After 15 years as a reporter for The Washington Post, Terri Sapienza was ready to do something new. She had amassed considerable experience as a home writer and design expert and wanted to expand her reach to national shelter magazines covering home decorating and design. Terri and I met at The Washington Post where we worked together on the Local Living section, the newspaper’s weekly home and lifestyle section. When she decided to launch out on her own, I couldn’t wait to help her. I wanted to give her a brand identity and website that were as pretty and professional as she was. And I already knew we’d work really well together.
It was important to Terri that her branding reflect her design taste and personal style, which are classic and elegant yet casual and approachable. Terri has a well-honed decorating aesthetic (her home could easily be featured in any decorating magazine), and I wanted her branding to have that same level of sophistication. The starting point was her favorite color, a light turquoise blue, which I paired with dark grays and golds reminiscent of polished nickel and antique brass. The all caps serif name logo, generous spacing and centered alignment create a clean, classic look. Touches like the handwritten font and tilted photos with drop shadows (seen later on the website) add softness and informality.
Because Terri was making a career change, it was important to target her message and frame her website accordingly. I used a large slideshow on the homepage to highlight the main points she wanted to communicate with her site, using work samples that immediately conveyed her writing and design specialties. And even though Terri was just starting out as a freelancer, she’d already worked for an impressive list of publications. I included those at the bottom of the homepage to add gravitas to the site.
Although Terri had spent most of her career at one publication, she had worked on a wide variety of stories — from designer profiles to high-end renovations. We organized her filterable portfolio by story type to emphasize her considerable range. We then selected stories that had magazine-quality visuals to show how her skills translated to national editorial publications.
With a new personal brand and professional portfolio site, Terri feels even more confident when she approaches magazine editors to pitch her story ideas. Her responsive WordPress site looks gorgeous on all platforms, plus she’s able to easily update and maintain it herself. Keep an eye out for her byline in upcoming issues of your favorite decorating magazine. You’re going to start seeing her name everywhere.