I don’t often share the design process of how I built the aesthetics of Yardia as a brand. Although some of it has organically evolved over the years, a good portion of it was quite deliberately decided, and has so far stood with me as the business evolved and grew. Consider this a peek behind the scenes of my creative process—from the perspective of a trained painter, but self-taught designer.
Logo & Brand Introduction
The creative process that went into designing Yardia's logo is a pretty decent amalgamation of the qualities and values that make up the Yardia brand as a whole.
I designed my logo inspired by the idea that Yardia illustrates the quiet beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
When I first started thinking about the current version of my brand back in 2016, I looked to a photo I'd taken on a hike, of Mt. Rainier and a meadow of wildflowers. I realized that Yardia was about the small details we see in nature--the lupines and Indian paintbrushes on the side of the trail even more than the grander view of the mountain.
This is what led me to design my logo--a simplified version of Mt. Rainier above my handwritten company name, and surrounded by two lupine flowers embracing the circle of the image. Lupines are my favorite wildflower (I even have one tattooed on my painting arm) and they're a symbol of imagination in the language of flowers.
Yardia's brand colors used in the logo came from another photo I took of the shoreline at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve near Birch Bay. I incorporated the deep blues and light grays of a quiet, cloudy beachside morning as what I thought represented the Northwest the most to me personally.
Nature, cozy and pensive. Last spring, I took Sara Tasker's Insta Retreat course and in one of the early exercises, narrowed my creative style to three guiding words. These were what I came up with. Although the exercise was focused on photography, I think these words apply to the style of my art as well.
My creative style is one that's quiet and observing, one in which my process doesn't always feel like it's coming from me but is somehow flowing through me.
Working in watercolor allows for fine detail and soft colors, and it also has a mind of its own--I need to be in collaboration with it instead of controlling it. Watercolor isn't something in which an artist can rework or "fix" mistakes, but instead must find a way to trust that the paint knows what it's doing. There has to be a communion between the paint and the painter.
My art focuses on nature, especially the botanical and landscape. I love to paint trees because I find them to be such a complex challenge, and painting them requires me to learn something new from the observational process each time. It's a quiet flow of work and a visual meditation in the process.
And then just for fun, I imagined my art taking a personality test and looking up its astrology chart. Here's what I imagine it would be: ISTJ, Virgo, either a 5w4 or 4w5.
Most of the time, I tend to paint with a fairly consistent palette--mostly greens, blues, violets and browns. Colors that are inspired by nature, particularly that in the Pacific Northwest: mosses, evergreens, cloudy skies and windy gray coastlines--these are the kinds of colors that light up my senses.
However, when creating my most recent collection, I found myself drawn to all the hope and brightness of springtime. Pink cherry blossoms, magenta tulips and yellow daffodils, with rainbow sunrise skies!
Chalk it up to the months of isolation, the dark winter, or any other elements of the panacea of stresses, trauma and grief we've collectively been going through; I wanted to use all the brightest, softest kinds of colors that reminded me of fresh growth and new life.
And now that we're seeing spring arrive in full force here in Seattle, I'm even more happy that I got to spend the late winter painting with these cheery floral colors.
So in reality, it seems as if Yardia's brand colors are, in a way, even more nature-inspired than I realized. They're drawn from the seasons, and together, summer, autumn, winter and spring form a complete whole.
So that's the basis of Yardia's brand, where I create illustrations and products inspired by the quiet beauty of nature in the Pacific Northwest and designed to help you love the place you live, just as much as I love the place I live.