Our latest project is done and live on the interwebs! Extremely grateful to the entire Nagel Foundation Board of Directors, for collaborating on the process of developing a new brand identity mark and website.
The Nagel Foundation story started with a German immigrant who bought a soda-water company for $700 in 1895 that serviced ten saloons in downtown Boise, and turned it into a thriving business.
In 2009 after the Nagel family sold their business, they established the Nagel Foundation with the mission to support human needs such as medical treatment, food needs, and youth education.
Projects sometimes come with no set of guidelines or creative brief. I can be free to explore and develop concepts without feeling like I’m straying from a set of rules. That’s cool. This was the case with a recent project from the Meridian Library District, and their Meridian Writes program.
This program was created to highlight the talent and work from Meridian authors. Authors who live in the Meridian city limits or library boundary district can submit work for review by library staff. The staff will select three finalists and then ask select members of the Meridian community to choose a winner.
I initially started creating a traditional “medal” award type of graphic, complete with gold or silver accents and somewhere in the process I thought, “Why does it have to be round like a coin?” So after thinking about some shapes, I decided to go with something different, yet still “roundish”. For the center graphic, I experimented with different type styles and images, including a tree and the calligraphy nib you see here. I decided to add the digital-like element as part of the calligraphy pen to represent the fact that we now live in a digital age where books are often created and read via computer and tablet or phone, yet the art of writing began and still continues with putting pen to paper.
Of the five designs submitted, the Library choose the one you see here. I hope the participants of this new program continue to work and enjoy their creative craft, much like graphic designers do. 🙂
Clients often wonder when it’s time to change, or update their logo. Do you evolve your logo (change it slightly)? Or do you revolutionize your logo, and come up with something completely different?
Below are two examples of evolving and revolutionizing a logo.
First we have CBS Sports, which evolved their sports logo, which had been in use for 37 years. You’ll notice the new logo is much cleaner, though I’m not in favor of the gradient fade to the new logo. This logo lasted CBS 37 years, which is a pretty good run for a sports/media logo.
Which brings us to the question, “How do you know it’s time to change your logo?”
Well, think about your company. Have you changed your core business? Maybe you started out manufacturing a product and found that providing a service for your industry was a better business model for you. That might warrant a logo change. Have your employees or vendors expressed the idea that your logo might be out of date?
This brings us to our second example; a total revolution of a logo.
Segundo Mano recently changed their name to Vibbo. Segundo Mano (Spanish for Second Hand) is like a Craigslist for Spain. The parent company made the decision on the name change and the logo was designed by Barcelona-based Summa.
As you can see, the new logo retains nothing of the past logo. It’s bold, colorful and very simple in execution, comprised of just rectangles and half circles to form the letter shapes. It’s a very cool logo.
You may be thinking ‘why did they change their name’?. And that’s the key to communicating to your key people, employees, vendors and your customers – “WHY?”. If you can let everyone know why you made the change (or why you’re considering the change), you’re likely to get more constructive feedback and acceptance. People don’t like change, and I think they are more accepting to it if they know the reason why. They may not agree with it, but they will understand the reasoning behind the decision.
We always start out by asking ‘why?’ to our clients. Why do you need a new logo? Why do you need a new website? Uncovering the reasons behind wanting a change often reveals what’s really going on in your business, and it may involve more than a re-brand. It may a bigger issue that you need to focus on.
If you’d like help discovering your why, and get our help in creating something awesome for you, contact us to schedule a consultation.
The latest client logo is for Jorene Batali, an Independent Scentsy Consultant. Scentsy is direct selling company that offers a variety of home and personal fragrance products, including scented wickless candles and decorative ceramic warmers, which together provide a safer alternative to burning wicked candles.
To create this logo I concentrated on a few core elements that Jorene suggested – bright colors, and her team name (Scentsy consultants and their downline, or team members, like to create unique and inspirational team names to distinguish themselves from other teams). Jorene’s team is known as Team “Dream Possible!” because she says when you dream your big goals, you should dream possible. In addition a butterfly was suggested as this is a personal symbol that holds importance to Jorene, because it symbolizes, change, growth, beauty, and freedom.
