Stay in the loop on all things Jilly! Be the first to receive exclusive content, hear about upcoming collaborations, sales and much more!

Visit the shop

THE JH SHOP

Jilly’s Favorite Things

Get the Jilly Newsletter

New Post Updates

Collaborations

VIP-Exclusive Content

Meet Team Jilly

Girls just want to have fun! Meet Jillian and the girls (plus one guy and one dog)  behind the brand and get to know the team behind JillianHarris.com

Meet Jilly + The team

Shop My Latest

COLLABORATIONS

Shop Now

SEarch

Artboard 2

shop the presets

#JILLYPRESETS

And edit your photos like Jill - in just one click!

get the insta-famous

Charity

life

Shop My Instagram

About Jillian

All things LOVE, fashion, family, food, and home decor since 2009

visit the

JH SHOP

Blog Home

fashion

Home

Food

Beauty

Videos

My Editing Presets

JILLIAN HARRIS

navigate

all things LOVE, fashion, family, food, and home decor since 2009

6

Feb

2019

Jillian Harris

by

Branding 101: Tips, Advice, and a New Website

Hi everyone!! I’m sure by now most of you have had the chance to take a peek around our brand new website!! I have to say, I’m so extremely impressed with how everything turned out! It’s pretty crazy how a website and branding refresh can breathe so much life back into a brand!

I’m so thankful for not only the hard work of Team Jilly but none of this could have been pulled off without the incredible team from Tonic Site Shop!

All About Our New Website

To give you a little backstory, the girls and I had discussed a website revamp over two years ago … we sent numerous emails, compiled inspiration, and approached a couple of different companies to help us bring our vision to life. Well, with some additional back and forth, the months were passing us by and we felt what was being brought to the table wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.

Just as we were heading back to the drawing board about six months ago, we discovered the team at TONIC. We were immediately impressed by their stunning work and decided to hop on a call with them to toss some ideas around. Jeff and Jen were SO inspiring, creative, and out of the box thinkers. We were immediately over the moon with their ideas and vision and knew instantly that these were our people!

Jen got right to work and started sending concepts and fresh new branding our way … it didn’t take us long to give them the stamp of their approval, and we were off to the races! They did such a fantastic job bringing my personality, vibe, and aesthetic to life and I couldn’t have even envisioned our new site looking THIS beautiful!

So, now that you’re caught up to speed on our website makeover process and are familiar with the all-star team who created and executed it, I wanted to open this space up for the team at Tonic to provide YOU with some behind the scenes and valuable branding tips that you can apply to your own business if you have one … or, if you’re planning on starting one up!

PLUS … if you have checked out Tonic’s Instagram page (view it here!), you’ll know that they share some drool-worthy and stunning cocktails in that space, so as a little treat they’re sharing one here for you too!

OH!! AND … Tonic has also generously offered to gift ALL OF YOU 15% of ANY design in their whole collection of completely customizable websites for the modern, stylish creative. The designs are all inspired by cocktails, which is so fun, and the Team Jilly favorites are the Rosé Royale, Amaretto Sour, and Limoncello! Just use the code TEAMJILLY for your 15% off.

Behind the Design + Tips from Tonic

Hello everyone — Jen Olmstead here! I’m the co-founder and lead designer of Tonic Site Shop (alongside my platonic design soulmate and fellow cocktail enthusiast, Jeffrey Shipley!) and I’m excited to walk you through the behind-the-design of Jillian’s new site!

Jeff and I in our natural habit  (cocktail in hand)

 

But first, how it all began: I was in Paris to speak at an event, having dinner near the Eiffel Tower (le sigh!), when halfway through yet another perfect baguette, my notifications pinged with an email… from Jillian Harris.

I nearly choked on my baguette, and as in all exciting situations, immediately texted Jeff. “Wait. Is this THE Jillian Harris? Am I really in Paris? IS THIS ALL A WEIRDLY VIVID AND DELICIOUS DREAM?” 

Thankfully for both my sanity and my Parisian carb consumption, it was not a dream, and Jillian’s initial email couldn’t have been more gracious (of course!). She explained that Team Jilly was looking for a team to create something different online — a space where her readers and longtime followers would immediately feel at home, get to know her better, and have access to much more content than her old site. They’d seen our site shop and designs for other industry creatives like Jenna Kutcher and liked our style… were we interested in the project?

