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Logo Process – Apple & Eve [nude] Identity Development

Apple & Eve Logo Presentation Image

This logo process post is for a rather tantalising company called Apple & Eve. The client, was in fact a repeat client, my first logo for them was the Illumina logo design, so it’s always nice when a client comes back for more.

Initial Thoughts

I’ll be honest, when I first heard the name I did wonder how I could be able to really do this justice. Anything Adam (Apple) & Eve is fraught with religious, clip-art, tacky and cliche associations. My mind already churning over all the over used imagery I could end up using. Scary.

Then the Apple. Oh my. That Apple. You know, THAT Apple.

An Apple is an Apple, if the company name has Apple in it, you can’t very well use an orange or kiwi. Sometimes the obvious is what has to be used, so how you implement it is the key.

The Eve aspect also got me a little anxious at first, how can one visualise the female Eve in a logo, in a tasteful and iconic way? So plenty to ponder over

In the end, it turned out to be quite a rewarding logo project to work on.

The brief

You could say that I had a sort of ‘artistic licence’ on this project, the brief was ‘brief’. This was my fault, I got a little too relaxed as I knew the client. For some reason I didn’t treat him the same as a new client. Can’t answer why, but I did. The result was that the first few ideas were FAR short of what the client wanted.

I hadn’t asked the right questions, hadn’t really asked the client to be as detailed as I usually am in answering the questions on my online brief.

So after reading the first version of the ‘brief’, this is what I came up with. In it’s own way, a nice and clean logo. I was actually very fond of the apple image, as it was formed from both a rotated ‘a’ and ‘e’.

As far as first concepts and ideas, I did feel quite happy with this and was keen to show the client. I did upload it to Dribbble to get initial reactions and it seemed ‘favourable’, but it lacked soul. You can read some of my thoughts at the time I was working on this idea.

These are some of the apple variations I looked at, some of these happened before I saw the possibility of forming both the ‘a’ and ‘e’ from one apple.

A valuable lesson

The client was kind with the feedback after seeing this first concept, but it was obvious it was not what they had in mind and from his comments, I realised that I was ‘way off’ on my perception of what they wanted. But the client being the kind person he is, was really quite positive, but one needs to be able to read inbetween the lines.

And this is what prompted my to revist the brief, and lean a little heavier on the client to fill out my form again.

It’s very important to get a detailed brief. On the odd occasion I’ve not had a detailed brief, the logo project really struggled to get going. You must have direction, otherwise you’re in a free-fall. It’s not a good place to be when the client is relying on you to give them an appropriate identity..

If the client is struggling to answer the questions on the brief, don’t give up on getting a brief, you must try to walk them through it. I learnt my lesson with this project, there are rarely any short cuts with logo design. Even if you hear the client saying that you can have ‘artistic licence’ after not providing a brief, avoid the temptation to consider this a positive thing. It is not. It’s bad.

Simply, the more information you have, the better you can provide the goods. The less information you have, well, how can you accurately convey the company or business if you know nothing about it?

So what is Apple & Eve? The revised brief

So after chatting to the client, I really did realise how off base I was. We managed to get a detailed description of the business complete, the client better able to verbalise what the company was about, which ultimately meant looking at the project in a whole different light.

Apple & Eve is all about the lady, specifically style advice for women. Presenting workshops on how ones appearance can help you get customers, how to exploit the female form to ones’ advantage, in a business scenario, all from a woman’s point of view.

Apple & Eve will use references to the Adam & Eve story, but told with a twist, ‘what if Adam bit the apple, what if the snake was right.’

This update to the brief really helped nail the direction, and in hind site, you can see how far off I was first time round. You live and learn.

In this case, I immediately saw a form of a female form being used somehow, but how was the question. I knew that nudity of some form was allowed, but it had to be tasteful and certainly not overpowering. I also instantly saw an image in my head of a women being ‘at one’ with an apple, I could sense it, but could not see it.

