A New Look Newsletter

The idea came to me, as the best ideas always seem to, on holiday.

There’s something quite magical that happens once you totally switch off and just relax, isn’t there? Free of constant notifications, the pressure to post a better Instagram than last time or to simply stay on top of your diary, amazing things start to happen. Your mind is clear and your creativity starts to wander. Best of all, I think the best ideas happen when you’re not even looking for them.

Another gorgeous day with a beautiful view and lots of lovely rose. I could get used to this!

And so it was. Day two of the holiday, I’d settled down onto my sun lounger and picked up my magazine to read with my iced coffee. And bam! It hit me. This idea could so work for The Brand Stylist.

I’d been thinking for a while that I wanted to get my newsletters into better shape. I didn’t love how they looked, but more to the point, I was conscious that they weren’t adding as much value as I’d like. We’re all busy and I really, really appreciate those of you that let me into your inbox every month. And whilst we both want you to be up to date with the latest workshops or submissions for the book, I’d always intended to send out a little more. More in terms of value rather than quantity!

I’d wrestled with what to do for months. The truth is, I have no time. So committing to a regular ‘editorial schedule’ just seemed too much. And also too much for you guys. I find that the best emails to receive are the ones that don’t ask too much of me. So I didn’t want to send out a ginormous twenty minute read. I wanted to do something that was very accessible, but how?

Have you read The Simple Things magazine? I had a gift subscription a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it so picked up the latest copy to take on holiday with me. And there it was, a truly simple idea that blew my mind. As I read the Editor’s letter I saw in there something that just fitted so well with what I want to do. Every issue is focused around a single theme. So simple but so effective!

I started to see how this sort of thing could work for my newsletters. There are certain rhythms to business; things slow down over the summer and pick up in Autumn. January is all about fresh starts and in Spring we get creative and inspired. It ebbs and flows with the seasons and means that we can share a certain focus without things getting overwhelming.

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Every month I’ll send you out a newsletter with a very particular focus. It’ll be very brief and I hope, very inspiring. If you have the time or the inclination, there’ll be links to some more in depth workbooks and resources. This month is a chance to clarify things. Taking that calm and ability to focus that you hopefully gained over the summer slowdown, we have an opportunity to take a step back and set our intentions for our business before we get overwhelmed by deadlines and our to do lists.

It’s a new way of doing things, and like everything new, it’s scary. It’s going to push me out of my comfort zone, big time. I’m already a little terrified by the boundaries of email design. I hate not being able to totally design how the text looks or exactly how things behave on different devices. But completion over perfection is something I am a big believer in for the web. You just can’t make everything look perfect all the time – you just have to do your best.

The first new look newsletter will be out next week, and I’ve already sent out a couple of emails in the new style so some of you will have already had a preview. I do hope you like – please do let me know what you think! Oh, and if you’re not already on the list and you’d like to subscribe, you can sign up here. Enjoy!

Here’s the mockup I created initially to just play about with what was possible, and hopefully those of you that have received it have found it not a million miles from my initial design. I can’t wait to share the story behind the lovely new identity for The Brand Stylist too – although looking at my diary, it could well be some weeks yet!

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Do let me know what you think!

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12 Comments

Stephanie

Beautiful and simple ! Love it . I kind of do something along those lines with the regular “update” newsletter but for new subscribers, I create a Welcome sequence which sends a series of emails recapping previous ones that they wouldnt’ have received: so one on my finds in Provence, one about beach hotels, one about Paris best addresses etc. Great way to recycle too!

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emma

Hi Fiona – huge fan of your work, website and everything. I like the newsletter but, maybe it’s just me, I find the handwriting script really hard to read…not a criticism just feedback, but love everything else 🙂

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Fiona Humberstone

Thanks so much for your honesty Emma, I agree, it is quite hard to read. I LOVE the mood it gives so I think I’ll explore captioning underneath. I’ve deliberately used it on things that you don’t *need* to be able to read in detail but I can imagine on a phone especially it’s tricky 😉

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Lanie

Fiona, I agree with Emma. I so appreciate the information and inspiration you share. But the font for titles, while artistic, is a bit extreme so not easy to read. p.s. I hope you will bring a workshop close to my city on this side of the pond! Would grasp the opportunity to work with you in person.

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Carin

I love the look of it as well, but I do have to agree with Emma and Lanie, the script font is really hard to read, even on a laptop. In the newsletter you have a section at the bottom that says “C L A R I F Y Y O U R B R A N D… Resources on the blog you’ll find especially useful this month” and then links below, it took me white a while to work out what they were about…

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Ren

Hi Fiona, love the new approach. I already look forward to receiving your newsletters so this is even more exciting! Ren

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Julieanne

I just had the first newsletter delivered to my email – it’s lovely. I really like how you have connected the theme of the newsletter to the content you have on your website (the section at the bottom. (The handwriting font however is a tiny bit hard to read).

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Melissa nassif

Hi Fiona, Absoutely love you work, I have your book and reference it all the time and follow you on all social platforms. Loving the new look newsletter the only thing is the script font is difficult to read, whilst it looks cool I couldn’t read the longer heading sorry. As a creative myself I know it’s helpful to see things from other people’s perspective. Looking forward to the next book and more greatness. Thanks for sharing.

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tania muser

Wow It’s really very interesting and I love the new design. So clear and elegant. I make me think about Coco who sais Less is more:
I’m looking forward to reading your news letter.

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