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Updating my own Logo - Graphic Designer specialising in branding and web design.

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  • Updating my own Logo - Graphic Designer specialising in branding and web design.

    When you're a graphic designer, it's difficult to a) find the time and b) be objective when it comes time to update your own branding!

    I've been experimenting with some concepts and I really like the idea of something a little less stylised than my current logo (you can see my logo and current branding on my website at www.jmgraphicdesign.com

    One of my taglines has always been; simple, clear, outstanding. However my own branding does little to reflect this mantra.

    Another factor to consider is that I wouldn't want my own branding to frighten off a potential client who has a conflicting sense of style. My target audience are small to medium sized businesses looking for branding, websites and related design services. I've created branding for a Wedding Photographer and Solicitor in the same week - both requiring (and receiving) a completely different approach. If a wedding photographer is recommended and passed the exact same business card I hand to a solicitor, it must hold appeal for both of them.

    That gives you a little about the intended audience.

    Lastly, my USPs or at least what I feel are my strengths if compared to other designers are;
    - A results driven approach to design; built on a strong understanding of business
    - Preference in creating simple solutions rather than "decorative designing"
    - Professional leaning toward corporate feel, rather than the arty, free spirit vibe some designers go for (sorry I have no better way to describe it than this!)

    Please give me your constructive critic on the concepts attached; and their potential suitability for my brand given the information above.

    If there are negatives aspects to the concepts, I would prefer to hear them from you guys and gals now than realise it further down the line, so please don't hold back.

    At the same time, if you feel any of the concepts have potential, please drop a quick note as to why so I know I'm on the right track!

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Oh and if you could comment on the version you prefer that would be much appreciated; or better still if you can suggest a way to develop it further

    Comment


    • #3
      My favorite version is the first one where the monogram is enclosed in the dark gray square. It's much more impactful than the others, probably because of contrast. The sizing of the monogram within the square is nice too.

      If I would change something, it would be the "Graphic Design" text. The difference in tracking between the two words is off-putting. The symbol would look nice alone, and I think it would look better with your name. If you're marketing yourself to clients who don't already hold the knowledge that you're a designer (say, if you're a freelancer), then the "Graphic Design" is needed. I could see you keeping the tracking the same and putting the text on the right side of the square, left aligned, and use it that way when you need to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Obi-Wan View Post
        My favorite version is the first one where the monogram is enclosed in the dark gray square. It's much more impactful than the others, probably because of contrast. The sizing of the monogram within the square is nice too.

        If I would change something, it would be the "Graphic Design" text. The difference in tracking between the two words is off-putting. The symbol would look nice alone, and I think it would look better with your name. If you're marketing yourself to clients who don't already hold the knowledge that you're a designer (say, if you're a freelancer), then the "Graphic Design" is needed. I could see you keeping the tracking the same and putting the text on the right side of the square, left aligned, and use it that way when you need to.
        Thanks for the feedback, you're right I am a freelancer but do like the idea of losing the "graphic design" altogether. Strangely I hadn't considered that. A good compromise might be to use it rarely; perhaps a variant where I feel its necessary to indicate that I'm a graphic designer.

        I'll definately have a play with a left aligned version to omit the contrasting tracking

        Comment


        • #5
          First off, it is incredibly refreshing to see first-rate work posted here. Both your website and your portfolio of work are stunning.

          As for your proposed logos, I like the ones not enclosed by the boxes since they're simpler. Although, as Obi-Wan mentioned, there is something clean and classy about the one surrounded by the black square, and I can definitely see it working well. I also think the new logo is a better reflection of your work and style than your existing logo.

          The pointy parts of the logo impart a distinctive look, but this also makes the choice of a matching or neutral typeface more difficult. I think the typeface you've used for "graphic design" might not be the right one. Then again, I think the large words compete with the mark in a way that causes some unwanted tension. If it were me, I would experiment with ways to make the words "graphic design" more clearly subordinate to the monogram. As Obi-Wan already pointed out, the uneven tracking needed to justify both words to the same width comes across as a bit too noticeable.

          Originally posted by JMGraphicD
          Lastly, my USPs or at least what I feel are my strengths if compared to other designers are;
          - A results driven approach to design; built on a strong understanding of business
          - Preference in creating simple solutions rather than "decorative designing"
          - Professional leaning toward corporate feel, rather than the arty, free spirit vibe some designers go for (sorry I have no better way to describe it than this!)
          These statements nicely summarize my own approach to design, which may very well be why I'm drawn to your work. I guess what I'm saying is there's a nice consistency between your work and your philosophy behind it.