The female form

Having this sort of direction in my head, I decided to search for photographs depicting the female form in some kind of curled up form. Unusually for me, I did not use a sketchbook. As this part of the development would mostly rely on tracing over photographs, the pad and pencil would be more of a hindrance. Hence lack of sketches.

I had this strong feeling of a women being alone, maybe a subtle reference to the foetal womb position, a feeling of aloneness, but also one of empowerment and confidence at having to succeed as one person. I didn’t want a hard core womans lib feel, I really wanted this sensitive but proud feeling. So the images I picked out focused on the lone woman, curled up and ‘at one’ with one’s self.

From this I had a clearer sense of where the logomark should be going and actually got very excited. I started this new direction one Saturday morning and worked 2 days solid on tinkering and playing with this idea.

It was quite intense, but I could smell the design and didn’t want to loose the focus or the image in my head.

It was this point where I tried many many variations of imagery, some of which you can see above. You can see how I first over layed a basic apple image over various photographs to get this mental image in my head, to see if it indeed could be pulled off. From seeing these rough mock-ups, I was confident my idea would be something I could artwork, but knew it wouldn’t be a simple process.

I drew a number of vector human forms, initial tracing from the photographs to get a feel for how a realistic female form should look. There was no way I would rely on clip-art for this, for my own sense of pride, everything about this had to be hand crafted.

Have some fun

I want to add here that it’s important to have some fun, especially when you are so focused on a project. If you get too brain tired and too drained from thinking about one idea, you can easily loose focus on motivation. For me, I like playing with ‘silly’ ideas if they present themselves during a challenging project, just to lift the mood and break the routine.

I played with a number of ideas, some of which was playing on the offiacal Apple Computer logo, but with a female twist. I hope it is not offensive, as the idea was actually a genuine idea, before I realised it was just too much like the Apple Computer logo and didn’t fancy the Apple lawyers after me, but here it is.

In the context of the project, the breast is a valid graphical symbol. So don’t burn me.

Idea Exploration

What follows are some of these other ideas, before I settled on the lone female sitting crunched up. I liked the idea of her sitting in a fig style tub, feet hanging out the edge, but gave up after a short while as it didn’t have quite the right feel to it.

I also looked at incorprating a fig leaf in with the female form, I tried a number of variations. Although some looked quite good, I felt it was loading the logo with too many associations. The fig leaf, although very relevent, was surplus to requirements as we had a female form {Eve} and the apple. That’s all we need, but these are just a few of the ideas I looked at.

There was a moment of ‘genius’ inspiration, which was quickly shot down in flames. The fig leaf, which I had drawn a silly amount of times does reflect an apple shape, and this seemed like that one great combination of imagery. Hitting two birds with one stone so to speak, something like this rough mock-up.

Then the ‘come down’ moment. I remembered that there was already an existing logo that looked way too similar to this idea. It’s always gutting when you think you have that ‘one great idea’ only to found out that it already exists, but better to find out at this stage than much later on I guess.

The logo in question is for ladies lingerie company, FigLeaves. Itself, a delightful logo. Not strictly a figleaf, the outer element is a leaf not an apple as would be in my version, but still way to close to comfort. So this was abandoned for this reason.

So we move back to the original idea. And frankly, the challenge to somehow form a realistic female form as an integral part of the apple really got me going.

This was a close runner up idea. But again, it was too busy. Cramming more than you need into a logo can ruin it. Or, trying to be ‘too’ clever and overdoing. Something I have been more than guilty of in the past.

Enough playing

I remember it being late Saturday night, my girlfriend Lisa was here, who was an important part of this process I should add. Getting that valuable woman’s perspective was crucial to this logo, what was too much, what was offensive, what was playful and what was ‘just right’.

Sleeping on it was necessary, mostly because I was just knackered.

In the morning I reviewed the previous days work and I came to an instant conclusion. After all the idea exploration, I was happy to commit to my first idea, the lone woman in apple look.

The challenge now was to perfect this combination.

