In the coming weeks, I’ll be rolling out a brand new website. I started working with an amazing branding firm, Big Deal Branding, last December. It was actually a bit of a fluke. I entered a giveaway from Totally Rad Actions (win a one-hour brand consult with a swanky L.A. firm!), and what do you know, I won.
At first, I was totally nervous. What will they think of me? I mean, I’m a scrapbooker. They’re gonna so bummed that I won the contest. They’re going to think, ‘Scrapbooking? Greaaaat.’
But to my surprise, they weren’t bummed at all. In fact, in this company, I found a group of kindred spirits and the process has been truly amazing. They’ve helped me to think about my business in a very real and practical way. They’ve helped me to realize that it was time to create something that reflects my personal aesthetic and lets me be, well, me.
Make no mistake: this blog is my business. It didn’t start out that way. I started blogging in 2005 because I saw that Ali had a blog and I thought, “Hey! I want one!” It started out as a place just to write about weird stuff. I never realized people would read it and that I would eventually use it to make a living.
As soon as that started to happen, I became very conscious of what I was writing. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I wanted as many people to read as possible. The consequence was basically watering down aspects of myself and that’s not really what I want to do in this space.
In fact, Big Deal Branding picked up on that immediately and said, “Why are you throwing away the stuff about you that is really good?”
Lightbulb, meet Cathy. Cathy, lightbulb.
The past six months has been about narrowing my focus, thinking about what I really want to do and working to create both a personal and a user experience that actually makes sense. And we’re just about there.
I could have kept my old logo, but I decided to make a change to something a bit fresher. A bit lighter. A bit more clean and simple.
If I told you how many versions and options we went through to arrive here, you’d probably be all, “You so crazy! I wanna have your baby!”
I’ve swapped out my beloved green for blue (although that green is going to be part of the overall brand because I cannot bear to live without it!)
You’ll see the new brand in my digital packaging.
You’ll see it in my videos.
CZ Design Classes: They Don’t Suck from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.
And you’ll see it when my new website launches.
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you’ll still be able to read as you always have but hopefully, the experience will be cleaner and make a whole lot more sense. There will be bigger images. There will be a simplfied category listing. And hopefully, there will be less crap.
I mean, I’m going to have an actual home page people. That alone is worth all the money this is costing.
My goal in scrapbooking (and to a larger extent, in life) is to take the crap out of it.
My new site will be a step in that direction, which I have to believe is the right one.
Yes, there will be some bumps as we go, so I ask for your patience once it’s up and running. I’ll get it all sorted out. I promise.
But just know I’m so excited to get this show on the road and I deeply appreciate that I have an audience with whom to share it.
Laurence Montier says
I love your new logo! The color is great, and it’s fresh and simple.
I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now, but it’s my first time commenting. We have something in common: a baby girl born on March, 29th… so I’m there with you on all the ‘letting grown babies go’ issues. I think we’re doing great though. 🙂
writing from France.
Laurence Montier says
I forgot to say March 29, 1996. Hence the sharing your thoughts on a soon-to-be student…
LOVE that new logo !!!
It feels weird to see so much blue, though… so glad you didn’t ditch the green, I love that color 🙂
Good luck on launching the new site, can’t wait to see it 🙂
Love it Cathy. Can’t wait to see the whole package.
Love it! Good luck with everything!
“If you build, er write weird stuff, they will come…”
Plus that blue? gorgeous, esp with a touch of the green.
Liz, Melb, Australia says
Love the logo and the blue. It’s the blue that I use often. So psyched to see you adopt it. Congratulations!
Holly Corbett says
I am sure everything will be wonderful! Looking forward to it! Congratulations and have fun with your new website!!
Merci, Laurence! : )
Jenny A says
Love it Cathy! What I love even more – the Salt n Peppa reference 😉 I love reading your blog because you keep it so real. Have a great day!
: ) Now that of course makes me smile. #shoop
Julie S says
Looking forward to seeing your hard work come to life! Love that you keep it real.
Woot woot! Can’t wait for the unveiling!