          Originally posted by JMGraphicD
          Another factor to consider is that I wouldn't want my own branding to frighten off a potential client who has a conflicting sense of style.
          This is an all-too-common conundrum. Earlier in my career, I designed a successful branding and ongoing marketing campaign for a higher-profile client whose needs and target audience required an approach that differed considerably from my own personal tastes and preferences. Due to that success, other similar clients began to appear needing the same kind of approach. To this day, I'm a bit hobbled by being pigeon-holed into a category of design that doesn't really represent my preferred style or, for that matter, what I do best. I've ended up with a portfolio of work that contains both clean, simple, high-tech, corporate work (my preferred style) plus pieces with a western, cowboyish, hunting, fishing, backwoods look (that isn't a reflection of either my tastes or interests). In some ways, I suppose, this is good since it, at least, demonstrates some versatility. On the other hand, some potential clients might see a mixed message that they don't want to take a chance with -- I'm really not sure.

          Despite most designers' wishes to avoid being "typecast" as having this or that style, it happens. Life has a limited number of pathways, and each one chosen tends to lead one away from where those other paths might have taken us. In your case, if you can target your style to those potential clients looking for your preferred style, philosophy and approach, I think, the better of you'll be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks B,

            I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one facing this dilemma; and you echo my thoughts exactly, in that if I'm going to be pigeon-holed, I'd at least like that hole to contain a style and aesthetic which reflects my own tastes!

            Already I think the comments made are indicating I may have to "go back to the drawing board" on the Graphic Design type - if it is to be included at all. You're right in that the sharp points to the brand-mark are not reflected in the "graphic design" logotype at the moment, I can see now that doesn't sit too well alongside the mark. Even those there are similarities, I think the soft curvature of the "graphic design" type and the difference in angles (the slant of the A is quite at odds with the slant of the M) are preventing them from working.

            I might balance the tracking and just center the "Design" beneath "Graphic" in a future iteration; in fact this could sit well as the center of JM is slightly breaking the invisible box around the brandmark...
            Unless anyone has suggestions as to making Graphic and Design occupy the same horizontal space in a pleasing, balanced way? I'd love that type to form a neat box, but not at the expense of looking unbalanced - which it seems to currently.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a quick update I thought I'd post; slightly lighter weight on the "Graphic Design" (to establish a better visual heirarchy - thank you B!) and have edited and redrawn type for the A, S, and N to create a few sharper edges. I think these tie in a little better to the brandmark now; it's still clearly a different typeface but sits a little more comfortably now, and compliments rather than detracts?

              In one version decided to create a little movement by optically centering the JM above the "Graphic Design", with the M taking center spot and the J creating a leading edge... I quite like the effect but would be interested to know what others think?

              *added one last version with the brandmark reduced in size and aligned with the word "design". I think this version is far better balanced...but as always I welcome your suggestions
              Last edited by JMGraphicD; 05-07-2017, 06:33 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nice job on the font -- the sharp angle on the "N" ties things together much better. I prefer the top right version on the second image. Kerning the words differently to fit the space (e.g. top left) or the various experiments with off-centering "graphic design" isn't working for me.

                (See top right): I think you could even left align "Graphic Design" to the J. I know we're always afraid not to try the most obvious (boring?) choice but sometimes I think having the confidence to do that is what sets you apart from the amateurs. By doing that, you could easily bring the words up to the right to create a horizontal version as needed without much re-working. Just a thought!

                Nice work, thank you for sharing your process.


                Best of luck, and I look forward to seeing where you land.
                Last edited by EC; 05-08-2017, 01:06 AM.
                You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. --GWB

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EC View Post

                  (See top right): I think you could even left align "Graphic Design" to the J. I know we're always afraid not to try the most obvious (boring?) choice but sometimes I think having the confidence to do that is what sets you apart from the amateurs. By doing that, you could easily bring the words up to the right to create a horizontal version as needed without much re-working. Just a thought!
                  I agree! How about this; completely changing the dynamic of the relationship between the brand-mark and the logotype, making one so much smaller than the other that they no longer compete for attention? My pattern seeking brain isn't trying to make as many comparisons now, or screaming out for everything to be justified and aligned...

                  Wish I had thought of this option sooner, thank you for helping me arrive here!

                  Do we feel this version works better? Emphasis on brand-mark, while still informing?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    JMGraphicD Yes! Loving it. Okay nitpicky time -- put your eagle eyes on the kerning, esp. the first 3 or 4 letters of 'graphic' and see what happens.
                    You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. --GWB

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