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. 🙂
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.
Ready to distance yourself from your competition? Is it time to change or refresh your existing brand? Contact Us to find out how we can help.
Recently completed a logo and website rebranding for Empower Boise, an experiential training and effectiveness seminar located in Boise, Idaho. Their old logo had many elements going on, and was intended to capture the story of the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean (if you don’t know the story you can look it up). Our job was to create a cleaner, more effective logo that would be used on their website and marketing materials. We chose a stronger font for “empower” and then incorporated the starfish into the “o” to create a cohesive logo that projects the image of “empowerment”. Take a look at the before and after, and if you’re interested in the training, visit www.empowerboise.com.
Stand Up America has a primary mission to challenge, educate, inspire and mobilize community based organizations and leaders to “Stand Up “for community empowerment. Our goal is to provide collaboration opportunities, training, technical assistance and funding opportunities for underrepresented populations across America.
Graphic Zen’s job was to take the elements that Derrick envisioned for the Stand Up America logo, (map of America, organization name, Christian reference and “the pinkie) and incorporate into a logo that could be used for their ongoing awareness campaign. The pinkie is the first of five fingers that represent concepts in the Stand Up America campaign, in this case the pinkie represents “Courage”, as it only take the effort of raising your pinkie to take action and make a difference in your community.
After sketching a few concepts, I gradually developed this logo, using the elements described above to create the map of America. The rough font for “Stand” represents that we must stand where we are (circumstances/location) and be who we are. It also includes the Christian reference in the cross-like “T” in Stand. The five stars represent the five fingers that will be defined as the campaign goes on. The pinkie logo is represented and takes the place of the northeastern part of the U.S. while the rest of the organization name takes on the shape of the U.S.
A challenge to create, and very well worth the time!
The Adjustable Desk Project…
Lately, I’ve been investigating adjustable desk options that would allow me to stand and continue working. I’m not a sit for 8 hours a day type of designer. My cousin is a talented wood worker so I tasked him with researching adjustable height desks for me, so that we might build one.
In his research, he came across these awesome vintage/retro looking tables from Vintage Industrial in Phoenix, AZ. I love the heaviness of the table shown, with the crank wheel to adjust the height. There’s something so organic about the design that appeals to me, and just having something like this would inspire much creativity I think.
While the “space-age-techno” adjustable desks are nice and certainly functional, this steam-punk looking desk just seems invite you to come over and touch the surface. I also think the contrast between a computer/modern device sitting on this would look great.
So now it’s our turn. Armed with some inspiration, my cousin and I are in the planning stages of creating an adjustable desk for my office. I’ll keep you posted, most likely have something finished around the first of next year.
We were recently asked to review a logo and update it to a more modern and functional design. You can see the original design below:
This logo suffered from a lack of cohesion, poor type choice, and the unwarranted and often overused “swoosh” effects that have become common on too many logos. (I really think it’s a case of a designer trying to disguise a bad logo, or as they say “put lipstick on a pig”.)
Further, this logo would not lend itself to branding for company shirts and other promotional materials because by the time you reduced the size, the type would be rather small.
We took a look at the elements, agreed with the client that the color choices were fine, and began to process of creating a new logo for them. After a few prototypes we reached the final logo design, which is displayed below:
The result is a tight, well-defined logo that can be used on a variety of media, and most importantly, made the client very happy.