When Michelle and Michael Warner approached us to help them brand their dream business, healing they were excited to finally launch. For years they’d planned and saved to open a boutique wine store in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, price DC. They see their business as more than just selling wine. They’re passionate about sourcing small wineries and educating consumers and becoming an integral part of the community. We also knew that this was their precious baby, recipe and we had to get it right.
Our first meeting was in their home, and Michelle had drawn up a mood board of styles and images she wanted the brand to convey. It was awesome that they were already ahead of us! Part of the process we go through with clients is to create a visual mood board based on the conversation about their brand. Usually we lay out two separate directions the brand could take. Many ideas surface during our initial conversations. The mood boards provide a chance for organizations to see how those different ideas are manifested in both message and tone. Once they choose a direction, it guides the logo, website and brand creation process. Michelle’s creative spirit and enthusiasm were contagious. She shared her vision of a hand-hewn wood table that would be the center of the shop with a funky chandelier and laid out images of art deco ceramic vases for inspiration. When we asked what kind of person might represent the brand, the answer was immediate: Audrey Tautou, whimsical and fun.
The initial logos we sent them explored various aspects of what they wanted to convey. We collaborated with a local artist so all of their options had a hand crafted feel. They chose a version inspired by Art Nouveau, and this style translated into all aspects of their brand through fonts and graphic elements. The couple was also consulting with interior designers for the shop, so all the aspects of the brand had to fit together while being created at the same time.
After producing some basic marketing materials like business cards and flyers, it was time to move onto the website. Michael planned on heading up the blog and anticipated actively creating content as part of the education mission of their business. They wanted the blog website to live on its own while still connecting to the brick and mortar store. The website needed to convey what it felt like to be in the store, and to continue their fun and beloved brand.
DCanter wine boutique is a lovely place to visit if you are in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The owners are lovely and inspiring people. We are grateful to be able to play a part in the creation of their beautiful business.