Jacquie Desilets says
Can’t totally let go of the green. I even have what my girlfriends call ‘CZ green doors’ on the back of my kitchen island. But, bring on that blue! It is so refreshing…and that logo…oh so clean. A wise man once said ‘ a change is as good as a rest.’ Can’t wait to see the new site…
Yeah, it was hard at first. I mean, I have loved that green since my college years. Truly. My house has that color stucco! But yes, a change can give a different perspective and energy, which is what im hoping for.
Nice logo, refreshing! This has always been my favorite color range.
Love! But any chance you could add sending an option of sending an e’ to my inbox when you post on your blog?? LOVE that! I READ my e’s every day, multiple times a day even. I DON’T do RSS feeds or surf every site I love (sorry – I just don’t think to). I get your monthly e’s – but a daily/blog posted e’ – would soooooooooo love. So if you’re in the market for an idea – there ya go. Would help me stay MUCH more connected with you when you have new classes and products! I’m just sayin’. 😉
Kathleen S says
Love the logo and the color, although inquiring minds want to know why the blue was essential — aside from change and energy. Does the green lack energy? Not go as well with the orange spark? However you package it, we love it!
Mary Kay says
I love that you had a wooden stamp made as one of the first orders of business! Squish.
JennieB aka Jennie Sue on BPC says
Congratulations on making a change; it can be so hard. Everything looks beautiful in your wonderful ‘clean and simple’ way. I’ve been following you for years and watched your children grow up. Aidan is a beautiful young woman and Cole, what a kid! My youngest granddaughter is graduating from high school (same as Aidan), so that makes me old enough to be your mother. I hope I have many more years with you and your classes.
Lezlee, have you ever tried bloglovin?
Its a feed service that comes to your inbox. Im not exactly sure how it works, but I dont think its RSS. I just signed up to follow a few blogs and now every time they post, it comes to my inbox. : )
Hope that helps!
Will give it a go – thanks! I’m sure there are techie details too many to go into r.e who does e-mail subscription options or what a pain it is. May does it, Jennifer McGuire – both daily e’s. You and Ali – monthly. Figured I’d check. Will give it a try – thanks for the tip!
Kathleen, it was just to explore a new palette of color. Green will still appear, but I felt that it was a calmer, cleaner color. One thing I always hope to achieve with my designs is something that is calm, inviting, clean. It felt like a good fit on that level.
Yeah. I dont send stuff out per se, but you know, I just had to have one made. I mean, Im a scrapbooker, right? ; )
Thanks, Jennie Sue!
Wow! GOLD MINE! Powerful – thanks! (I’m hooked! not sure that’s a good thing – HA!)
I love the new logo (loved the older one, too). Really excited for you and for us your readers.
FAB!! The new logo is great. Can’t wait to be a part of your new endeavor.
Fab logo! Love it! Are you moving from Typepad and if so, how are you porting your posts across if you don’t mind me asking? I run the blog for my son’s soccer team on Typepad and I think it’s time to move. Best of luck with the new site!
I can’t wait to see the new stuff! You are always so on top of design in my opinion. I love the way you write and your videos always leave me smiling!
I, for one, think you are a Scrapbooking Goddess, so whatever you new crap-free design changes are coming are bound to be awesome. 🙂
Wishing you all the best in your new logo and may you be blessed with a fresh breeze of inspiration for all your business endeavors.
Amy Myers says
Love, love, love the new logo. The color is gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the new changes.
Marcie L says
LOVE the new logo! So cool and clean!
I am going to be migrating to WordPress. I have NO idea how my web people are going to transfer the content. I know. Confidence, right? : )
A goddess? Well hot damn. Im going to remind my husband of this. Frequently.
Kim L says
Love the new logo! While, I too love the green, the new colors are just so fresh!!!
LOVE your logo, love the color, they are so beautiful!!! Great change!
madeline St onge says
Love the new Logo Cathy, can’t wait to see the new site too
Congratulations! I love the new logo. I’m looking forward to seeing the new site.
kelly sill says
I CAN”T WAIT to see your new site! I’ve been toying around with the idea of moving my blog to WordPress as well, but a little scared to take the plunge! You’re fortunate you’ll have someone to take on that headache for you! Gosh you sure have a lot going on-new site, new logo, a new high school graduate! Sending you a big virtual fist bump! Best of luck with everything!
Even though they are building a new site, I still have no experience with WordPress. So, itll be a bit of a learning curve, Im sure! : )
*salutes, hands over bravery award*
Helen H. says
And just when I thought this whole “CZ experience” could not get much better you go and get a new logo!
