Yasmin approached me a few weeks ago to see if I would be willing to take on a relatively urgent project, to create her fashion identity brand by Christmas. Yasmin is a promising young English fashion designer, already featured in many publications and has her first range coming out next year.
What you see here is the first of a few ideas for the main logo presented to her. The image above was created using one of her actual photographs from her website. I then mocked-up what could be a poster or a magazine advert or even a big display sign for a fashion shop with the logo.
Below is the main logo created for her. I made a number of changes to the YK mark, opened up the bowl in the 'y', thinned out the general weight of the letters and created a more noticeable slope down to the right on the baseline. The baseline of the 'y' slopes down to the base line of the 'k'.
Some subtle spacing changes in the main wording, as well as changing font for the tag line. So far, Yasmin has not requested a tag line, so my 'England/London' is just as a placeholder, but I have recommended to her that something is required, at least for the main brand ID. It needn't be used all the time. As you can see from my page mock-ups, I have also created a contained version of the initials reversed out of black, there could also be a white box version for dark backgrounds, so it's a flexible mark.
Fashion designer brands are typically typographic in nature, strong focus on type, with a few designers opting for a mark of sorts. Yasmin wanted her initials as a way to help strengthen awareness with her full name, especially when used to brand clothing etc. We looked at a number of competing brands to gauge which style of typefaces were most common, then I looked to find a font that was relatively unique, but still fitting of a fashion designer.
Custom type for the initials, FF ScalaCaps for her name and Gotham Bold for the tag line. Main Enlargement of font details
In her own words...
"The brand Yasmin Kianfar is essentially innovative at its core and strives to produce beautiful and strong pieces that are ultimately sensual and feminine. The aim is to resolve fashion's fickle relationship with its wearer by producing elegant distinctive garments that have an iconic and timeless appeal."
Website : Yasmin Kianfar
Above is a quick mock-up to show her just how some business cards could look with the logo in place. I opted to retaining this sense of space and keeping all elements quite small. The focus is on her brand ID whilst the contact information is placed bottom corner.
Yasmin is launching a range of sunglasses in the new year, but as I had no imagery for these, or even examples of styles, I had to find some images on line. It was important to show Yasmin how the logo would look and work on a typical range of sunglass packaging.
Putting the ID in context for something like this is very important. Especially if you want your client to be able to make an informed decision, be it yes or no. We didn't have lots of time to spend mocking up super realistic presentations, so I used what was available to me and emailed her these images.
Images like this say a lot about how a logo will work in context.
This last image is how I planned the initial mark to be used on the actual arm of the glasses. This image is small, but the idea is that the initials will be formed from a thick material, cut out in the exact shape and placed in position. So no big or lumpy badges, just the initials raised a few mm's off the arm.
For thinner arms we could print the logo, or any other method to maintain a visible brand mark. Oakley sunglasses are good examples.
An interesting subject for a post me thinks. Time after time, us logo designers come up with 100's of ideas in the process of satisfying each client. We amass these unused concepts and use them and modify them for future projects.This post is more of a question but also an answer. It's hypothetical, but not. I am also curious to know what you would do in this following situation?
A client approaches you with a specific request, a particular design or concept that you know you already have in your library, what do you do?
2 Months Ago
So a bit more background. 2 months ago you were working on a project and in the process of this project you created several ideas. One idea in particular you really felt stood out, an idea that really demonstrated your abilities. However, the client picked another design, leaving this one to wilt in the darker regions of your project folder.
Not feeling too deflated, you realised that this design would perfectly suit another client, all you needed now was to stumble across this particular client. So you keep it in mind and get on with the rest of your life.
2 Months Pass
On the first day of the second month, you find an email from a potential new client. They briefly explain what they are looking for, show you a previous logo attempt from another designer and bells ring. Immediately you know you have the perfect solution. You have a design already completed from 2 months ago, with a few minor tweaks it would be perfect for this client. You knew in your heart that it would survive to battle another day, to satisfy a client and live a long prosperous life.
Being the gentle conscientious designer you are, you now wonder how you can possibly swing this by the client, without making it look like you knocked it up in 5 seconds, yet charge your usual rate. After all, this is a great design. This idea took ages to do, ages to create in Illustrator, you are super proud of it and even fellow designers who saw it agreed, it's a neat logo.
You want to show the client this idea, to convince them to sign you up as his logo designer. But as yet, the client is still not sure. He has several other designers to talk to. You know that if this client saw this idea, he would be gobsmacked. It fits perfectly with the brief and the conversations he has already had with you.
You keep the client hooked, treading carefully, not wanting to give your game plan away so early, especially without securing a deposit. But the client is still 'not sure'. So here you have this perfectly crafted logo design, born from years of experience and skill with your mouse. You are itching to show it to them, to say "look, here it is. Don't you see, this is perfect for you."
But to do so means the client see into your soul. They would likely react by saying: well, as you have already designed it, and this means you don't need to spend any time on it, surely it would cost me next to nothing. It's already done, already designed, the hard work you have done for another client. Surely I can just take it off your hands as is at a fraction of the cost of your usual project rates? I mean, you don;t need to spend any time researching my business, you don't need to waste time trying different ideas, different concepts, buying new fonts etc. It's here, it's all done, perfectly formed just for me.
The Realisation and the Reality
You realise this response is not totally without foundation, but you also know this perfectly formed logo 'did' take you a long time. It was created from years of experience in the trade. When a client pays you, they are not just paying for the work you actually do, but they are paying for the skill and experience you have to do this job in the first place. Presumably why they approached you in the first place, they like your portfolio, they like your style, they like your reputation... all of which you have worked tirelessly to nurture, maintain and grow.
The client wants to see this idea before committing, but to do so puts you in a vulnerable position. So you explain you need to secure the job, they must pay a deposit before anything happens. You don't let on too much, you put your best poker face on. You look them in the eye and say, I am pretty confident that I can create the perfect logo for you. Give me the opportunity to work with you and you will see.
After all, nothing is ever certain. This perfect logo created two months ago might not be that perfect fit you assumed it would be. It may need further tweaking and changes to satisfy this client. After all, surely by now we should have learn't that we can never second guess the client.
But you have a solid starting point, you have saved some time on this project, but you have also given your best, just not in the same way you usually do. Charge the same you would do for any other project.
Regardless of how many previous ideas and concepts you can mash together, you are charging the client for 'your' experience, your skill and your creativity. How you come about the end result is for you to determine, no one else. So keep some things close to your skin.
Like a sculptor, a painter, a craftsman, a writer... any number of creatives will create work prior to it being sold. Sometimes they are commissioned to create a personal bespoke piece. Some logo concepts 'can' be reused, tweaked and perfected for a new client. On the flip side, some clients, some projects 'do' require work to be started from scratch, research, planning, development for a niché area perhaps. But even then, a prior unused concept could be suitable as a foundation or starting point.
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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.