Everything has a beginning and for me ‘Talk to Lee Anne’ was the start of my career working with my own clients. In the summer of 2014, I was definitely a designer that was “wet behind the ears.” I, personally, didn’t have a solid brand or design workflow. Additionally, all I was a set of various communication and design skills and a handful completed school projects under my belt. Needless to say, my first client collaboration was a trial by fire. However, it could have been worse. Lee Anne Hale, my client, was the perfect person to help me start my design career off right. Coincidentally, her business was all about life coaching (So, the perfect collaboration).
Lee Anne wanted a brand that represented her unconventional methods as a life coach. She also wanted designs that older adults could accept without hesitation. So, how do you balance a brand between professional and not-so-professional? The process felt like Goldilocks and the Tree Bears. One design was too professional. The next design was too unconventional. Back and forth. Back and forth. But then there came a day when I nailed the look she wanted. Presenting two different fonts and three different colors for logo, Talk to Lee Anne popped out of the sketchbook and into real world. I began designing new business cards and laying a foundation Lee Anne’s website. Unfortunately, our collaboration was halted by the awesome arrival of Lee Anne’s first baby.
In 2015, after a year of design work and establishing Kalimizzou., I returned to “Talk to Lee Anne” to finish the work I started. The last thing I did was create a seamless one-page website (www.talktola.com) that balanced between professional and unconventional. The site works extremely well for her brand and is unlike any life coach website I researched. In the end, I’m extremely proud of our collaboration and I’m grateful to begin my design career with a business that helps people as well.
Lee Anne initially gave me a lot of freedom to design a brand for her. She also wasn’t afraid to tell me when something didn’t work (and there were a lot of things that didn’t work). Take a look at one of my first designs for “Talk to Lee Anne” compared to a final image. I learned that designing is all about the process. You got to find a middle ground in the relationship, so the product can flourish. Lee Anne pushed me to do better and I thank her for that.
P.S. Looking back at some of my first drafts, I have no idea what the heck I was thinking. Fail.