Portfolio Case Study: Yinsa
The All-Inclusive Design Intensive
Phase I: Brand Design
Have you ever had a project that just ignites your soul and inspires the heck outta you? For me, this was one of those projects. When Daniele came to me looking for help with her brand and website, she was in the early stages of planning her business. She had a strong idea of what she wanted and needed in a brand and business model, but was struggling to find clarity. Even then, though, she knew one thing for certain: She wanted to come flying out of the gates with a powerful, captivating brand presence. And truthfully, she deserves nothing less: Daniele is an incredible human being, with an incredible mission to change lives through the teaching and practice of yin yoga and ayurveda. Yinsa is a lifestyle that aims to align your body, mind and spirit through yoga, meditation, and ayurvedic wellness -- including Daniele's high-quality handmade ayurvedic skincare line. Her products are made out of her home in NYC with premium essential oils and natural ingredients, and they're designed to support your doshic constitution (in other words, the body type and disposition tendencies you were born with).
After a careful review of Daniele's discovery questionnaire, her notes to me and the branding of her competitors, I determined that the development of a high-end, luxury aesthetic was essential. I explored both script-based, whimsical design options as well as modern, minimalist designs. Ultimately, I settled on a hybrid - a sleek, minimalist brand with hand-drawn elements throughout. My reasoning behind this is that her ICA demonstrates a tendency toward luxury brands (typically characterized by beautiful, clean-lined design), but also an appreciation for art. I felt that the final design presented the best of both worlds, while also embracing characteristics such as inspiration, balance, and beauty mentioned in Daniele's questionnaire. Additionally, while script-based logos are beautiful, they are also trendy, and will inevitably fall out of fashion. From a professional perspective, I felt strongly that it was important to design a high-quality brand that can endure the test of time as it continues to grow and change.
I created Daniele's logo designs with ayurveda, yoga and wellness in mind. Skia, the primary font used in the Yinsa logo suite, is a typeface often seen in yoga and wellness brands, and serves as a nod to the yoga-centric elements of Yinsa's overall brand. The icon is a custom tridoshic symbol, illustrated and designed to highlight the ayurvedic facet of the Yinsa brand. The design suite also included icon variations that feature custom-illustrated icons for all three doshas, as well as the five ayurvedic elements: water, fire, ether, air, earth. We even had some fun with digitizing Daniele's handwritten signature, which makes for a darling detail on her blog and printed stationery!
The ultimate challenge in designing the Yinsa brand was to find a color palette that enhances the logo's design by capturing positive, magnetic vibrations and incorporating dosha color associations -- all without overwhelming the eye. To successfully achieve this, I ultimately chose a gradient rainbow color palette in muted pastels that would accommodate the wide variety of dosha colors (essentially, every color in the rainbow). This approach allowed us to seamlessly and beautifully integrate ayurvedic color theory without negatively impacting the brand's overall aesthetic. In fact, in my opinion, this beautiful, bright color palette works in perfect harmony with the overall design, creating exactly the kind of positive, inspiring, and magnetic feel the Yinsa brand needs. It's so captivating that I still can't stop stealing glances at it, even a month later!
In summary, the ultimate goal for Yinsa was to design a high-quality brand that is inspiring, beautiful, magnetic, balanced and positive. Due to Daniele's target market and future goals, the development of a sleek, competitive and highly unique logo was essential. The challenge was to incorporate symbolic yoga and ayurvedic elements without looking like every other yoga or ayurveda brand. With custom-illustrated design elements and a show-stopping color palette, this concept is powerful enough to propel the Yinsa brand forward for years to come.
Phase II: Website Design & Copywriting
This website was a BLAST AND A HALF to design, my friends. During the discovery phase, I ask all of my clients to list three websites they love, and what it is about the aesthetic that draws them in. This is a fun exercise because in addition to giving clients an opportunity to explicitly communicate their preferences, it also helps me to identify other things they like but may not have even realized they like! In Daniele's case, for example, she expressed an interest in 'creative' and 'whimsical' sites. When I visited the sites she listed, I immediately picked up on one thing she hadn't mentioned -- each website was chalk full of animation! So, I focused primarily on creating a layered whimsical design that is on-brand yet artistic, and I also included a number of animated features since it was clear that Daniele gravitated towards designs with animation as well.