The homepage before, where you could only easily access the last 5-10 blog posts.

 

“WERE WE INTERESTED?!” Uh, yes, as you can imagine, we were! We quickly nailed down a timeline and logistics, Jilly’s team sent over their very well-curated collection of inspiration for the site and brand, and we hopped on a call to begin the project shortly thereafter.

Let’s interrupt this story with the first few of our tips from along the way:

Tonic Tips for Branding + Site Design:

1. Do your research.

When starting a website or branding project, or really, embarking on any project with any creative professional, first, take a deep dive through their portfolio and make sure they’re creating the kind of work you want for yourself. It sounds obvious, but if you don’t love aspects of what they’ve created for other people, you may not love what they create for you! Even a great designer isn’t the right designer for every project. 

Also, do your research on your *audience.* Before you begin your design project, you need to know who you want it to reach. Your website may feel like it’s about you, but it’s really about who you’re hoping to serve, and ensuring your new site allows you to serve them well. The more you know about WHO you’ll be serving, where else they spend time online, why they’re following you, and what they want in a new site, the more you can tailor the end result exactly to them!

2. When you start with intention, you create with purpose.

Because Jilly’s team had spent time carefully curating inspiration that they loved AND made sense for the direction of the Jillian Harris brand, we were immediately able to understand the visual narrative they wanted to convey. Otherwise, it would have been MUCH harder for us to nail the visual look and feel of the site. Before you begin your design or branding project, spend time curating specific inspiration of how you want it to look AND feel — and make sure the inspiration isn’t ONLY from other websites! It can be anything, from living spaces, packaging, magazines… heck, we’ve designed a website based on a soap package we found at a boutique in Seattle and one from two pages I saw in a Greek inflight magazine!

Some of the brand + site inspiration

 

Okay, back to our story. Here are a few of the BIG things we determined in that first call:

We wanted to create a space that felt like a natural extension of Jillian’s personality and brand… that didn’t feel “new,” but more like the website, she was always supposed to have. We were hoping your first reaction would be, “Oh, this feels just like Jilly!” To do that, the site needed to be warm, welcoming, clean, sophisticated, feminine, and above all, VERY easy to use on both desktop and mobile. We even wanted to keep aspects of her old logo (the little pink heart, and the J!) so it didn’t feel ALL-NEW.

 

The new Jillian Harris brand

 

Jilly’s shop was always accessible on her site, but it didn’t feel like an “experience” where she’d personally picked her favorite things just to show you! Now it’s easy to navigate through all of the sections of her shop, and get to her favorite things, collaborations, AND featured brands (how cute is the little maple leaf to indicate a Canadian brand!), and (we think) it feels like you’re browsing one of your favorite online stores. 

There are SO many great recipes on the site, but there wasn’t an easy format to browse them all and easily find what you wanted. Now the new FOOD section is way more user-friendly, and there’s even a really cute recipe design… from the Kitchen of Jillian Harris!

Lastly, we wanted each category page to feel like it’s own little mini-site, with a welcoming note from Jilly, her favorite shop items for that category, and all of the posts, plus a handy little “sticky” menu to navigate further.

So, we had our objectives in place (not listed: approximately 300 other ideas, because #teamjilly is on the ball, you guys).  As we dive into the results, let’s do a few more tips, starting with a biggie:

3. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is if it doesn’t *work.*

Whether you’re redoing your website or your living room, think about the way visitors will interact with the space, how they’ll browse, and what they might be looking for. In design, we call that the “UX,” or the user experience. We spent so many hours testing the site on mobile to make sure it was a good experience, because, hey, most of you are reading this on your phones! And on both desktop and mobile, several things I’d designed originally CLEARLY didn’t make for a good user experience when tested… we actually designed a totally new Shop menu (seen below) only a few days before the site was finalized! Lesson? No matter how nice something looks, the moment you’re annoyed with the way it works (or doesn’t), you’re taken out of the experience. Pretty can’t fix that. 

4. Accentuate your best assets.

Jillian had over 9 years of incredible content on her site, and a lot of it was BURIED. We created the “reader favorites” section on the homepage and in every category so you could easily find some of the best posts you might have missed, and new visitors could easily get an idea of the kind of great content Jillian and her team create. When you sit down to create something new, start with the things you want people to see first — whether that’s a great chair in a room, an accessory in your outfit, or an area of your site — and make sure they’re actually the most accessible!

