New Work – Always Summer

Friday, October 20th, 2017

When Arel and Sharon from Always Summer reached out to me, I don’t think that I could have been more excited to work with them! They are a mother/daughter team who own a beautiful little boutique in Barbados. This month, they are moving into a bigger space and adding a cafe inside their store so customers can shop while sipping a latte or wine – seriously, isn’t that the dream?? While taking this big step in their business, it felt like the perfect time for their store to get a full rebrand. It was so fun working on this project so I had to share some of the process behind their beautiful new look.

Always Summer had an existing logo that featured a bird, which we wanted to try and keep if we could, but Arel and Sharon were open to other ideas if we found something that better matched the feel of their new space. After talking with them, learning about the products they choose to sell and what the store means to them, we outlined a few main things that they needed from a new brand:

– Keep the theme of the store name: warm, endless summer vibes
– Take inspiration from their products: natural, organic, woven textures
– Compliment the new interiors of the store and somehow be used on large store windows

So from there, we put together a creative direction to guide us into the design process and keep those goals clear.

From there, we started developing a few concepts that followed that visual direction. We really wanted to see if we could update the bird in their current logo, so our first concepts were mainly based around that idea. We tested some more modern styles and tried to marry that with a few handwritten, illustrative accents. Here are examples of those initial concepts:

Arel and Sharon easily landed on the typography style that spoke to them the most, but the bird aspect still needed work and they were starting to open up to trying out a different mark or symbol. So we explored further and really focused on conveying the meaning and atmosphere of their store through a symbol.

This option used a bird with wings inspired by Monsterra leaves. It kept their current symbol, but gave it a subtle, new meaning by merging it with something organic.

This option had multiple deeper meanings that related to the store. First, the circle represents a sun which obviously gives the feeling of summer. Second, since a circle is never ending, it also represents the store’s name and the idea that inside their store it feels like it’s always summer. And finally, the design of the sun was inspired by natural textures found in woven baskets or ropes, something that Arel and Sharon explained are really inspiring to them and the new interior of the store. All of this deeper meaning and specific ties to their store made Arel and Sharon fall in love with this concept, so we chose to keep going in this direction! However, they felt that the sun was falling short somehow. It took us a while to figure out what was missing, but ultimately we decided that it felt a little too heavy and needed to be slightly more organic and light. So we refined things a little bit more before landing on the final design:

This final mark checked all our boxes! It’s simple but still conveys that warmth and summer vibes that Arel and Sharon share with their customers. And it felt so right to pair the logo with some botanical illustration in the same style. We used the new branding and illustrations to create a few big window decals that will line the outside of their new space and no doubt draw people in. They are even using a couple of the botanical designs to create standing, 3D cutouts to go in their display windows. Needless to say, their new space is going to be gorgeous and feel like you just stepped into a summer oasis – exactly what we were going for! 

So there you have it! This was such a fun project to work on and I’m so proud of how everything turned out. I can’t wait to see photos of the new space and hear how Arel and Sharon’s customers are enjoying it. Maybe I’ll just have to make a trip to Barbados so I can see it in person… and grab some wine from the new cafe 🙂






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