Brand Reveal: Bossladies

I believe our personal selves – the intimate, sacred pieces of us – are what make us good at business after all. They allow us to see the world differently than the person standing beside us, and therefore, they allow us to design solutions differently too.
— Chelsea Sonksen

Bossladies Magazine is a biannual print publication for the modern female entrepreneur. Each issue centers on one city and spotlights the amazing women who live and work there. The publication aims to inspire women all over the world to grow meaningful, ethical, and sustainable businesses.

The rebrand for bossladies was the result of a reader survey conducted a year after the publication launched. While the first brand was lovely, it didn't communicate the sense of maturity, critical thinking, artistry, or sophistication of the women featured within the pages. We wanted to change that.


Chelsea, the editor and founder of bossladies, wanted the new brand to feel feminine, but not too girly.  The words she used to describe the ideal reader were smart, sophisticated, mature, thoughtful, reflective, relatable, artistic, and grounded. We selected images that showcased quiet moments, natural palettes, strong women, diversity, sentimentality, and depth. We wanted this new brand to have layers.


The first concept I created was influenced by strong journalism mastheads. I wanted to create a look that could have been one or fifty years old. However, the stories of powerful women in business are, unfortunately, not timeless. And if we went with the first option, we would need to use the secondary layouts to make the brand feel relevant to the modern working woman. The second concept alludes to layers within the white space. This solution felt bold and confident, without being aggressive. I particularly loved this concept because I felt it had the most opportunity to expand.

Initially, we chose concept one; however, the more we revised, the less we resonated with the look. After a few attempts to modernize the typeface, we went back to concept two and the brand fell right into place.


Around this time, Pete, Chelsea's partner, taught her two Japanese words - tamatae and honne. She had been looking for a way to articulate the divide between the professional and personal self. "Tamatae is the part of yourself that you present to the public, the outward facade. And honne is that which you keep sacred or personal, the piece of yourself you share with your closes friends and family." To read more about how these words play into the bossladies narrative, read Chelsea's post here.

We began to see how the new brand beautifully communicated the relationship between tamatae and honne - and in so many ways this was being shown within the interviews and among the women who participated in the community. We are all in search of that ever-elusive balance between two worlds.


And finally, we were able to see the new brand applied to the magazine. I felt incredible joy at the evolution of bossladies, and how well it fit the direction Chelsea was going in. This new look captures the heart of this company so much better than before, and is one of my favorite transformations to date. 

If you'd like to read the latest issue of the magazine and see the new branding in action, be sure to pick up a copy here.

Interested in going through your own brand transformation? Visit my services page for information about my two branding packages to see which one is the right fit for you!