5. “People don’t buy goods and services, they buy relations, stories, and magic.” — Seth Godin

That’s one of my favorite quotes from branding genius Seth Godin, and basically, it means that people care about people (and their stories). There are a lot of blogs out there, and chances are if you’re reading this one, it’s because you care about Jillian and her team. That’s why we tried to put much more of THEM into this site…  Jillian’s old about page was cut and dried: a short bio, photo and a quick mention of her team. Her new one has fun facts, some of the posts highlighting big moments in her life, Nacho, Peaches, Justin, and LOTS more about the lovely, hardworking ladies of Team Jilly. We poured as much personality as we could into every little aspect and area of the site so it would all feel like a natural extension of her brand, and you’d feel welcomed here by Jillian herself. Don’t forget: people care about people, so tell a good story (you’ve got one, we swear!) and create some magic. 

Jillian’s About Section Before

 

Jillian’s About Section After

 

What a fun before and after, huh?  With that, I’ll close this little peek behind the website design curtain for now (comment if you have any questions!), but we hope you’re enjoying the new site we’ve all worked so hard to create for you! If you have any feedback or suggestions, we’d love to hear them, so make sure you leave us a note in comments! Otherwise, we just want to know – what’s your favorite part of the new site?

Lastly, as promised, here’s your Blood Orange Gin & Tonic recipe on us (just right click or tap to save it!)

Cheers to You!

There you have it! I hope you were able to get some key takeaways from this blog to apply to your own biz! Don’t forget that Tonic is offering 15% of your any design in their collection of customizable websites for the modern stylish creative with the code TEAMJILLY, so make sure to take advantage of this incredible deal if you’re in the need of a stunning site refresh! Click here to visit their site, and tell them I sent ya! 

 

Add Comment

4

show / 

 hide comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Emily

    February 6th, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I’m so, so, SO obsessed with the new site. It’s so visually appealing, very easy to navigate and it truly does feel like the website that Jillian not only should’ve had, but totally deserves to have! I can’t even pinpoint my favourite thing about it, because every detail, big and small is just remarkably well done. – Maybe it’s because I’m a graphic designer myself, but I’m totally aware of how complex this website must’ve been to build and to think of how well organized the site is now, is extremely impressive – I’ll absolutely be coming here for inspiration in my own designs. Congrats on the new site!!!

  2. Jenna T

    February 6th, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    I love the new site, especially the little details (like the hearts that are sprinkled throughout with great care!), and your team page. I think it’s such a lovely representation of Jillian’s personality and the team’s cohesiveness that each person is showcased in all their radiance. Well done!

  3. Lauren Swann

    February 6th, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Genius as always, Jeff & Jen!! Love this transformation!! Xoxo!!

  4. Jane rob

    February 15th, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Awesome useful post. As we’re a startup and looking brand our business, here I got great useful tips to implement in our website design and marketing. Since our website is in under construction developed by a leading website design agency in Sunshine Coast, here I got useful tips to brand our business. Thanks for sharing.

binge ALL the latest JH posts

Ready, Set, Save: The Nordstrom Sale is Now Open to the Public!

My Favourite Rugs: Indoor and Outdoor

Top Questions Answered & My Favourite Pieces from The Nordstrom Sale!

Bachelorette Recap: Fantasy Suites and Furious Goodbyes

My Favourite Must-Have Summer Shoes

THE JH SHOP

Jilly's Favourite Things

see more in the shop

Artboard 2

Sort by:

life

Food

Fashion

HOME

Travel

Beauty

All

All-Time Favourites

Baby

View the post

Hi!!! First of all,  I want to send my LOVE and thanks for all the amazing messages regarding our new little addition!  I’ve finally gotten around to writing Annie’s birth story as I’ve been “trying” to give myself enough downtime as possible (but you know me, I don’t “rest” much! LOL). Mackenzie just finished our […]

Sweet Annie: Our Birth Story

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

A Comprehensive List of My Favourite Baby Items

13 Things You Might Not Know About This Canadian Girl!

03

5 Things Justin and I Love About Each Other That Might Surprise You

04

10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

05

View the post

Our cherry trees have officially started producing fruit! In fact, they’re LOADED with delicious brilliant bright red Okanagan cherries! Leo and I have been making a daily habit of popping outside and plucking as many off of the trees as we can before the birds steal all of them on us! We have picked so […]

