So much work goes on behind the scenes when I create a logo. In the first post of this series I wrote about asking the client about everything you can think of that might matter to them. Once you have an idea of what they are looking for and you've agreed on your business terms, it is time to research images and information about the subject matter. The logo I am now developing is for a small sheep farm in Australia called Thistledown Creamery. They manufacture cheeses and bath products using sheep milk. They requested a square or oblong logo with thistles and sheep on it. So... time to look at sheep and thistle images, both real and stylized. Google Images is a great way to do this. For this logo, I found that the specific thistle of their farm is the Cardoon Thistle, sometimes called the Artichoke Thistle. I searched images for Artichoke thistle, cardoon thistle, thistle, etc.
I found about thirty images which I thought would be useful to me. Then I formatted them into a contact sheet, using Photoshop (some shown below.)
After doing the same for "Sheep," I print out my contact sheets and keep them in the Thistledown Creamery folder. I may also do some work at the library or from my own collection of research books. I want to become familiar with real versions of my images before I begin to sketch them.