The naked female form

Without a doubt, creating the ideal female form was very hard. This is what took most of Sunday, then subsequent attempts during the week. Aspects of the head, the feet, the legs, the stomach and crucially the breasts all made the drawing of ‘her’ a significant challenge. I couldn’t possible show you all the iterations I came up with, some were so subtle to barely be noticeable, but they were to me.

It wasn’t just getting a female form shoe horned inside an apple, it was about provoking the right feelings and emotions with taste and deceny.

I did play with a fig covered breast, thought this was a reasonable way to get in that third Adam & Eve association without it looking over done and was a ‘playing safe’ option. But after clarifying with the client, he said having a subtle and tasteful nudity would be more than OK.

The lady in the apple

The first task was to get the general orientation of the lady in place. I did play with having her within the apple and not touching the sides, but quickly realised her back was a natural fit to flow with the apple, so this would be the best option, a cleaner option.

But as you can see from this image above, the female form is part of the apple. Her back naturally follows the contour of the apple curve. The sole of her foot resting on the upturned bottom of the apple..

The tricky bit was getting the right amount of bend on the neck, the tilting of the head and neck, the contours of the legs, not to slender, not to muscular etc. If the head was tilted down too much, it would look as though she was depressed or down, and this was to be avoided. But I could not avoid it all together, so a careful balance was needed.

Details such as the curve of the upper chest, the abdomen area, her mouth and nose all were obsessed over. By far one of the trickiest drawings I have done to get just so. I’m sure there are areas that could still be improved, but I feel some of it comes to subjectivity of how people perceive the human form.

Sizing the breasts

The bit that I really did have to play with, in a technical sense I hasten to add, was ensuring the breast was of ‘acceptable’ size and form. :) Fortunately for me, Lisa once again was on hand to offer up advice, what was too big and too small, but ‘just right’.

These were a few of the versions I created.

Fitting it all in

Once most of the details were dealt with, then it came down to how she would fit into the apple in such a way that look relatively natural, a posture that looked real and possible, even though she is an apple which is not possible.

As you can see from the image below, the outline of the apple closely runs down the head, neck, back. She looks in thought, but not desperate or depressed. She is alone, happy with her body, contemplating life and why she is in an apple. :)

There are other associations that you may see or feel, one is that it’s an entrance to a cave of sorts, the black apple creating this impression of her having to survive on her own, using everything she can to ‘make it’.

How I sold it to the client:

“A lone women, Eve, just sitting down. Subtle reference to a foetal position to give it that ‘soft natural’ feel. An element of independence, but without too much bravado or dominance. Possibly a position of thought and reflection but also confidence.”

Typography

I used a combination of fonts for the wording, Spira Bold was used for ‘Apple/Eve’ whilst the ampersand was formed from a slightly modified version of Meno Bold, both fonts by The Font Bureau.

Spira is a lovely serif face, it has an elegance whilst appearing sturdy confident. Spir was one of a few selections I showed the client. He choose Spira after I had also decided this would be the best font, so fortunate decision there.

These were some of the fonts I picked out to show the client, all serif by nature.

Dribbble

As with other recent projects, I relied on the feedback provide by Dribbble to help me with aspects of the design. You can see the first submission, then following the Dribbble Rebounds, you can follow the progress of the design right up to the final designApple & Eve Colour Logo

If you are on Dribbble, it’s a valuable way to get insight on ideas that you might not have seen or considered.

To wrap it up

I could go on and on with this logo process as it involved so much detail work, backwards and forwards, things to consider and bear in mind. But this hopefully gives you a decent idea of what went into this particular logo design.

This is the final coloured version. The textured background is representative of the actual paper stock that the stationery will be printed on.

You can see the progress of this logo as I submitted them to Dribbble.See the feedback on .

Apple & Eve Colour Logo

Single Page Identity Guidelines

For each logo and identity project, I usually create a set of identity guidelines, so the client is able to make the correct choices in the application of the logo. You can see an example of these guidelines for the Apple & Eve logo.

Identity Guidelines for Apple & Eve Logo Design

Download the Identity Guide Template

I have created a cut down version of these guide lines for you to download and use in your own logo projects.

Logo identity guideline template for download

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