Change is something you can count on, sooner or later it’s going to happen. One day you’ll be looking at your website and think it’s the most beautiful site in the world, then as time passes, you realize that you’ve drifted away from your original goals and you need something fresh and new.
This happened to our long-time clients Betsy and Peter Wuebker of Passing Thru. Several years ago we helped Betsy and Pete with a banner for their (then) new business, Passing Thru. They were embarking on a nomadic lifestyle, one that would make their business location independent, enabling them to travel, see the world and at the same time, maintain a steady flow of income.
Well, that worked out pretty good for them. They ended up living a dream life in Hawaii, something many of us only wish could happen.
Sometimes the Box Just Doesn’t Fit Anymore
Last month Betsy approached us and said her site needed some updating. She had a theme on WordPress, the same one she’d had since we met her. She tried making changes to the site, picking out custom fonts, trying to jazz up the sidebars and adding more images, but the fact of the matter was, the theme was severely outdated and it showed. No matter what she did, she couldn’t get that open, bold, colorful look many of the other travel sites in her niche had.
As you can see, the site was too boxy and the overall color scheme washed out and bland. Now, we know Betsy and Pete. We know that their personalities are much more vibrant than what this site was showing. They had so many gorgeous photos from their trips that weren’t being shown off at their very best.
We all agreed it was time to let go of the past and embrace a bright new future.
What We Did
First, we scrapped everything. Since they already had WordPress installed, all we had to do was focus on a new theme. We had Betsy send us some of her favorite photos and picked our color pallet from there. Brilliant blues and tranquil turquoise became the primary colors, with little splashes of orange, yellow and tan.
The new theme didn’t need much customization. We would change the links, navigation and footer area to match the colors we chose, and the overall font on the site would stay the same. The biggest customization came with the banner image. For that we needed something extra special.
Betsy wanted an eclectic, scrap-booky kind of look. Sure, we could have found a painted background on iStock, but to get the exact colors and feel of the new site, we needed to do something totally custom. I asked Wendi if she would do a painting we could use for the background behind the photos.
Wendi disappeared into The Sanctuary and dove into the paints. This is what she created:
This was absolutely perfect. Bright, colorful, full of texture and totally 100% unique. I then worked my Photoshop magic; cropping here and there, taking that dime in the lower right hand corner, masking it out and moving it to the left more, layering the photos on top, and taking a couple of the bamboo sticks and layer them on top on the right hand side of the final image.
See that little “forever” stone at the bottom on the left in the image above? Betsy and Pete weren’t feeling that, so instead Betsy sent me an image of a Hawaiian Sunrise shell (very tiny and very highly valued on the island). I swapped out the stone for the shell and the shell became Passing Thru’s new icon. Here’s the finished banner in its entirety (click on it to see it full size):
We also took a blank postcard image Pete had and used the font “John Lennon” for the handwriting. Betsy sent us a quote and it fit perfectly. The whole theme really came together once we got the banner in (visit the site by clicking here):
Now that we had the theme and new branding finished, it was time to take those elements and create Passing Thru’s social network backgrounds.
This is one of the benefits of working with Blue Sun Studio—once we have your branding down and on file, it’s easy to create everything else you need from those initial elements. Even if you came back to us years later with a new project, you won’t have to explain yourself all over again, telling us who you are and what you do. We already have it, it’s all there.
We created a new cover and profile image for their Facebook page:
And then created the cover image for their Twitter account, using the new formatting Twitter has started using:
We loved this project and the way it all came together. It speaks of Passing Thru’s true essence as a brand, and carries with it Betsy and Pete’s vivacious personalities. Wendi’s contribution added so much to the finished product and reflects Blue Sun Studio’s own spirit of teamwork.
We know that Passing Thru will have a site that will grow with them for more years to come—and when it’s time to update, we’ll get together and do it all again!
Was this post helpful? Share it! And be sure to click on the links to follow Passing Thru and visit their live site for yourself. Do you have a site that needs a makeover? Call us! We’d love to help you like we did Betsy and Pete.