My responsibilities on this project included research, project management, visual design, and presentation.
One of my first projects as the Lead Web Designer at YDesign Group was refining design standards and brand alignment between teams. The team and I thought YLighting.com was a great place to start this process. The first step in streaminlining brand standards was discovering what was already in use. The team and I scoured our various projects and channels, documenting colors, typography, messaging, and anything we believed should be standardized. From there, the first topic we tackled was our color palette.
With such a specific primary brand color, there were very few instances of brand color misuse. Where the team and I discovered signifigant divergence was in the use of gray site-wide. The main challenge was averaging the various uses of gray around the website to create a finite set of shades that still met our needs. Once condensed, I took the opportunity to introduce a little bit of blue to cool down YLighting's gray palette to create a more cohesive set of shades.
When it came to typography, YLighting already had a well-established brand font in Futura PT. Where I recognized opportunity was in the many different font-sizes, line heights, and letter spacings employed around the website. Knowing that a follow up goal of these brand guidelines would be a comprehensive promotional design system, I set about establishing a type scale and some set line-heights. Not only would this help establish better vertical rhythm, it would also inform the look and feel of future components, as we expanded the marketing team's toolset.
One area where YLighting.com had no set standards was in the use of space. While our team of designers was good at creating cohesive designs week after week, I saw an opportunity to create some basic guidelines to help create a more consistent feel. Ultimately, we landed a modular spacing system, with enough flexibility to serve our various promotional marketing needs, but enough difference to keep deliverables looking dynamic and interesting.
After a process lasting several weeks, working closely with stakeholders across teams, we were able to create a concise set of brand standards that helped us make decisions faster and with the confidence that we were honoring the YLighting brand. Additionally, by developing these standards in parallel with an effort to standardize messaging and micro copy, we were able to create these streamlined standards with consideration for real world applications.
While many of these standards are still in the process of being implemented site-wide, they were instrumental in designing and developing a new design system for the YLighting.com homepage that launched in October 2019.