Today I decide to experiment with a logo for one of my favorite publishers, Stone Lantern Publishing. Stone Lantern has really changed my life, just as much as Apple or Adobe have. Stone Lantern publishes books and magazines dealing with the oriental, botanical arts such as bonsai and ichibana. For me it is the art and science of bonsai that has changed my life. Bonsai is for me what religion is for many people. I owe much of my education in this realm to the many books and magazines that Stone Lantern has published since I began my horticultural and spiritual journey in 1994. My bonsai story is a long one so I will save it for another time and another blog.
The stone lantern logo as it exists now is not bad. Stone lantern is not as much about their logo as some other company’s may be about theirs. Stone Lantern is definitely more about their products, the books and magazines they publish as well as retailing other products such as tools. They are well known and well supported by the international bonsai community. In terms of design they are very basic. One could argue that the subject matter of which they publish is their brand identity and is the primary aspect of their design as a company. Perhaps their are other reasons, I’m not sure. If you visit their website you will quickly see that visually they are keeping things simple.
The challenge for me is that I would like to escalate their logo visually to something with more depth but keep that visually simple image that they seem to embrace. Today I may not have accomplished this goal but I am going ot spend a few days working on concepts that I think Stone Lantern might appreciate.
For today’s image I used a contemporary, sans serif typeface called Cronos. It is a font which I believe feels at home in natural or ecological settings. To me it’s characters say fresh and natural as in food. Or green and ecologically sound as in clean energy. It is the ecological sensibilities which I have attempted to tap into today. Bonsai is a a natural art involving living material. It has been described to me in many ways but one of my favorite descriptions is that bonsai is a “partnership between man and nature.” Again, a topic for another time and another blog. Graphically I created a silhouette image of a stone lantern. The company currently uses such an image. Mine is more rounded and their current image is more detailed and angular. For color I chose dark gray to signify the solid foundation of stone, and green to signify the living subject matter of Stone Lantern’s published materials. That’s all for today. I will work more with this logo and see what else I can come up with. Hope you like!
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