The Yinsa brand is a playful one, so writing copy was a breeze -- and tons of fun! I kept the tone relaxed, friendly and humorous - but also informative; Since the Yinsa brand is a reflection of its founder, Daniele, I felt it only appropriate to give the brand a voice with qualities Daniele embodies herself. It was important, however, that the Yinsa website spoke not only to experienced Yogis and ayurvedic practitioners, but also to beginners and "your average Jane." I knew this would be a challenge, but I also knew we had one thing working in our favor: I didn't know a single thing about ayurveda before my project with Daniele, which made me the perfect test subject for her content! I wrote with people like me in mind, and even coded in a tooltip hover feature to help visitors easily understand certain words. (Tooltip hover is a feature that provides a definition for a word when you hover over it. Pretty neat!)
My clients also learn quickly that I'm kind of big on surprises (a.k.a. party favors), and Daniele's project was no exception! This woman is one VERY busy bee, and hosts workshops and events in NYC like nobody's business. I knew from the start that she'd need a way to keep track of -- and promote -- her events, so I took the liberty of building an events calendar into the Yinsa website. Daniele is also killing it on Instagram, which is where she promotes her business the most -- so I created a custom Instagram link tree hosted by her website. I also designed and wrote a custom 404/error page for her site to keep it on-brand. (I think this page has my favorite copy on the whole website!)
Be sure to take a tour of the live site for the full experience.
Psst… Want to hear what Daniele thought of her experience?
Keep scrolling to read her testimonial!
Phase III: Brand Collateral
In addition to designing her brand and website, I also helped Daniele design her business cards, social media collateral, and even her product packaging. And to be honest, with how FUN the Yinsa brand is, this ended up being more like play and less like work! We designed several variations of her business cards and some really cool wraparound labels for her skincare line. Check them out!
Daniele’s Story & Testimonial
How did you feel about your brand and/or website before working with Jessica?
I always loved my name and tagline, but I wanted my logo and color palette to better reflect both my target client and my own style. I had a lot of ideas, but couldn't synthesize them.
What fears did you have, if any, before hiring Jessica?
I was afraid that because she was in a different time zone and I couldn't actually meet with her in person, it would be hard to communicate back and forth in real time.
I chose Jessica as the perfect designer for me because...
I had interviewed multiple candidates in my area, but none of them were able to communicate as effectively. In addition, most squarespace designers have a style that repeats with their clients - Jess had a lot of variety.
How do you feel about your brand and/or website after working with Jessica?
Working with Jessica was the single best decision I have made regarding the launch of my brand. The investment in the lux package made it easy to get everything I needed, including business strategy, from one person. She even coordinated with my printer and took extra calls to make sure production of my skin-care labels was seamless. She provided social media advice when I had a meltdown, gave suggestions about photography, and was eternally patient with me when I couldn't figure out what I wanted or needed to edit some things to meet my budgetary needs. I know I will continue to work with her in the future because she has so much expertise in what I need.
What was your favorite part of the Two Weeks to Launch Experience?
I loved the fact that you researched my industry before we began and gave me a perspective from someone who was new to ayurveda. You showed how committed you were to making sure that I was entering the market in an ideal position, and made it clear what was working and what wasn't. Lastly, I have never met a more effective communicator. If our interactions weren't so specific to my brand and web design I would definitely think you weren't real! You draft such detailed and effective responses so quickly, which was comforting.
What do you want other prospective clients to know about my Two Weeks to Launch process?
It is possible to get an insane amount of work done in two weeks. There are plenty of check-ins for feedback. It is worth every penny to get the luxe package, even if you think your brand is on point - it's 100% worth it!
What was your favorite thing about working with me?
Your joy, support, love, encouragement, work ethic, and honesty.
Do you have any additional feedback for me?
I have nothing, you're amazing!