Today I thought I’d show you behind the scenes of how Say Hello to the City got started. It’s an idea I’ve had for a few years and it’s exciting to see it go from living inside my head to being online.
I’ve always enjoyed blogging because it’s a fun way to archive my thoughts and interests. But when I started interviewing local creatives around Des Moines, I realized I needed to have a more substantial online presence. So I said goodbye to my Tumblr and set off in search of a new site; focused on the creative community in Des Moines.
Whenever I visit sites that are based out of Los Angeles or New York, I notice they all have tabs specific to their city. I always thought: “If I start a blog, it’s going to have a Des Moines tab.” And that idea was the initial inspiration for this site and everything else was built on top of it. That being said, I avoided using “Des Moines” in the title of the site because I didn’t want to have to start a whole new blog if I ever moved.
At pop-up dinner, I was seated next to a web designer named Cait Goodman and asked her if she had time to design my layout. i’m so glad it worked out because I really admire Cait's personal aesthetics (topknots and turtlenecks!) and her online portfolio was just my type - minimal without feeling too stark.
Cait was the perfect creative partner because she was great at utilizing my ideas, while adding her own expertise. The term I kept using for the blog’s overall theme was “warm minimalism” and I really feel she captured that idea perfectly.
Over the course of three weeks, we met to discuss the site’s layout, as well as the fonts and colors et cetera . We used Pinterest to create mood boards that captured the vibe I wanted my space to exude (sounds very New Age, I know).
It was helpful to see the process unfold because it helped me gain a better appreciation for the logistics behind the design process. It's also very inspiring to see your ideas begin to take on a more tangible form.
It took a good month or two from start-to-finish, but it gave me ample time to decide on how I wanted things to look. I think the final product is killer.
If you need a web designer, I can't recommend Cait enough to you. She's organized, efficient, and it always felt like she was one or two steps ahead of me (in the best way possible). I hope you kind of get a feel for how this all worked and have a better appreciation for all the work that goes on behind the scenes of something like this site.
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was this blog.
(all photography by Elizabeth Brown unless noted otherwise)