughout my life and even though two flew out the window, I successfully trained one. Basically, I have always had a fascination with birds and I think this has influenced some of my other interests. For example, I started playing the flute because it sounded like a bird.


4. I'm A Bit Accident-Prone

Not to brag or anything but I have a knack for getting injured by the strangest things. I've broken my arm by falling off a mountain bike, inflicted scars on my foot by jumping off of a rogue segway, and have broken my jaw by crashing my dirt bike into a tree. As you might expect, I'm pretty selective with my methods of travel now. Now my husband likes to poke fun at me whenever we spot a segway by calling it my "arch nemesis."


5. J'adore les Français

Ever since I took my first foreign language class in high school, I have had an immense appreciation for the french language and culture. I can't recall how many times I've watched Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, and let's not forget Amélie. I think it's safe to say I'm a Francophile.

Do you have any fun facts you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to hear some!