I decided not long ago that something I'd like to focus on with Caliya is the journal, or blog. I'm not normally a big writer or 'sharer' lets say, but I've always had a thought in the back of my mind that it's something I'd like to do, so, this is it. I'd like to begin with a post about my design work, and with that, start a little series where I breakdown the process of some of my projects, and show how my ideas develop into final pieces.

I recently worked on a project with my friend Meaghan, the owner of Norde Bridal, on a re-brand of her independent wedding dress shop here in Ottawa. She wanted to take her original brand (The Handmade Bride) in another direction, and I was lucky enough to be able to travel there with her. First things first, a logo. But before the logo, Meaghan (I'm sure) spent hours upon hours pinterest-ing new imagery that she felt more closely represented her re-invented brand, and from that we were able to get started on some logo designs.


This was my first series of digital 'sketches'. Meaghan is someone who has very strong artistic visions, and really had a clear direction for the brand so I really wanted to do it justice. Meaghan's mood boards had lots of moons, minimal modern & muted details, and a Scandanavian & raw artistic inspiration. Which of course I loved. I had this idea that with the name NORDE BRIDAL, and us being in the great white north, that I wanted to play off of that northern feeling. So, I started to work with different graphic elements that felt nordic to me, like arrows, triangles, evergreen trees forms, and clean lines. I always like the idea of a soft watercolour wash, so naturally I had to throw in some watercolour washes. I found a wash that I had already hand-painted and digitized, and after working with it a little I realized that it was pretty close to the shape of Ottawa, so I actually formed it to have a shape similar to our capital city. Another element that I really wanted to play up was the minimalism, and I thought an interesting way of doing that might be with the letter forms. I tried taking away parts of letters that I didn't see as 'necessary' to be able to read the word, and let your eyes fill the rest in on their own. I played with different ways of doing that, but in the end I really liked having negative space in the R's and D's. 

I took these drafts to Meaghan, and it turns out I didn't nail her vision (totally okay). She had seen a motif with two moons that she couldn't forget, so we ended up moving more in that direction. We stripped down the details, kept it approachable so that it wasn't too 'trendy' and didn't artistically exclude parts of her target market. She wanted a logo that she wouldn't get sick of in a couple years, one that was a bit more classic.  



These are versions of the final logo we ended up on, and a monogram design.

After we worked on the logo, Meaghan quickly realized that she was going to have to produce new imagery for her website if she wanted to have her re-brand be cohesive. So, cue me, stepping in to bring her mood board to life. I had never really worked in this way on a scale bigger than a school assignment or an instagram post. So I was excited! Meaghan gave me more general brand inspiration, and I could see her vision very clearly. I quickly whipped up my own mood board to communicate the feeling I was going for. From there I began sourcing props, pulling together styling pieces, planning the different shots we needed, and thinking about the different ways we could play with light and composition. All keeping in mind the core values of her new brand.


I used this moodboard as inpiration for a lot of the elements that we included in the shoot. I even created some custom paint swatches, a few fashion croquis, and included some of my own materials

The day we shot was so much fun. I always love seeing visions come to life, and in this case we had so many ideas and they ended up coming together so nicely. The photographers that were shooting this project also shot my wedding, they're just my absolute favourite, and I think they really captured our vision so well. 

shoutout to @jonathankuhnphotography (love you guys)


(also, in true throwback handmade bride fashion, I also modeled for the project) 

here are a few of the final pics

It was such a dream project, and I was so happy to have the opportunity to create a logo AND help build the brand even further with curated imagery. I also loved being able to collaborate with a few of my favourite creative minds.

Thanks Meg! 

Check out @nordebridal on insta and also their website for more info about how awesome they are