Concept Drawer is where I just preview some early stage concepts for new logo designs I am working on. Just a way to glimpse some of the early thoughts and designs that come up during a a typical project.
Being a concept, certain aspects of the logo will not be completely right or tuned in. So this is not a finished and complete logo design for the client, but it is a reasonably solid bit of artwork to show the client what I am thinking.
The Beach Shack
New concept for a home spun clothing and beach fashion company. Home based, they create distinct patterned cushions–the general style is based around coloured stripes–such as: pillows, blankets and casual beach wear.
It's a pretty low key affair, so they are looking for something quite down to earth but that still retains a clean classic style.
I used Clarendon Bold for this font–the first time I think I have used it for a logo–which I feel works really well for this UK home based business.
The idea was not to be too literall, but after a while I saw an idea that did use a Beach Shack but does so in a more neutral manor.
The importance here is what the visual of the Beach Shack represents. The hut not just a graphic of any beach hut, it signifies that this hut IS the Beach Shack, it is where everything originated–it didn't of course, I am weaving in a small background story with the company. So I am programming in a little made-up history, one that creates a nice overall feeling.
The positioning and placement of the icon is also relevant here; I am integrating both word and graphic to form this cohesive logo.
Did they at any time make stuff in a Beach Shack, or do they still have a beach shack where they sell stuff from? The idea is to just create a sense of curiosity rather than just relying on a literall graphic because it's relevant.
This is not a full logo process post as this particular logo design was born whilst working on a previous logo project '52 Keys'. I'll just run through the thinking that got me from one logo design to doing something different.
This often happens, whilst working on one project, exploring options, sketching and tweaking vectors, playing with type, twisting and turning objects in a seemingly random manor until something tangible appears. Usually this 'something tangible' has nothing to do with the logo project I should be focusing on, but a totally new idea and concept. The same thing happened with the 'Hotel Chain' logo. It serves no purpose other than to fill my portfolio.
Fifty Two Keys
Fifty Two Keys was a logo project for a events management company and the name came about from 52 weeks in a year, events happening each week of the year. With an emphasis on music, hence keys. One of the concepts was trying to style the wording to look like piano keys. Not an original concept, but trickier due to the number of letters. Realising this was near impossible, I focused on trying to single out a few letters instead, namely the 'y'.
To cut a painfully long story short, I abandoned this idea completely for Fifty Two Keys, but not before I glimpsed a rather fun concept idea and pulled this kicking and screaming from the ashes.
Fiddle and grope
Before I had the actually 'keyboarder' idea or name, I was merely fiddling around with the 'key' portion of Fifty Two Keys. Determined to find an idea in there somewhere.
A quick fiddle with the 'y' first gave birth to the middle idea below. A rather fugly descender, but it did look like a key, and looks even better in reverse. Then from somewhere I saw the potential for a human form, then moment I saw that image, I then saw a dinner jacket type look.
From this, the name 'The Keyboarder' evolved which was a perfect fit for this idea. But 'The Keyboarder' was headless, this quickly stirred my mind, this is rare, and I conveniently plopped a square dot on top. Ta daaa. A human form, with head and black suit.
The things that go on in my mind is not something you would ideally want to see, it can get messy. Needless to say, my mind was now kicking into overdrive, figuring out how far I could take this idea, maximise it to the max.
Thinking along the lines of 'The Godfather', I imagined that 'The Keyboarder' was a musical genius but also a evil musical killer. Think Dexter. A seedy evil person playing in clubs and grimy bars, sitting at his keyboard, carefully observing the audience, looking for his next victim.
So character history established, I was missing a few essential details to really create this killer vibe. Borrowing from my Dexter Identity Crisis Dude, created some blood splashes and voila, Mr Keyboarder after a fresh kill, dressed in his black suit, white shirt and tie. The seemingly stocky shoulders help give this little character a sense of presence, quite formidable.
All that was left was a suitable tag line. From somewhere in my head, the quote from Jaws The Revenge appeared "This time... it's personal". Swap 'personal' with 'musical' and job done.
The Keyboarder - This time. It's Musical.
Oh, and mustn't forget. I used Helvetica Neue Black Condensed.
More Logo Process Posts
If you are interested in reading further logo development articles, then you can view a selection from recently completed logo design projects.
Hotel Chain, a logomark which came about whilst working on some idea's for a hotel identity project I am currently working on. Just an example of how sketching and playing with endless rounds of idea tweaking in Illustrator can result in something quite fun.
At some point in the 'proper' hotel logo development, I noticed the negative space forming a 'H', with a rather loose visual association of a 'chain'. The moment I saw the possibility of a 'chain', then the common phrase 'Hotel Chain' come into being. So a few tweaks of the mark, trying to make the 'H' almost subliminal, a fun concept logo came to being.
The font is MorganSNCaps from the huge Morgan type family, from the Feliciano Type Foundry. The font form closely resembles the 'O' on the chain which helps tie the font in nicely, compact and squared. I probably spent more time finding the right font for this than the actual mark.
Move on, nothing to see here
It really doesn't mean much, and doesn't have any real relevance to anything. It just fitted in nicely with the topic at hand, and shows how a nice negative space idea can work.
I suppose one could substitute the 'hotel' for another 'h' word, which might improve visual relevancy. I did think about keeping the basic idea under wraps, hidden in my arsenal of unused logo ideas and concepts for a future paid project, but not in this case. Chances of bumping into a paid client project where the initials are 'H & C' with the business being 'chains', I felt I would be waiting some time.
Typically, I will get a proposal in the email tomorrow for a company called Harry's Chains.
It's a 'for fun' logo, I'm not overly fussed. It's a nice logo design in it's own right.
I am now officially sponsoring StumbleUpon which leaves me with a healthy radiant glow... I didn't even think about it after I received a email from them this morning. One of those impulse moments I feel.
This is one of my 'lighter' reads, but the message is clear as air.
So clear, you would find it hard to actually envisage any depressive being able to convey the thoughts and feelings in a way that a non-depressive might actually have a chance of understanding. Gwyneth manages this in style, humour and decency.
It's a smallish book and will not take long to read, it is littered with wonderful quotes and phrases.
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The Logo Smith : Freelance Logo Designer, Brand Identity & Graphic Design Studio
Providing PR Services with The PR Room: Technology PR, Smart Home PR, Internet of Things PR and Lifestyle PR Agency.
25 Years Experience in: Logo & Brand Identity Design, Graphic Design, Advertising, Marketing, and Commercial Print.