Help create a blog platform for to attract people who live in and around St. Paul, MN to spend their vacation in St. Paul. Capital City Partnership, the organization that funded and organized the project, support the downtown St. Paul business coop, but the focus was to remain for the entire city.
Setup and design website
Create social media strategy
Create and connect with social media platforms and blog feed managers
Develop branding guidelines
Setup and support bloggers
During the design kickoff, we discussed social media strategy, blog topics to user test- exactly what vent, if any, was the sum of it’s parts going to have in common. This was the first hurdle to getting us on the same page regarding how we were going to market and goals for branding and would give us a launching off point for logo. It was clear that we needed to cover a lot of territory to cover the breadth of what St. Paul has to offer, so we opted to keep everything extremely simple and focus on photography- one gorgeous photo for each blog post. This helped the business solidify their bloggers and gave me the direction that I needed to start logo and rough information architecture for the site.
I chose WordPress, since this is my CMS of choice and particularly because this follows a traditional blogging format. Wordpress has really grown up to a legitimate CMS, but will always have blogging at it’s roots. I kept to a simple black palette with ultra simple design elements and navigation to highlight the photography.
The logo direction that I received was to make it fresh and modern and they agreed that it should be fairly simple- likely just text. They also really only liked the idea of STAYCATION in all caps. They liked the ultra-simple wordmark concept, but weren’t originally sure if they liked the inclusion of a handwritten script element. They finally agreed after we shopped it around to the bloggers who were on-boarding and a select other beta users that acted as our original marketing research. After a couple rounds of refinements we landed on something very light and airy “Staycation”, with a custom hand-scripted element for “Saint Paul”. The addition of color to a full color logo helped differentiate the “Stay” in Staycation.