Hey, are you even reading this? A huge number of our readers probably aren't, because most of you come here from Google or Pinterest searching for one specific thing, and then leave. That's exactly what we're trying to change with this redesign. We're re-branding Curbly in hopes of making it a place you trust to inspire and teach you, every day.
When Curbly launched, nine years ago, these things didn't exist: iPhones, Pinterest, self-driving cars, and my two children. Curbly was meant to be a social network for people who were into design, decor, and home improvement. And while our mission, "Love Where You Live", hasn't changed, just about everything else has.
We're not a social network.
Yeah, that part didn't pan out so much. For a while we had lots of users who contributed blog posts, and we even had Clippings (visual bookmarks) years before Pinterest did. But, we have officially become a blog and content library, not a social network. And, we're cool with that.
We make our own content.
Maybe you didn't know that? You could be forgiven, since it's not always super-obvious what we've created and what we've simply curated. But, we now have an amazing team of really talented people (Alicia, Chris, Brittni, JoAnn, Faith, Lexy, Lidy, Jeran, Jennifer, and Stephanie) who make and photograph original projects that don't exist anywhere else online. We publish more than 15 posts, with at least five original projects, every week!
If you think of Curbly as a place that just re-posts other bloggers' content, think again. Here's a link to all our original stuff.
When it comes to social media, we were early to some (Pinterest), and late to others (Instagram). But, now we're firing on all cylinders. Check out our Instagram feed for daily updates and inspiration. Our Pinterest profile is a must-follow (I mean, I'm biased, since my wife runs it ... Hi, Alicia!). We have almost 50,000 followers on Facebook, and we love and appreciate every one of them. And, Twitter ... umm ... yeah, we're working on that too (did I say all cylinders?). Sorry, I just don't get Twitter.
Sponsored posts. We do that.
Curbly is a full-time job for three people, and a part-time job for several more. Sponsored posts allow us to pay for the content that we give away every day for free. They also let us rely a little less on annoying banner ads. We work really hard to make our sponsored content as authentic, organic and un-intrusive as possible. We hope you like 'em. Are you a brand looking to work with us? Check out our media kit site.
Here's my chance to say thanks. To all those readers (more than 51 million since 2006) who have done us the favor of typing in www.curbly.com in a browser, following us on a social media site, telling their friends about us, or leaving nice comments ... thank you so much. Blogging can be lonely and anonymous sometimes, but at the end of the day we're here to connect with our readers, and we're grateful for your attention.
How the new design came together
Back in January, 2015, we had our big yearly editorial planning call. One of the things that emerged from that was a sense that our existing design and branding didn't match the direction we wanted to take the site. It wasn't sophisticated enough; it didn't present our content in the most beautiful context. And, the brand wasn't well thought out. Was this the logo?
Oh, I know, it's this one:
Very confusion. Such green.
So we hooked up with an amazing local design firm called Studio MPLS, which just happened to be right next door to the amazing Peace Coffee shop so we could get a kick-ass latte before every meeting (not that that had anything to do with it).
They helped us refine our ideas and decide what Curbly was really about. We call these our brand attributes:
Then the Studio MPLS folks started brainstorming. Here's one of the initial inspiration boards we looked at:
And, some of the initial logo sketches:
And some more logo refinements:
After many more lattes, we settled on the version we like to call, officially, "the smiley one". We agonized over the exact size of the 'smile':
We eventually settled on the logo you now see throughout the site. It's awesome. We love him/her/it. It can work in monochrome, in small sizes, with colored and illustrated fills, and with textures.
We feel like the new logo (and logomark) gives us a really solid, flexible foundation going forward. You'll be seeing lots of it (...just the right amount, don't freak out!).
So, here we are. Curbly has gone from this:
To this (bleagh!):
To what you see today. Let me know what you think!