For almost 20 years Liberty Blue has been supplying their customers with completely exclusive fashion. Risk-taking with a real sense of humour and originality.
I'm playing all the right notes sunshine, but not necessarily in the right order…
I've known the owners for years, and they'd asked me a few times to work with them on their on-line store. My time's tight as I'm full time with 3 kids, I have to pick my projects carefully. I don't always pick the best paid job but I try and go for job with legs, something that will continue to evolve over a longer period of time. Exposure is another factor. You could do a well paid job for an archaeological project happening in a boggy field in Derrytresk, but it's not going to generate much traffic or interest. Like water on a stone I eventually gave in.
To be honest I was more interested in working on their brand rather than designing a web site. Their brand consisted of this:
So we sat down for several nights over pots of strange green Japanese tea talking about who Liberty Blue was. I drew up a small questionnaire and asked for about 100 responses. From the feedback in the shop we were able to come up with a concise brand identity and accompanying branding guidelines.
Simple Style Guide
The original logo was hand drawn at some point and scanned. So all we had was the raster version. I always tend to steer clear of trends. The swirls and scrolls had become 'trendy' and I felt they ran the risk of looking out-dated in about 18 months. It looked a bit overgrown and cluttered. They liked the hand drawn font and thought it should stay. I got the hedge clippers out, give it a trim and drew the vectors for the font in Freehand. Rather than redesign, it can be a good idea to simply realign. As the great Eric Morcombe once said, "I'm playing all the right notes sunshine, but not necessarily in the right order". I liked parts of their logo, it had all the right parts but I felt most of them were 'not necessarily in the right order'. I applied the new brand to stationery and bags etc
Vectors in Freehand MX
My time is limited, my experience in e-commerce even more so. Marc Johns, the illustrator/artist, had done some work for me and I'd visited his shop a few times to see samples. He used Shopify to drive his site. It looked good, the 'Vogue Theme' looked fairly easy to customise. I had a look at the features and it seemed sensible that you give a company a cut of the profits and they keep adding features, do the backups and bug fixes and all I had to do was do the HTML and CSS. I used Shopify's desktop app Vision, to work on the theme, though the 'Liquid' code was a bit of a learning curve. Again the new brand guidelines and a 12 col grid were used for the on-line shop.
Liberty Blue on-line
It all went live in Spring 2010.