I forgot to post my design yesterday! Aagh! I can’t believe it. This is a follow up to the pocket watch design from Friday. I did do this design yesterday with the intention of publishing it on time so I feel that I have not missed my goal. It will be the revised icon for The Grannie Project based in the Philadelphia area. The Grannie Project is a rescue organization dedicated to helping senior pets.
At the end of August I embarked on a new project for the Potomac Bonsai Association. They are quite in need of a new website and I rose to the challenge to help them. At the beginning of the process I created a few rough page mockups and included a redesign of their logo. In all honesty, I didn’t think they had a logo and I wanted to raise the level of their “brand” in the public eye as part of their soon to be released, new website.
As it turned out they were already in the middle of elevating their branding with a standardized logo. So my idea was quietly rejected when they sent me their logo in response to my first mockup submission. No worries. At first it was difficult for me to warm up to the logo they presented but this feeling has passed and I am actually starting to like the logo they are using. I won’t discuss their logo except to say that it is official, and approachable.
I will, however, discuss my logo design which will no doubt fade away quietly into my digital archives of designs to be scrapped for parts for another future project, if it is lucky enough. 🙂
The Potomac Bonsai Association started in 1970 and I don’t have much historical reference for their brand image although I vaguely recall their look from the 1990’s. I have also been paying attention to them during the latter part of the past decade (and as of this year I am a proud member). They seem to go with the flow design-wise, accepting the style of whomever is creating their collateral at the time, whether the creator be professional or amateur. And this is not necessarily a bad thing.
What was I thinking…
My idea was to go modern with a slight retro twist. I have been inspired a great deal by two design aesthetics lately. First, there is a side of me that is attracted to European, Swiss modern style (perhaps it is all my dealings with Bonsai Empire, based in the Netherlands). 🙂 I have always loved design elements conforming to a grid using clean sans serif typography. Second, is my affinity for American, mid-century modern design. I love the advertisements, casual typography and cars from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. You might think that such differing styles would not meld well but they can produce a nice juxtaposition.
I also wanted to break the mold of bonsai logos. Traditionally they are always a silhouette of a tree enclosed, in a circle. The circle is usually reminiscent of the rising sun of Japan and situated as a background element. The typography is generally a clichéd, oriental or mystical brush script. This theme can be done tastefully but usually it is not and I was not even going to go there.
So, here is what I did. I wanted the image of a tree, a bonsai. But I did not want to create a literal silhouette. No Chinese brush, or charcoal sketch renditions. No clichés. Also no big circle placed to inspire the rising sun. I did, however, utilize the circular shape. I created a large square grid of many small circles and began playing lite-bright. After I created an image that resembled a bonsai from several groups of circles, I extracted just the ones I needed from the grid. The resulting tree-shape is a modern image that uses positive and negative space which is a very important aspect of bonsai design.
In bonsai design, you use the foliage areas of the tree to frame the trunk. In this way a good design will guide the viewer’s eye to see the parts of the trunk that lend to the illusion of a miniaturized version of a much larger, ancient tree. The foliage is also used to hide weak or flawed areas of the trunk or branches that detract from that illusion. In my modernist design the many circles are used to create the foliage and the pot. The negative space forms the trunk and branches.
For typography I wanted to incorporate a script, but again, no clichés. I chose an elegant but informal script called Charme. The characters have smooth wide strokes that modulate calmly from thick to thin. On some characters you get an abrupt, terminating stroke, like at the top of the ‘o’ and the dot of the ‘i’ in the word Bonsai. This hints at an oriental brush but it is a subtle effect. I also wanted to use a transitional or sans serif typeface to create an official or credible tone to the composition. I chose to set the word Potomac and Association in all caps using Gill Sans.
Perhaps some refinement is in order, but overall I like this design and thoroughly enjoyed working on it. I’m sure it will emerge from the dust bin of my hard drive for another project and get a second chance at life someday.
Thanks for stopping by!
Here is a design I worked on several weeks ago for the Central Florida Soccer Academy in Orlando, FL. I wanted to share some of the concepts for the logo as daily designs during the design process but I also don’t think it’s appropriate to share a brand before it is finalized and approved. The logo has been officially launched by CFSA so I wanted to share it with everyone here and today seemed like as good a time as any.
The Knowledge Knight program recognizes student athletes attending CFSA’s summer camp for their excellence in academics. The program is held at the University of Central Florida and their mascot is “Knightro” the Knight. My design depicts a youthful knight reading a book. Check out more on the program here.
I love when material presents itself. Tonight we went to Red Robin for a burger and fries and as I was about to dip this fry in ranch dressing I paused and noticed how much it resembled the Nike logo. I just had to use it for my Daily Design. I still have the fry and will also be putting it on eBay later if any of you are interested.
Today I would like share with you what will very likely become the final version of my Restorations logo. Thanks for the feedback on color! The teal color for the secondary elements seemed to be a big hit with everyone and it satisfies my personal leanings toward blues. I decided to make the dominant element, the name of the service, a warm color. I experimented with the browns and as I did, ventured into the reds. I am not a huge fan of reds but when they are dark, burgundy, like they are here I can appreciate them. Red and cyan are complementary colors so I think that relationship translates well to the darker burgundy and greener teal colors. As a finishing touch I divided the logotype for the word Restorations into strategic pieces and added gradients of color to create the overall illusion of glossiness.
I would like to also welcome all the traffic from LinkedIn! I know you are all creative professionals and would love your feedback on what you are seeing here! This project is as much of a learning process for me as it is a creative challenge and I’d love some dialog from the creative community.
Today I would like to ask your advice on finalizing a logo for a service I will be offering soon. Photo restoration is a very important service and something I feel very strongly about. I can’t say exactly why I got away from it but I am jumping back into it this year. I am brushing up on my skills and I am also volunteering for a not for profit organization called Operation Photo Rescue.
I started a logo prototype right before the holidays and now I am looking at color ideas and any other advice anyone cares to offer. I went for a retro look as I am sure many of the projects I will take on will involve photos from days long gone by. The original prototype above is a gray scale image which is how I work. I first work only in black and white (and gray). Then once the structural design is finished I work with color schemes.
Above are my initial color ideas. I also changed the sparkle graphic in the logo from the original. Color scheme 1 uses brown tones to indicate an old style, sephia toned photograph. Color schemes 2 and 3 use blue as the dominant color. I like the blue as it represents to me the idea of cleaning, and freshness. But, I also gravitate toward blue colors and fear my personal preference might override a better color solution.
So let em know what you think!
Daily Design #353. Today I experimented on branding modifications for The Grannies. The administrator is interested in a T-Shirt design, which was originally what prompted my creation of the logo a few days ago. This design excludes the main logo but uses portions of it to maintain the brand identity of The Grannies. The goal of the design is promote The Grannies to the general public and entice others to join the team so to speak. The Team being a group of people who are trying to raise awareness on the importance of adopting, or otherwise supporting senior pets. This design would work great on a T-Shirt or sticker and many other types of promotional materials. I envision it being printed large on the back of a T-Shirt with the Grannies logo, created earlier, printed on the upper right, front of the T-Shirt. Hope all you Grannies fans like the design! See you all tomorrow. ~Sean.
Daily Design #326. I am preparing to embark on a design project for a friend. The elements of the design are steeped in the concept of heraldry. It is more or less a logo project but the completed design will likely resemble a family crest. I just started looking over materials today so I haven’t really started in earnest but I will soon. Just taking in the provided research and doing some of my own. For today’s design I played around with shield shapes in Illustrator. Perhaps one of these will eventually evolve into a completed logo! See you all tomorrow. ~Sean.