MJP's got a new look
It’s here! MJP has a new look - including a new logo, colour palette, fonts, and new website and content. It’s been a major labour of love, but I’m so pleased with the finished product.
For those of you who read my Goals for 2019 and beyond blog post back in January, you’ll know that I’ve been planning on an MJP rebrand for a long time. I said at the time it would take plenty of time and dedication, and that is something I sure was right about - I feel like I’ve been working on this rebrand for years! It’s been quite a journey and I’ve learnt a whole lot, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about how I got to this point.
Back when I started considering a rebrand, I wanted to lose the MJP name. The little business of mine is something I would love to expand in the future, and to do that, I feel as if I would need to disassociate the brand with my own name.
However, after much debating over possible new names (none of which were particularly unique, catchy or - honestly - likeable) I decided that this wasn’t actually a priority for the brand as it stands now, so MJP Multimedia stuck.
To be honest, as I’ve been writing the content for the site, I’ve started to become pretty attached to the name - so who knows, maybe it is meant to last?
I decided very early on that I wanted the new colour palette to feature light, bright colours to represent the youth and quirkiness of the brand - very different from the black, white, grey and dusty pink of my old branding.
I chose to stay away from the harshness of absolute black, instead opting for a slightly lighter ‘dark grey’, but kept to the idea using a lot of white to maintain freshness. I played with a ridiculous amount of combinations of red, yellow and blue/green before deciding on a trio I was happy with, and then coming up with light/dark variants and secondary colours.
The main issue I have had over the years with the name ‘MJP Multimedia’ is that due to the shape of the letter ‘P’, whenever you place ‘Multimedia’ below ‘MJP’, it never quite looks centered. Annoying! This meant that I decided very early on that I wanted the name to stay in a horizontal line.
I also wanted to have a logo which included an icon which could be used on it’s on to represent the brand - and as I often shorten the brand name to simply ‘MJP’, this seemed like an obvious choice.
When it came to font for the icon and logotype, I wanted to incorporate a hand-lettered element into the design - and so after a bunch of brain-storming and tweaking of designs, I came up with the MJP mark. After playing around with it, I realised it worked really nicely in a circle - which would give me the separate icon I was after. This meant that ‘Multimedia’ needed to stand on its own, and would therefore need its own font. I therefore decided to create a font for the logotype based on my own hand-lettering, specifically the lettering I used to use on the back of my greeting cards. This therefore allowed me to create a subtle but stylish link back to my old branding.
I wanted the logo to be super simplistic and easily recognisable, so I wanted to keep it to minimal colours for its primary format. Out of my 3 primary colours, the red is the most bold and eye-catching, and so this became the colour of the logo, along with white and black.
Of course, I would still need regular fonts for my site and creating content/print. I’ve had a long-standing love affair with the simplistic font Lato for as long as I’ve been working in design, and so it seemed only right to use it as my body font. After much research, I decided on the font Karla for my heading text, due to its blocky, eye catching style and it’s great contrast with both Lato and the handwritten font of my logotype.
This takes little introduction, as here you are! At the start of the year, I already had a functioning e-commerce site, but I knew that I wanted to develop it further to make it much more customised.
I decided in early 2019 to migrate to a Shopify site, and so the MK.III site was born. I did this not because there was anything wrong with my old site, but because I wanted 1) to be able to sell my products on my site and 2) have a content management system in place to allow me to update the site more easily. At the time, I was in a rush to get the products live and so used an off-the-shelf theme (shameful for a web developer, I know!).
It was therefore natural to incorporate a website redesign into my rebrand. It involved teaching myself a new coding language in order to work with Shopify’s platform, understanding a new content model and an awful lot of creative thinking to make the existing tools and themes to work with what I needed, but after a bunch of frustration I’m so glad to say I made it work!
A lot of the content as part of my brand is pretty self-explanatory - I take pictures or create mock-ups of the work I’ve done, write copy to go with, and put it on the site. However, I have also added some simple illustrations to act as headers for my blog posts, using colour to differentiate between the Projects, Life and News blogs, and as seen all over social media during the announcement of the rebrand I also create a frame-by-frame animation to represent the new brand.
Created in Rough Animator - starting off with a few still vector frames created in Sketch - I wanted the animation to depict how the brand name has come from my name, Millie Jay Powell, by showing the transition from it being me/my name, into the company name and logo. At the end of the day, this little business started with me working as a wannabe-freelancer, and I want to take it so much further than that!
Still to come…
Of course, it’s not over yet. Over the coming months, if you’re paying attention you will see the content on my social feeds become much more frequent and consistent. I’m planning on launching an email campaign soon, so if you’re subscribed you’ll see that coming into your inbox! And of course, there will be more products coming to the site over the next few months.
With the amount of time and effort that has gone into the rebrand of MJP Multimedia, I cannot wait to see where it goes in the near, and more distant, future. A huge thanks to everyone who has supported, shared, and shopped at MJP so far - and to everyone who has made it to the end of this blog post!
I can’t wait to have more exciting news to share real soon.