Friday, January 17, 2014

New Year - New Logo!

It took me AGES to come up with this.  It looks so simple but it just isn't.  I started by doing a rubbish version and posting it to the MATS facebook community (Oh thank God for them!), begging for help from all the graphic designers and am so glad I did. 
Here's a small and fuzzy version of the first go.  The original is lurking in the depths of the trash and I've looked but it's buried too deep to find.

And here are some of the comments from the experts (slightly abridged version);

I love the butterfly, but the pink (flower?) below it is hard to see, especially in a smaller size. I would make the "i" in design closed, as it resembles the "e" too much. Maybe make the butterfly slightly larger and be the only focal element? If you wanted to add a little mint, it could be in the butterfly wings? I really love the uneven textured background as well.

You can have "your" colors but also can vary the colors according to what you are showing. The one thing that could be an issue is that you are selling you! Your name should be the MAIN "element" in your logo! Right now the butterfly is very very strong.... LOVE the typeface btw!!!! Aaaaand the color as well.... But VICTORIA JOHNSON needs to stand out!

The eye travels on a layout - no matter the shape of it..... It starts off on the top left corner - travels right, then heads off to the left - and so on - JUST like reading!! And always finishes on the bottom right corner.

Keep it simple. It needs to work very small, like in a letterhead, so less details. Since your logo is your name, that needs to be the biggest element. I like what you've got going, the lettering looks nice, bold, but quirky, and has personality. Right now the butterfly and word "design" stand out more than your name because of the dark color. Try a version with the colors swapped. (name in dark, other elements light). Also, try a version without any other design elements. Make your name BIG and fill up the rough oval shape you've got. I agree with some of the other comments, the butterfly is taking main stage as it is. Hope that helps! (logos are my favorite!)

Main feedback is the flowery thing under the butterfly isn't quite telegenic enough for me - looks like an abstract shape and I can't pinpoint what it is and its a little distracting.

One thing that helps me when designing logos is to do a B&W version (not grayscale, just straight black and white) which lets me see it without getting bogged down with color. I find it easier to get a good visual balance and can better judge how it will look really tiny if it's just B&W. You might want 2 versions, a horizontal and a vertical, for different uses. I love the butterfly -- it could be used by itself as a logo mark (like how everyone associates the Nike swoosh with Nike), but the flower doesn't read as a flower when the logo is small. Your name should be the most prominent, both in size and color (biggest & most contrast) because that's what you want people to see and remember! I think the logo very much conveys your style, which is great!

The colors in this logo are very pretty and girly; they bring to mind pastel-colored artwork for children. Your work is so vibrant and hip, and kind of retro, with a hand-drawn/painterly touch; I wonder if it might be a bit of a mismatch? They styles definitely match (logo and artwork), the colors throw me off a bit. Maybe some more vibrant colors, or a sophisticated neutral gray/taupe-y color with your name in a bright fuchsia and orange or something crazy like that? It's also important that the logo not overwhelm your fabulous work, so all brights might not work! 

The main focus must be your name, the flower doesn't clearly look like a flower, it's important that your logo is scalable so that it can still read well small, and the type should be clear and legible. Legibility is the most important thing. The "i" looks too similar to the "e" in design, and  having a pink "o" in "Johnson" breaks up your name, so it might be best to keep both "o"s the same color. Doing a B&W logo first might help you in seeing how things might work better as a design first before you add the color.

 I LOVE the 'victoria johnson' lettering, it reflects your style SO WELL! I would lose the flower silhouette and keep the butterfly logomark. Over time, as your brand gains recognition, this logomark could be used solo on smaller pieces and be recognized as your branding, even. I might suggest deepening the blush background color to make your name pop out more, and bringing the word 'design' into the same lettering style as your name...or popping it out of the logotype/logomark space *completely*. This could open up the possibility that the word design could be replaced by lettering/patterns/illustration, etc. depending on your project type. ooh! Also, maybe do a version in black and white as well, in case your logo might be included on a one sheet with b/w print specific

Isn't it amazing how much you have to consider when doing something so apparently simple. I just wouldn't have known all this without my MATS friend's input. Thank you so much everyone!  After poring over all the comments I went away and came up with these;

So I put them to the vote (MATS friends again!) and ended up with the green one with the pink accents (I thought the blue accents made it a bit toothpastey). I think it will work in a variety of contexts and represents me and my artwork quite well!  
So far I've put it on my email signature and decorated it a bit for my Surtex Directory Listing.  I thought this could maybe double as a business card!  What do you think?

So that's that done!!! Now what's next?