The butterfly icon/wings symbolize both the “dp” for her team name, “Dream Possible!” and can also be her initials, “JB”. This logo can support a wide range of colors, and still be identifiable, making it extremely flexible. As you can see by the sample images below, the logo can work as a single color logo, or as part of a multi-color design and is still effective. You can find out more about Scentsy by visiting Jorene’s website at //jorene.scentsy.us/.
I was texting with a friend the other day who said he was glad my business was going well. Jokingly, I replied that my boss was a jerk (I’m self-employed) and that I was too hard on myself. He replied, “You should fire that guy.”
You know what? He was right. As I thought about it, I realized that there was no way that I could speak to an employee the way that I internally speak to myself sometimes, and if I did, the employee would either quit or sue me.
We all have an internal dialogue going on, and I’m not sure if it’s just a self-employed trait or the way that I’m wired, but that voice in my head never shuts up. I’m constantly critiquing, reviewing, analyzing, and monitoring my work. I noticed that in my case, that voice is a mostly negative fellow, and not the nice, forgiving and patient guy that outwardly speaks to people I work with.
Now I’m more aware of the feedback that I’m giving myself. If it’s negative, I stop and think about why I’m thinking that way, and then I’ll reframe the incident in a more positive way. It’s only been a couple of days, and the results have been good. I’m less angry at myself and as a result have been way more productive. Nice bonus there.
So I’m sorry voice in my head. Your performance isn’t what we’re looking for at Graphic Zen so I’m going to have to let you go.
My advice? Give it a try and give yourself a break. You’re worth it.
Continuing with (IMO) great and iconic album covers, I present to you Destroyer from “the hottest band in the land” KISS.
Destroyer came on the heels of their worldwide hit KISS ALIVE!, which was the biggest selling live album in history. Knowing that the follow up album to this had to be every bit as good, an artist was sought out to produce the album cover.
Enter Ken Kelly. Born in 1946, Ken was always interested in art as a kid, but didn’t pursue it as a career until he left the Marines in 1968, after a four-year term. Back in New York he sought the guidance of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, who took him on as an apprentice and helped guide his early work.
In 1969, Ken landed a book cover project and has worked for every major publishing house since, including working on a series for fantasy writer Robert E. Howard.
For the Destroyer cover, Ken was faced with a tight deadline and many revisions, one for the first cover version being “too violent”, (it was the mid-seventies). The second happened as he was almost finished and was asked to start over and paint the band in their new costumes. According to all involved, Ken was a professional and took these challenges in stride with no complaints.
Growing up in the mid-seventies I can say that this was one of my first record purchases, and made me very popular at school, as the cover was so visually striking.
Ken also painted a follow up album cover for KISS, Love Gun, which is very unique and identifiable in its own right. He continues to work today and his website can be found at www.kenkellyfantasyart.com.
So you’ve got your company name for your business and are ready to meet with a designer to get all those logo ideas down on paper so you can launch your business to the world.
Have you considered how important color is when establishing your brand/logo?
You see, if you’re in a competitive industry (and you are), then what color your competition uses for their brand should influence what color you use. You certainly don’t want to use the same color for your logo, because you want to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Let’s use cell phone service as an example. This is a fast paced and very competitive industry that is vying for the attention of the consumer. Here are some of the major players and their colors:
Can you imagine how confused or conflicted consumers would be if these companies all used the same colors? Now, I’m not saying that choosing a color will make or break your business, but you do want to start off on the right foot.
Let’s say your just starting your company name which is called Yates Painting and your director competitor is Bates Painting, a company that’s been around for 20 years. Already there’s a problem because the names are similar. Now imagine you compound this confusion by choosing the same color that Bates uses, which is red. In effect when your employees are driving around red Yates Painting trucks, in the mind of the consumer they see BATES Painting. Why? They are used to seeing Bates Painting red trucks – you did nothing to distinguish yourself visually from your competition. Confused? So are your clients, because in their mind they’re already thinking of a company that’s been around for 20 years driving red trucks.
When you hire Graphic Zen to create your logo, we are also researching your competition to see what colors and other visual elements they are using. We do this so we can set you apart from your competition. Logo colors, fonts, and layouts all play a role in establishing your brand.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a refresh. Take Google’s recent change for example, by changing the font and colors, they have created a buzz and injected more energy into their brand.