Hopping out of the paint can with a whole new sense of style!
This past spring, I did a soft re-branding of Pippin’s Press. I began to feel a disconnect between the time I first took the leap and created Pippin’s Press up until a couple of months ago. The first storybooks I wrote, The Bashful Bunny and The Peculiar Habits of Little Rabbits, were ideas that I set creativity loose on.
What started out as a project to use my creativity became the manifestation of many stories followed by a world of illustrations. Before dipping my paintbrush in a saturated pigment of Ultramarine Violet, I’d never in my life painted in watercolour. To my surprise, the watery blobs started looking like faces of the rabbit characters (or so I thought). Process has been my primary teacher when it comes to Pippin’s Press. I had all the good intentions, yet the core vision just wasn’t there. I was still just scratching the surface.
The identity of Pippin’s Press was a tangled web of values and feelings; it contained a lot of good ideas but there wasn’t a strong strategy behind it. As the creator, I was embarking on that crucial question: Why this press? Why am I doing this? Why do any of us do what we do? It’s a thought-provoking question that needed to show through in my work. This would be a slam dunk, I thought, but re-creating the white rabbit meant experiencing a few bumps in the road. It took a month to come up with the full concept of the new Pippin and what he represented.
All good things take time. I mean, I want my readers to smile when they pick up a storybook. Pippin’s Press is the outlet for my creative expression so I want my readers to feel part of my world and the process. The task of integrating design and craftsmanship in my bookmaking became essential. I began thinking about different fonts and colour schemes for the storybooks – now part of the brand – and even the illustrations changed as I found my style of painting.
The tagline for the storybooks was “Where every book is special” and attached to the very first logo was “& Fine Arts,” merging both my passions of writing AND painting. I thought it was clever. Later I realized that “special” was too ambiguous to be my focus. I needed a clearer message about what Pippin’s Press was. Now it reads: “Whimsical Works of Art.”
So, I took stock, thinking about Pippin’s identity and values, realizing the Press involves personal identity as much as business. And I’ve changed. I’m no longer the apprehensive artist getting her feet wet, but rather an emerging creative, finding her own style and soul in this crazy world. It’s been an arduous yet gratifying journey of self-discovery.
I decided to sit down with a brand developer and get to work. One of the things we worked on was gearing the Press towards sharing my art and books as a passion instead of just publication, and sharing with my readers all the things that inspire my work. I’m a storyteller after all – so let’s start sharing stories.
At the end of the branding process, what was the main thing that I took from our sessions? Trust your intuition. Branding and developing take time. As we learn, we grow. With a little tweaking and the final drawing of Pippin complete, the new logo was made, one that expresses a youthful and endearing character. Pippin looks sharp in his bright yellow fedora, a colour symbolizing creativity and optimism. He carries a satchel full of storybooks, and the colour teal in the backwash represents clarity and open thought.
At the local fairs and markets, I took time to talk with my customers. It got easier to break out of my shell and engage with people. By listening to my customers, I realized that some of them would refer to Pippin’s storybooks as “heirlooms, keepsakes, beautiful, detailed” – some very touching comments to warm the heart, don’t you agree?
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – Pippin’s core message!
'The unconventional road is not an easy one, but when creativity is met with passion it becomes clear that one must take a leap of faith and trust that a net will appear. With every storybook and painting I create, I encourage my readers to imagine, just for a moment, a world filled with beautiful lifelong stories'.
Given my influencers it’s a little Victorian-meets-modern-day, and I’ve managed to hand-bind and package it all into whimsical works of art. I’m confident about the direction Pippin’s Press is taking. There’s still a lot to learn and many stories to tell.
It’s just the beginning! I hope you like it.