I am super excited to formally introduce you all to our new branding and logo! I know many of you have already seen it on Instagram and on patterns you've been receiving in the mail, but I wanted to officially roll it out and talk about each piece.
So first up, the new logo! I have been using the same spool of thread and needle logo since day one, and it came with many design challenges, so I stopped using it on our actual pattern covers, which anyone would tell you is really not a great move for brand consistency. And while I knew this, I went with it anyway because it just didn't fit the envelopes when I went from the first launch design to a new design soon after. So I was really ready for something new and something to last for a very long time.
This was the first time I hired someone else to do my logo and I'm so happy I did. Huge thanks to Kris (formally of Colette Patterns) for nailing exactly what I wanted and for being so great to work with. The goal was to maintain our feminine and vintage feel, but make it more minimal, clean, and modern. I also wanted it to work in straight black and white, as well as with coloring. I am so happy with how it turned out! You will see the logo change on everything shortly as each platform gets rebranded.
In conjunction with the new logo came new fonts. This might not be exciting to some of you, but I was very ready for a change! In addition to on the logo itself, the new fonts appear on the newly printed tissue patterns - the Lottie Dress & Shirt, the Emery Dress, and the Ellsworth Coat - as well as in the new Lottie and Ellsworth instruction booklets. It too will become the main font on everything shortly, though some web fonts will remain as is.
New Paper Envelope
In addition to the booklets and patterns, you will see the new logo and font on the new paper envelopes! Changing from a plastic ziplock sleeve to a paper envelope was a HOT topic of discussion! I know some of you will love it, and some of you will be sad to see the plastic sleeve go away. I have discussed this with lots of students, shop owners, and fellow indie pattern designers, and there's no one winner on this topic.
Most students told me that they love having the plastic sleeve to put everything in after opening and using the pattern. But most shop owners told me that they had a hard time displaying the plastic sleeve on anything but a peg board, they slid all over the place, making the pattern impossible to stack or sit on shelves, and the shine of the plastic sleeve made the patterns un-photographable for promotion. Most of the indie pattern designers fell in the middle - as users we agree that the plastic sleeve is nice, but as designers there's something cheap and un-elegant about them. In the end, I know that not everyone will love one or the other, so I decided to make the switch, since I prefer the paper. It has a better physical feel to it, and the paper used is matte, so it has an earthy nature to it that I like. But I've accepted that some of you will tear it open, throw it away, and stick everything inside a plastic ziplock.
As for the envelope design itself, the covers were redesigned with the new logo, and some additional minor changes. First, I went to a less busy backdrop, changing from a two color scallop design to a one color background with tiny gray polkadots. The pattern name font at the top returned to the font used in the very first run of our patterns, which is also used in the new logo, and the number and sizing font at the bottom changed to match the second font used in the logo as well. The vintage-inspired ladies remain on the cover, as that is a signature of our branding and will never change.
The envelope backs are very similar to the previous design, with the back version of the pattern in the same illustrated style as the covers, and all the information you need to know to sew up the pattern - size charts and yardage requirements in both metric and imperial, fabric suggestions, difficulty rating, notions, description, and more. There's also a new spot where the hashtag for the pattern is listed, so you know how to properly hashtag your makes on social media if you're in the habit of sharing! We love seeing your makes, and we know others do too, so putting them all into the same pool is the best way for us all to admire your projects!
New Instruction Booklets
The instruction booklets are now inside the paper envelope, so they are no longer front and center in the clear envelope. With that in mind, I decided to go with all black and white ink and change all the paper to a lightweight stock, as the outer layer no longer required the card stock thickness or color ink. These are all those little details that people like me deal with everyday. Making sure you all get the best product, while being concerned about the weight for shipping and the user experience.
The new branding carries over from the envelope cover, and the back of the booklet has all the same back of the envelope information, so you have it on both pieces (that way if you do choose to discard the paper envelope, you still have everything you need in the booklet), and the new fonts are inside the pages too. There's also a slight reformatting of the layout inside the booklets as well. Nothing major, just a little cleaner and tighter. A refresh if you will.
Waste and Perfectionism
So, all of this sounds so great, right? Well, yes of course it does! But here's the downside of the realities of small business: we cannot afford to reprint all the pieces of all the patterns all at once. And, even if we could, what is to be done with the pieces already in-house? Should it all just be recycled and tossed because it has the old logo on it? Environmentally and financially, of course not. But the perfectionist in me wants everything to be all the same immediately. So while packing orders, placing the Marianne Dress (with old branding) into an mailing envelope along side the Ellsworth Coat (with new branding), and inserting our mailer from a couple of months ago (with old branding) just hurts. Before the new pieces arrived, I was just fine with the old branding, so it's not like it's no longer good or relevant. It just doesn't all match. And the anal side in me is totally annoyed by that.
But this isn't necessarily a small business problem. I mean, what does any big brand do when they rebrand? They ship the new, and on the shelves of the shops around the world, the old and the new have to coexist. Does insert big box brand here pull all the old stock from the shelves to ensure it all matches. Of course not. So as things run out, they too will be reprinted in the new design and in time, it all will match. Phew! This is when my serious anal perfectionism really glares!
One other note of perfectionism is to be mentioned - the envelopes. Most of the envelopes used by my printer were wrong. How wrong? About 1/4" wrong. Yeah, we know that's super duper minor, but it's wrong. If you received a paper envelope from us, most of you will see that the size and yardage chart runs into the seam on the paper on the back. Yeah, that's wrong. I of course designed it to fit, but they used the wrong envelope and the printing runs into the seam. Also, the printing on the Ellsworth Coat envelope back is way thicker than it should be. Sure, these are minor issues, and I even hesitated mentioning them, but after months of work and redesigning and moving things a tiny bit here and there, it really bothers me that it's wrong. But the options were to throw all the stock away and reprint, and in the process delaying everything; or send them out anyway. After discussing this with many people, everyone agreed that most customers won't even notice it, and that all the information is there and legible, which is the most important part.
So, I take a deep breath and let it go. Big picture, right? These are the things we fuss and stress over, but in the end, they are tiny and learning to let things go and move forward is part of life. So we celebrate all that is right, and accept the things that turned out ever so slightly wrong.
The Ellsworth Coat and Lottie Dress & Shirt patterns are 100% all designed in the new format - new logo and font on the patterns, new envelopes, and new instruction booklets; the Emery Dress pattern has a new pattern and envelope, but we still had a lot of the old booklets in stock, so that piece doesn't match; the Marianne Dress and Sylvie Dress patterns are still using the old booklet, pattern, and plastic sleeve, but will be getting a paper envelope shortly; and the Chelsea Dress and Derby Dress patterns still have the original large paper instructions, beige tissue, and those pieces will also soon be inserted into new paper envelopes.
In the new year, all the PDF patterns will be rebranded to match as well, and the Chop Chop PDF pattern series will be slightly redesigned to match too.
As most of you know, it's been a year of a lot of change for me, and this refresh feels really good, both moving forward with the brand, as well as emotionally. It's really a time for starting anew and reevaluating everything. But one thing is for sure, my little pattern company isn't going anywhere. We are refreshed and ready for the new year!
Thanks as always to everyone for their constant support, and if you actually read all of this, thank you! Clearly you nerd out on things like fonts and paper stock too!