It is truly simple and by that I mean simply amazing. There are folks out there that need the fireworks. Me, I’m just a simple girl, not down for a lot of flair and that is why I enjoy what you do so much.
Thank you for sharing that with us “mere mortals”!
jenn shurkus says
Congratulations Cathy! looks fab 🙂
Thanks, Helen! Ill be sure to share feedback like this with the team at Big Deal Branding. : )
Love the blue and white. The logo,really conveys the idea of clean and simple to me.
Cara S says
As long as my favourite green is still around at times, all will be well. Looks ‘clean and simple’ – really seems to reflect what you’re about, which I guess is the point! It’s great that something so unexpected like winning a competition can lead to this; ramping up the professionalism of your business. You deserve it, we out here in blog reading land (Australia) take you seriously, so remember you’re not just a scrapbooker, you’re a business woman, woman. By the way…by ‘take you seriously’ …..I still expect a good laugh when I read you Cathy.
Yea Cathy! I’m totally stoked for you and all the changes you’re doing on your site. Your new logo design is fab! I can’t wait to see the new blog/website unfold. Thanks for sharing info about Big Deal Branding. I’m teetering on the fence to start a photography blog/website and am looking forward to seeing how you keep it clean and simple. At the end of the day, it’s all about the words and photos, yes? yes! good luck!
Nita K. says
Love the new logo!
Love the new colour, love the new logo – and most of all, love the lightbulb moment on “keeping it real”.
Love the new blue – I am a “blue” person. I am glad you will keep your “green” – I love it also.
Cara, that is what I hope to deliver. At least weekly. ; )
Lee Currie says
Brilliant! So very happy for you, Cathy. And appreciative of all your hard work and dedication. As I’ve said for years: YOU ROCK!!
So excited for you. Thanks for sharing the journey and process. It’s wonderful to hear you having such a great time! Go Cathy Go!
Love your new logo- so clean and refreshing. Can’t wait for the reveal!
Love the new logo! It’s funny that something so simple can be so awesome. I’m a fan of the blue and can’t wait to see what you have in the works. Go Cathy!
Missus Wookie says
I like the new logo and the stamp.
Isn’t it interesting to see how that process can change your views about your own business? Did that for mine – ended up with a logo I love but wasn’t anything like what I thought I’d end up with.
Karen F says
Congratulations for one who has been reading your blog from oh so long ago, how very exciting! Can’t wait to see this new chapter in your life!
Love reading and have been doing so for AGES! Hate missing out on the website changes when I read through feedly. Oh that stamp!
Lee, always appreciative of your support. : )
Brooke, Ill be sure to announce the changes so you can come to the site just once to see! And then you can subscribe using your favorite reader, just as always!
I absolutely love the new logo and the blue since blue is my favorite color. Although I’m not even close to your business level (I hope to get close one day). I think as you grow your business grows and as you learn about yourself and what you truly what your business benefits from that. I look forward to seeing your newly redesigned site as I am on your site pretty much daily (almost stalkerish) just kidding. Your site is one that I always find myself going back to where as I don’t with the other sites. I’m excited for you and good luck with moving your site.
Thanks, Beth. I appreciate that. : )
Jennifer K says
Double thumbs up! Looking forward to the new site!
Love the new logo! It’s very similar to a design I’ve had in mind for some time for my photography page. I just need to make it happen. 🙂 I can’t wait to see the new site!
Monique van Duren-van Der Meer says
Congrats Cathy! I am so happy and excited for you. Love your new logo. It is so beautiful. I love reading your blog, I enjoy your videos and classes. You are so fun and you have such a wonderful and warm smile. I look forward seeing your new blog. Well. .. Just got to say it. I am so proud of you. Have fun 😀
Hey Cathy, I love it! The logo and the video
Years ago I found one of your books in the public library in Nelson, New Zealand. I was so inspired I began to scrapbook. I love your style, your attitude and how funny you are.
Looking forward to your refreshed site and so glad to hear it will be even more you. You are great!
Jen K. says
Where did you have your logo stamp made? I’ve wanted to make a similar address stamp…
http://www.simonstamp.com. They did a wonderful job and were very easy to work with!