Branding: Sea of Atlas

If you have been following along with our journey on instagram then you know we have been busily working on the branding for our new name, Sea of Atlas. With the full intention of being more transparent and letting everyone in on the behind the scenes of the process, we have been posting a lot of our sketches on social media. It has been so fun letting everyone in on our day to day life as a creative studio. I love seeing everyone getting excited about our change, people jumping in to support specific logos, giving us soul-filled loving advice, and just simply getting to hear what fresh eyes have to say. Some times, as an artist and a designer, I can get too close to my own personal work (like branding for my own company—ha) and having a new perspective has allowed me to really step back to reflect on it all. While I still hold true to my designer gut, you folks have seen things in certain sketches that I haven't that have actually caused things to change and happen as the logo evolved. That is seriously so cool to me! It's like having a piece of you all tucked into the brand.

So today, I would like to jump back a little and show you what happened behind the scenes before the sketching phase. While we were getting prepared to announce our big change, I wrote up a whole business plan and started gathering images that spoke to what the new brand would stand for. There was a lot of good solid planning of what Sea of Atlas was going to be and look like. So today, I figured I would share the mood board that I built during that step. My vision for our new brand is for it to teeter on the line of handmade and sophisticated. Handmade is who we are. Its in our roots and veins. But with this brand, I'm ready to add some more class into it. We will focus on cleaner lines but keep them organic. Our photographs will be dramatic and crisp but focused on our natural and free lifestyle. I feel like this brand is me stepping up to really embrace the strong woman that I am. Light Rust was a young girl—I was so unsure of my path when I started. Now, after having a couple years of experience in the small business world, I feel empowered and ready for bigger and better things. I wanted it to not just be a company but a lifestyle. Sea of Atlas is about embodying our surroundings and our natural talents to create fresh living and designs.

Everything is just feeling good and right. I am focused on making sure our new brand stands the test of time. I want it to happen organically and not rush it. I have been going internally slow and trying to be aware of every step. And while I do love the transparency, there will be times where I pull away from showing everything because some of it HAS to be a surprise, right? I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with you all by my side!

Thank you for all the love and support you have freely given so far. It means so much to us!

If you follow along with our journey on instagram, you know that we revealed our new logo a little while ago (okay...months—sorry!). During the process we wanted to be completely transparent and allow our followers to have a voice. We each have our own unique skills and visions; we all see things different. To be able to create and have that input from other designers, current and potential clients, friends, and family was really eye opening. It was beautiful to feel like I had a community behind me and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be apart of that tribe.

Building an empowered and relatable brand is not easy but it's important in order to grab the attention of your dream clients. Starting over, I didn't want to take any shortcuts to get to that sweet spot. I could have done the branding by myself with no one to answer to like I have in the past. I am a designer after all—that is what I do and I trust my designer gut—but I wanted this branding process to be different. So, I sat there thinking, how could I make this something special? Something unique while inviting my wonderful tribe of people into the process. I began sketching and realized, I could simply show each step and get the feedback from the people that are most important to the brand—you. This could be a transparent guide to how our branding process works when we go through it ourselves or when our clients hire us to do their branding.

Throughout the process, I pictured us in the studio together working hard to make sure that this brand was going to be all that it could be. I would complete the sketches and we would all gather at a large table to critique the ideas. But we had to work with what we had and thanks to social media, we were able to create a round table for free discussion on instagram and facebook. After the first round, I had a viewpoint that I never had before. I could see it fully from your eyes—my dream client—and the people who understand me and my story. I went back to the sketch book a second, third, and fourth time and finally produced something that my soul sang.

And not only did it make me jump with joy, but you all were joining in sharing the love! Now that is a designers dream reassurance. Now at this point, if we were all in the studio, I would have ran to the table, screamed for everyone to get there while jumping like a mad woman, thrown my notebook down on the table, and attempted to sing some sort of opera song. Everyone would have ran over, started jumping and hugging each other (I probably would then began crying because I love you all so much). We would have put some good tunes on, and danced with glee around the table—we were almost there!

Now, it was time to let my design skills and gut completely take over. We had the logo just about there but it needed some really thoughtful tweaking. The sketches needed to become a real logo. After some reflection, a few more rounds in the sketchbook doing slight reiterations one after another, it finally came screaming off the page. I found it. We found it.

Our new logo is bold. It's organic. It's empowering. It's intentionally created. And most importantly, it's full of the creativity and love from our tribe. Now this is definitely the point where we would have thrown a wild studio party because our hearts were just so incredibly happy. I'm talking balloons, confetti, cake—the whole shebang. This was one of our ultimate highs and we are so happy we were able to share it all together.

Ever since it was revealed to the world, we have been updating the rest of our branding materials and elements—website, business cards, social media outlets, copy—anything we had left a mark on with the old name has or is being refreshed. This is our new beginning and our time to show you just what it is we are truly made of. We're excited to continue to cover all bases on our rebrand. You'll start to see some more site updates and in January we have a whole new blog layout coming straight at ya! We are so excited to have it all be cohesive, inspiring, and to finally be the brand we always knew we could be. Stay tuned my friends!

And to all of you who helped us along the way, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

It has been a long time coming but last month I finally redesign our business cards to match the new Sea of Atlas branding that has been slowly rolling out over the past year. Changing the name of my business from Light Rust Studio to Sea of Atlas was one of the biggest leaps I have taken during this journey. Once you establish a name and work so hard to get yourself out there, it's difficult to say—hey, let's change. After a few years though, I knew it was the right time to make the switch. The studio had grown and evolved so much since the beginning and it needed a new name to match the unique path I've created with it.

Back in summer 2015, I finally said screw it and went for it. I am proud to say that I have absolutely no regrets! I'm a firm believer that if something in your gut is telling you to change or do something—you do it. (No. Questions. Asked.) Otherwise, it will continue to keep returning and with something like a rename—well, it's better to do it earlier rather than later. After working with a good number of small businesses on branding during a rename process, I am confident in that advice. As you continue to move along, you are only building and establishing yourself more and under what? A name that doesn't match what you do, push you out from the crowd, or empower you? Doesn't make much sense, does it?

With the new Sea of Atlas brand, it was all about establishing a more bold and contrasted look that fit my own personal style as well as the studios. Using my illustrations and hand lettering to tie into some strong clear fonts allowed my business cards to be easily legible, sophisticated, and—my favorite—timeless. Our branding is all about being open and allowing Sea of Atlas to continue to grow and evolve to continuously match who I want to be as a creative. 

For so long I printed my own business cards but when I moved from the States, I made the decision to outsource all of my printing. It has been a huge time saver and open the door to so many exciting options. While I typically work with a local printer, I decided to give MOO a try this time around with their Luxe paper. I could not be more pleased. They are beautifully sturdy and I feel unbelievably proud handing these out.

Its been a long and winding journey with this little studio of mine and I am so in love with the work I get to produce. To have business cards that now match that passion and quality feels oh-so-good!

What do you think of our new design? I would love to hear your thoughts!