Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Creating a Logo 7: Choosing a Design

Once I've created several sketches which I think will work for the client, I scan them, write notes beneath each one, and then email them to my client. From half a dozen or so finished sketches, they need to choose one. These are the sketches I sent to Thistledown Creamery:

This is the letter that accompanied the sketches, explaining a bit about what to look for when choosing:

Dear _______________
Here are the six sketches I think will work for you.
It would help a lot if you keep in mind the other logos I have done, and how they look in the end, with stark contrast between black and white space. Sketches don't convey that, so please look at my website again to see what I mean.

What you should be looking for is the basic design, not so much the details. Here's my thinking:
  • BASIC SHAPE:I pretty much settled on a square shape (except for the one triangle, which is interesting.) Circles are much too common for these types of logos. I tried rectangles but square seems to work better, since once you leave space at the bottom for your product name and ingredients, etc, the design comes out as a rectangle anyways. This way, your logo is a square but the label is a rectangle.
  • MOTIFS: At first I was trying to include whole sheep but that was a disaster. They looked too cutsey and got lost in the design. Once I began trying heads only, the proportions evened out a bit. The thistles will be unnaturally large in order to balance with the sheep. Thistles are very spikey and need softening with other elements like berries and vines.
  • SYMBOLISM: I tried to do everything in threes for the mum and two daughters. Three flowers, three berries on a stem, etc.
  • CONTRAST: As I mentioned above, the final version will have much more contrast. My next step, once you have chosen a basic design, will be to make more sketches of that design, getting the font and contrasting elements right. I will likely present you with more than one final version (such as black on white vs. white on black, etc.)
  • FONT: I regretted sending you so many font types as soon as I pushed "send" because I quickly thereafter began to see that a simpler, serif font will balance with the elaborateness of the design better. I know you like to use Zapfina so you don't want the font on your logo to conflict with it. You want it to contrast and coordinate but not match exactly. Most of what I show here does that. I'm worried that a script font will be too distracting. More about this later.
Please try not to get stuck in the details at this point. My suggestion: print each of these designs out, tack them up on the wall and look at them for a day or so. Think: Will this be readable? Does it convey the feeling I am happy with? Will it be versatile? Get general feedback from others, such as "Which one would you pick? (not do you like this?)

I hope you are pleased. I wait with baited breath. (This is the hardest part for me.)


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