Photo by Kate Grewal
When we were approaching our five-year anniversary, we knew we needed to rebrand the company to reflect what we’ve grown since our start. What we didn’t realize is how big and beautiful the extent of the rebranding could be. That’s all thanks to designer Melissa Yeager, the mastermind of Grey House’s look & feel, who continues to work with #TeamGreyHouse as Brand Strategist and Designer.
Placing value in value
Grey House founder and CEO Hannah Soto first came across Melissa’s work a few years ago. While searching for design inspiration, she stumbled upon the Wonderful Machine logo, whose design story credited Melissa’s handiwork. Hannah remembers being “impressed with not only the design, but how incredibly thoughtful the thinking behind it was — that Melissa’s designs were guided by the ‘why’ (brand values) before the ‘what’ (brand colors + logo).”
Despite admitting to a little sticker shock when perusing Melissa’s services, Hannah was moved by the principles spelled out on Melissa’s website, which emphasize the value of good design. “I kept coming back to the fact that Grey House is driven by value, and why it matters,” Hannah says. “So shouldn’t our rebrand do the same?” Beyond a mutual love for project management and production (Melissa formerly worked at a production house), the concept of placing value in design is what sealed the deal, and we’ve been working with Melissa ever since.
The first step in Melissa’s design overhaul was research-based. Through a detailed questionnaire process, she says she “learned everything I possibly could about Grey House Productions — from its history, to goals going forward.” Thereafter, certain light bulbs started to go off in her head: What’s the hierarchy in our brand name? How could we maximize reaching multiple audiences with our visuals? Eventually, these elements translated into a mood, a color palette, and iconography.
While we love everything that Melissa came up with for Grey House’s rebranding, we’re in love with our new mark: the camera with the egg (or donut, depending which you see first). Melissa offers a peek behind the curtain of how this savvy mark came about: “My favorite brands are ones that can subtly do multiple things. Grey House’s mark is really fun: It’s a camera and a donut and an egg all at the same time. The different elements are whimsical, but they’re put together in a very clean style that reflects the personality of the brand — but it’s a showstopper, as well. It has this illuminated glow nodding to the ‘rise and shine’ element, speaking to the passion and the excitement behind the team at Grey House.”
In Melissa’s words, here’s a breakdown of the logo’s iconography: “The camera is the most recognizable symbol for a production business, and seemed to be the best fit for imagery. Of course, donuts represent Grey House’s passion for food, and making sure that everyone’s very well fed and taken care of while on production. And then there’s the egg. It’s this idea of taking something from the beginning, a birth to completion, but it also speaks to this rise and shine, get-up-and-go attitude.”
An evolving role
Like our branding, Melissa’s multifaceted talents are woven throughout the company. As Hannah has said, “Melissa found things in us that we didn’t even know were a part of us.” That’s the sign of a truly incredible designer, and the reason why Melissa was invited to join #TeamGreyHouse as our Brand Strategist and Designer. She admits she often forms close relationships with clients, and Hannah was one of those instances she says she’s grateful for. “She hired me for design,” Melissa says, “but came to appreciate my head for strategy, and that I really appreciate systems. We’re very similar in that she’s evolved in a way that she is the heart and soul of Grey House, but has a modular team that expands and contracts based on the company’s needs. It was a natural fit for both of us.”
For more of Melissa Yeager’s work, visit www.melissayeager.com.