Okanagan Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

Raspberry Coconut Creamsicles

Classic Vegan Poutine

03

Strawberry Coconut Vegan Cheesecake

04

7 Recipes to Spoil Your Loved Ones this Valentine’s Day

05

View the post

Hey everyone! It’s Team Jilly here popping in for Jillian today to give you a little update on the highly anticipated Nordstrom sale! At the beginning of the week, Jillian shared some FAQs along with some of her favourite items from the Early Access sale, if you missed that blog post feel free to check it out […]

Ready, Set, Save: The Nordstrom Sale is Now Open to the Public!

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

Top Questions Answered & My Favourite Pieces from The Nordstrom Sale!

My Favourite Must-Have Summer Shoes

03

Jillian Harris x Etsy: The Summer Collection is Here!

04

Must-Have Summer Swimsuits

05

View the post

Finding the perfect rug for your home can be a very daunting task (trust me, I’ve been in your shoes many of times!). The options and styles seem neverending and it can all seem very overwhelming! So, I’m here to help … Jilly to the rescue!! LOL!! I decided to do this blog because I […]

My Favourite Rugs: Indoor and Outdoor

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

Egg Carton Picnic DIY

Jillian Harris x Saje Wellness: The Aroma Om is Back!

03

Jillian Harris x Etsy: The Summer Collection is Here!

04

Jillian Harris x Etsy: The Exclusive Summer Collection is Coming!

05

View the post

Aloha!!! Whenever I travel, I tend to get a ton of questions coming in on my social platforms so I thought I would round up a few questions that were most frequently asked and answer them here! PLUS, I took so many videos while we were in Hawaii that I also decided to share a vlog […]

12 Frequently Asked Questions about My Hawaiian Vacation

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

My 8 Best Travelling Tips

Team Jilly Takes on Dallas!

03

10 Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

04

5 Tips for Selecting Your Perfect One-Piece Swimsuit

05

View the post

If you saw my breastfeeding update blog last week you’ll know that I stopped breastfeeding Annie on Mother’s Day of this year when she was 8 months old! My original goal was to breastfeed Annie a minimum of 9 months up to a year but unfortunately, my supply had other plans! So, we transitioned Annie […]

Transitioning to Solids: Annie’s LED Weaning Progress

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

My Journey with Breastfeeding as of Now

Annie’s Daily Routine & Sleep Schedule

03

Home Tour Series: Annie’s Dreamy Nursery

04

8 Tips for Pumping & Storing Breast Milk While Travelling

05

View the post

Kaitlin and I are SO EXCITED to finally share this tutorial with you today!! As many of you know, Kaitlin Hargreaves is my Makeup Artist on set of Love It Or List It and on our big shoot days! I’ve known Kaitlin for seven years now and she’s the only one that I trust to […]

Kaitlin Does My Makeup: Her Favourite Tips, Tricks, & How-To’s

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

I Finally Made the Switch to Natural Deodorant: Here’s What I Learned!

My Every Day Cruelty-Free Makeup Tutorial

03

Eyebrow Microblading: To Do or Not to Do?

04

DIY: My Everyday Invigorating Body Scrub

05

View the post

As many of you know, Team Jilly (including my Agent, Tyler Evans!) and I attended The Atelier Collective on June 18th at the stunning Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto! While it was mine and Tyler’s very first time attending The Atelier, it was Shay and Mindy’s second year in a row and needless to say, we […]

Our Experience at The Atelier Collective + My 8 Key Brand Takeaways

01

FEATURED POSTS

02

Transitioning to Solids: Annie’s LED Weaning Progress

Plastic Free July: 7 Ways Our Family Is Reducing Single-Use Plastic in Our Home

03

My Journey with Breastfeeding as of Now

04

The New Look of Jillian Harris Revealed!

05

GET THE
JILLY NEWSLETTER

Stay in the loop on all things Jilly! Be the first to receive exclusive content, hear about upcoming collaborations, sales and much more!

New Post Updates

Collaborations

VIP-Exclusive Content

Annie’s Birth Story

FEatured videos

The Latest JH Videos

Cruelty-Free Makeup Tutorial

Browse all JH VIDEOS

Watch:

My Best Travel Tips

Watch:

Annie's Sip & See

Watch:

powered by chloédigital