How we rebranded Jamaica's #1 Digital Design Agency
Mane Design Ja.
About the Project
We’re so happy to announce that Mane Design Ja. is now wwworkshop Design Studio! The name change and brand identity overhaul represent a new direction for our agency and we hope you will join us in this journey.
We’ve been planning this out for a while now (you might have noticed our absence on social media) and are finally ready to introduce wwworkshop to Jamaica and the world. Our new name, wwworkshop, is spelled in all common letters to match our slogan ‘We believe in the little guys’ which comes from the Jamaican saying, ‘we likkle, but we tallawah’. The common letters represent you, the small business owners and how you support the economy through your efforts.
Our team believes in the power of small businesses and is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start their business with a solid brand identity, a fast and secure website and a consistent aesthetic across all media.
The main problem we faced with our original name was that Mane Design ‘Ja.’ was too limiting for our business and many customers had a hard time pronouncing the name. We needed to choose a name that was not only easy to remember but represented the web development and brand identity services we provide.
Too Limited in Scope
Mane Design Ja. gave potential customers the opinion that we only worked with Jamaican companies and that was limited the number and scale of projects we could take on. We don’t plan on abandoning on small businesses (loyalty is one our key values) but we do want to extend our services to the Caribbean and other nations.
When we created the original Mane Design Ja. website, we were still just a one-man team of Mikhail and his laptop. He was fresh out of university with a portfolio and a bachelor’s degree but lacked the experience in building a full-scale website.
Since creating and publishing several successful websites for Jamaican business owners. Our web design skills have greatly improved but the old site did not match the quality of work we were producing. If the previous website had been a client’s first experience with wwworkshop then they would not have been excited to explore our portfolio.
Outdated Brand Identity
The previous brand identity for Mane Design Ja. was too limited in scope and didn’t account for certain variables such as background colours, colour theory and political associations. We loved the old logo but we felt it was time to move on to something more professional, versatile and politically agnostic.
Picking the Right Name
Picking the right name for your business is crucial in today’s market. With every company fighting to gain a person’s attention you need something that is practical, recognisable and fits within their everyday vocabulary. The previous name, Mane Design Ja, had five syllables and was a struggle for some people to remember.
Eventually, we decided to use a stylised version of the word ‘workshop’. The initial spelling we chose was ‘WWWorkshop’ but after several revisions, we settled on the all common-letter version you see today. The ‘www’ symbolises our web design and development arm and the ‘workshop’ portion represents our small team coming together to solve design problems.
A small collaborative space where creatives from different backgrounds and professions come together to solve design problems.
Developing a brand identity system for your own company is a lot harder than most people think. We are often our greatest critics and excessively scrutinise our work when others would praise it.
We opted for the colour blue because it represented trustworthiness and loyalty, two of the values we share here at wwworkshop. Our secondary colour, brown, symbolises the down-to-earth personalities and hardworking members of our team.
The final colour palette is combination of blue tints and shades with grays for neutrals and brown as a complementary colour.
Choosing the right logo
Oooh boy! This was the hardest part of the project! We’re a team of brand identity designers so picking the appropriate logo for our company was challenging but fun.
We narrowed our design style choices based on the mood board we had crafted ahead of time and settled on the idea of using a serif typeface. Sans-serif typefaces are popular amongst tech companies and designers so we believed, utilising serifs would help us stand out more. We also selected the serif because it works well with our ‘not-so-corporate-but-still-corporate’ blue.
We went through several logo alterations, testing out different decorations and shapes that could add more personality. Our team tested shapes like ovals and rings but in the end, felt that our logo should be simple and straightforward.
Moving to Webflow
We love WordPress. It’s our favourite content management system (CMS) to use for websites and blogs. However, being a boutique digital design and web development agency means that we spend most of our time working on clients’ websites and not our own. WordPress requires a lot of love and attention to run smoothly and that’s time we don’t have for ourselves.
Webflow is a fairly new visual website builder like Squarespace and Wix but their defining feature is using clean, semantic HTML and CSS. While other website builders sacrifice speed and clean code for user-friendliness, Webflow strikes a unique balance of giving designers the freedom to develop whatever they want while maintaining fast load times.
All-New, All-Different wwworkshop
Introducing the new-and-improved wwworkshop Design Studio logo! It’s straightforward, stylish and the blue accent just adds the right amount of flair. We’ve also changed our website domain from manedesignja.com to wwworkshop.studio to reflect the fact that we’re a registered design studio at the Companies Office of Jamaica.
We wanted a unique typeface for our brand so we bought the license to use Noctis, a premium serif typeface designed for headlines and logos. For our web typography, we utilised a combination of both Noctis and Inter, an open-source typeface. The two typefaces have great contrast and work well together on posters and long bodies of text.
As a part of our rebrand, we also wanted to do away with premade icon packs and create our own icons to use on the website. The icons are a combination of abstract art, duotone and Google's material design guidelines. We used simple shapes for the icons for better visibility at smaller sizes.
When designing the website we initially thought about using stock illustrations libraries like humaaans and Undraw but they felt way too commonplace in the design industry. So, we decided to create a series of hero illustrations that would be used on our services page. The theme behind the design is that they represent low-fidelity versions of popular tools used in the industry.
The SEO page illustrations are based on search engines
The Brand Identity page's illustrations are based on branded stationery
Using Webflow to build our website was a great experience as we got to understand the platform, its strengths, weaknesses and how we can leverage the no-code movement to deliver premium quality websites to our clients. Our site performance has also increased with all pages loading in half the time it did on WordPress. You can learn more about our Webflow Development services here.
wwworkshop believes in small businesses just like you, so no idea is too wacky or inconceivable for us. Send us a message so we can talk about how wwworkshop can support your vision with graphic design and web development services.