Beverly: a Design Case Study

The rebranding of a classic modern furniture company that came along with a new website, App Store app, and furniture catalog.

Beverly is a small custom furniture manufacturer in Pomona, California. At Beverly, I got to do many projects; from creating the social media posts and newsletters, to re-designing the website and logo, and being the assistant editor of the Room Service Catalog.

I joined Beverly as a designer after a change in CEO, and under a newly hired Marketing Director. The idea was to redesign the entire business with the creation of a new product catalog, Room Service, a website redesign (and an e-commerce site), and an app store app.

Our goal was to modernize the company and attract new customers as the company entered new territory by attending Trade Shows such as High Point Market.

The Team

Our team consisted of me, a developer, and the Marketing Director. He created a lot of the tasks I was to complete, and gave me guidance in their design and implementation. For a short period of time, we had another graphic designer join when the task of redesigning the website and expanding the online shop became too much for both of us alone.

Design Process

Creating a Style Guide

Beverly’s first logo was created by the son of the CEO. After many years, it was changed by the marketing director who hired me (second image). The marketing director still wasn’t content with the design and wanted to lighten the color scheme so that the website could also match the light theme. He wanted to keep the ‘b’ but he asked me to make it more “light.”

After many sketches we finally decided on the one on the right. It was simple and sleek, the ‘b’ was changed to be a bit rounder, and the circle around it faded out and had a drop shadow giving it depth.

The color scheme was changed to this, in order to make the brand more modern and minimal. The biggest change was the background which had previously been brown and black, now it was white, and black text was used for everything except a few select titles.

Website Redesign

When we began working on the website I was told to not alter the front page except for the background, because the CEO had paid someone to design it with the dark color scheme. (later this changed)

My main tasks were to organize the information that would be on the hover over menu, create the product pages while migrating the site to Magento, and creating additional pages such as the finishes and about page. Later we ended up changing the landing page as well which is what it looks like now.

The biggest issue we had during my time there was with the website, it had been designed by someone else, so when my deadline was set the company didn’t have the credentials to edit the code, which ended up giving us a very limited time to make the changes we ended up needing.

UX Research & Audience

Beverly’s clients were interior designers and online retailers. While Beverly specialized in custom high-end furniture, sometimes they did individual client work such as restorations — this was not the audience we wanted to focus engagement with. Because the main goal was to attract more interior designers, our persona became Kim (the CEO’s wife), or rather, a fictionalized and generalized version of Kim, because she was an interior designer.

Prior to implementing the website design changes, I conducted user interviews with sales reps. The website was meant for them to be able to place orders online, after meeting with customers in person.

We wanted to create a system that made sense for them to use, and closely followed their current workflow so that they’d adopt it.

Constraints

One of the biggest problems we faced at Beverly was the sense of uncertainty. The company had been under a lot of financial hardship and the redesign was it’s last effort at reestablishing itself. New management and old management often collided in what they believed the future was which left us with a lot of misdirection. Our biggest deadlines were always trade shows because that was when they had the best sales. For the entirety of 2015 a new project was completed before every trade show Beverly attended.

In Perspective

My time at Beverly was a success because we brought the company to new peaks. At the third trade show the company presented at in 2015, we ended up selling all the pieces before the show even began. The company grew an online following, and the online shop brought in many new clients.

In all honesty, I don’t think it was just the website that brought in new orders. The company released a new catalog that I was the assistant editor for named Room Service that year, and I think a lot of the orders that came were from that.

Of course there are things I would change and would have preferred to do differently. I didn’t have the creative freedom I would have liked, but that’s part of designing for a pre-existing brand as opposed to creating your own. I had to learn to build on top of what previous employees had created before me.


🙏 Thank you for reading this post, comment below with any thoughts or questions, I love to read them!


A previous version of this case study was published on my website, latechno.moda.