Nonetheless, at LION Fabrics, we realised it was time for a change. The reason wasn’t really a change of trends, new management or pure boredom with the existing look - it was the evolved nature of our work. Ever since we started our company, we dreamt big. Step by step, moving from a smaller warehouse to a larger one and building our own storage and inspection centre, we got to a point of global expansion. A logical next step seemed to be to open up new offices around the world. So, that’s exactly what we did - we set up an office in China as one of the biggest markets for fabric sourcing and another one in Germany so we can focus on European sales. It put us on the map and worked out great.
However, once you start this sort of global expansion, you start thinking about your brand’s perception. What is appealing to the world and the industry nowadays? You realise you are dealing many different cultures and styles. Some prefer minimal and modern style, some are more appreciative of the loud maximalism. We quickly understood that, for us to blend in globally, we needed a universal look, more suited to an international market. It was more than just about the look - it was about sending a message and positioning ourselves on a new level. To do that, we needed more than just a pretty face.
It is needless to say that businesses today highly depend on their digital presence. And that starts with websites. From the get-go, it was pretty clear that our website needed an update to better present our new identity and give users the experience they would expect - being able to customize their fabrics, getting that “wow” feeling while browsing, comparing colors, finding inspiration, etc. So, we now had two goals
- refresh our visual identity
- build a new website that gives it justice.
The centerpiece of every visual identity is, of course, the logo. Ours has had a few iterations in the past, but the gist was always the same - the lion was the star of the show. Lion Fabrics is a family-run business and has recently been taken over by a new generation of the family. As with all things in life, the new generation felt there was a need for a bit of disruption. Something less obvious, yet bold. To fit in with the contemporary standards, the logo needed to get cleaner, less busy and maybe even more subtle and sophisticated, to go with the brand image.
But, the process of discovery starts from the basic ideas. So, firstly we went we the obvious solution - the lettering. Trying to get that wordmark right would also help us define the typography. Meaning, if we aren’t going to have the lion, let’s keep the motifs it represents - it has to be somewhat regal. That’s why we chose a serif font that gives a more traditional look, to emphasise our heritage.
In our previous logo, the lion wears a crown. While experimenting with the new ideas, we played with the crown as an element that resembles our old look. It goes back to that premise of going for a new look, but keeping our core identity intact. And that’s what looked familiar - the shape we got from the negative space forms both the crown and the fabric rolls. It was a full hit and it made perfect sense to everyone.
Once we had the logo locked down, it was time to move on to the big works. The website now needs a style and art direction showing our new look but also making sure the functionality is flawless. For our users, it’s important to have a smooth, easy browsing experience that helps them navigate intuitively through a vast selection of fabrics, all of which have their different characteristics. This means a lot of filtering, comparisons, configuration, customer profile, etc. Not just that, we also had to make sure the experience worked just as well on mobile devices. To ensure that, Shopify was chosen as a building platform for our site. It has all the standard elements of an e-commerce and it gives us the flexibility to get creative with brand experience and product presentation.
First up was the art direction - a combination of soft background colors with red accents was a great combination to elevate the fabrics. The design needed to put content in the spotlight rather than steal all the attention. The color palette is now much more refined and sophisticated with the classic combination of black, white and red, giving it a luxurious and bold look that oozes with confidence. It doesn’t stick out but rather blends in with an array of colors, materials and patterns. To make the experience a bit more vivid, we also used a lot of video materials that show how our process works, from quality assurance to storage and shipments.
Next up, the configurator. The tricky thing here is to create true-to-life digital assets of the fabrics. It takes a lot of high-quality materials to produce this and it can bog down the website’s performance. But, compromise wasn’t an option, we had a clear goal to set the standard high. There’s been a lot of optimisation, workarounds and jumping through hoops until we got it just right.
With the new configurator, our users can now
- browse through our entire selection of upholstery, choose different fabrics and colors,
- cross-compare samples
- inspect details such as maintenance information or pattern availability.
This was a crucial step up for us. Our previous website was oriented quite a lot towards the company. It was the right content at the time but now it needed more emphasis on the product and user experience. When it comes to positioning as an international brand, it was clear to us that the only rule that matters is - show, don’t tell. We wanted a visual identity that naturally gives a sense of professionalism, content that shows our devotion to rigorous quality control as well as careful selection and a configurator that matches the performance of industry standards. Together with our partners from Avalon Studio, PNG systems and BORNFIGHT STUDIO, we successfully turned that vision into something real.
For us, it means turning a new page (no pun intended) and beginning another successful chapter for Lion Fabrics. We are competitive by nature and our goal is to position ourselves among the top global fabric suppliers. To get there, it’s mandatory to keep investing in our digital presence the same way we invest in our business. It’s more than obvious to us that our valued customers recognize this and we believe it will ultimately bring more value to them.
That being said, we look forward to keeping up with the orders.