Branding for Alison Inness

Thursday 29 March 2018

Logo and business stationery design for Alison Inness

I was delighted when Alison Inness commissioned me to create branding for her new garden design business. Alison recently qualified in garden design at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. But another of her undoubted unique selling points is her extensive horticultural experience. She has a wealth of knowledge about the selection and maintenance of plants, which she is keen to share with her clients via plant care information customized to their individual needs.

Alison needed a visual identity which reflected her specialist horticultural knowledge as well as her creativity. From the outset we agreed that it made sense to develop a logo design which included a representation of a flower or plant. Alison was also keen to explore ideas with soft edges using glaucous green and soft shades of purple and pink.

Round, like a circle

Having a logo which works within a circular shape makes it possible to use the same graphic device across multiple platforms. Circles fit into social media profiles well, work easily with stickers, and so on. In this case a circle also met Alison’s brief of using soft edges. To take this one step further, within the overall circular shape, the elements of the design are loosely grouped to avoid creating any hard edges.


The core brand colour is the glaucous green which I used in both a light and very dark shade. The pink and mauve are worked into the scheme as highlights in much the same way as blooms in a garden. Other colours with similar characteristics could be added to the palette at a later date to expand the branding.

Alison Inness's colour palette features two glaucous greens, a pink, and a mauve

The colour palette features two glaucous greens, a pink, and a mauve.

Alison knew exactly where she wanted to use her logo at the beginning of the project. This meant that before finalising the precise shades of each colour I was able to cross-check them against the materials we would need to produce her information folders, envelopes, and so on.

Working this way around helps make your branding extend seamlessly across all elements. This is because although there are hundreds of ranges of paper on the market, once you narrow down the options there are surprisingly few which meet all the necessary criteria. It’s impractical for a small brand to have custom-coloured paper manufactured, but if you choose your precise brand colour based on what is already available in the quantities you need then match to a Pantone colour you can achieve the appearance of custom-coloured materials without the added expense.

Developing the branding

Branding is far more than just a logo, and once you begin to apply a logo, colour scheme and typefaces you will inevitably find you need to develop the style further.

I developed Alison's branding using a custom illustration

In this case, I ‘extrapolated’ the logo itself, featuring the Anthrisus sylvestris in a meadow-style planting scheme. This helps to reinforce the importance of plants within Alison’s business and, in this instance, creates an eye-catching back to her business card. This sort of design approach could be further developed and adapted in future to feature on any number of items.

Client testimonial

I very much appreciate all of Sarah’s professional input and guidance with creating my logo and branding. Not only did she patiently hold my hand throughout, she totally understood what I was wanting to achieve and was able to bring her considerable knowledge to create the perfect logo for me and the branding to go alongside. She is very efficient and an absolute joy to work with. Thank you.

Alison Inness
Garden designer