Who makes the best client? Your husband, of course.
The Spring and Summer of 2011 has been filled with multiple new branding and identity opportunities. In this article I will detail the processes and journey behind one of these logo’s developments.
Today I will be talking about the logo I designed for my husband John. Now him being my husband and all doesn’t negate the professionalism and work involved; every logo I design goes through the same process, which involves researching, brainstorming, sketching, rendering, typography and color decisions. I began by researching.
To backtrack a little, my husband John has just completed his certification to become a Life Coach. He is on the brink of launching his own independent life coaching business, and needed a logo, with the supporting materials to follow. Now we were very clever and came up with the name “Life by John” for his business, and luckily, were able to purchase a domain for him by the very same name (lifebyjohn.com is now unofficially launched!)
Step one: research
Now, I already had inadvertently done most of the preliminary research into his business simply by being a part of his life and have already learned a lot about the field of life coaching. So I got to jump right into brainstorming ideas for John’s logo. This usually begins by doing a “mind map.”
I know, it sounds scary (or at the very least, creepy), but a mind map is actually very helpful at getting ideas out in a logical way. You basically write down any words associated with a central idea. In the case with “Life by John,” I found I was gravitating towards ideas of growth, like plants or trees. This also ties in to the idea of personal growth and direction, as in coaching.
There is a certain trend right now concerning “going green” and being environmentally friendly, which is a good thing, but I didn’t want to tread too far into it since life coaching doesn’t have a lot to do with the environment, and I didn’t want people to make that association. Remember, a good logo is relevant. Thus, I had to proceed with caution if we were going to pursue a growth type of an idea.
Conceptualization and realization
The next step is putting imagery to concepts, and I began sketching with paper and pencil. Like the mind map, I try not to censor or edit what I sketch; this is part of the brainstorming, and all ideas must be free flowing and be considered.
Of perhaps the dozen or so sketches I presented to John, only a handful were chosen based on their strength in concept and form to be rendered with the computer in Illustrator. I also started brainstorming which typeface would be most appropriate.
By looking at the roughs, you can probably see the progression from concept to finalization. In case you’re wondering, color is always last when establishing an identity. As one of my favorite teachers in college always said, “if it doesn’t work in black and white, it doesn’t work.”
Typeface selection and finalization
Choosing a suitable typeface was rather simple; right from the get-go I figured a classic serif family would do the logo justice. As you can see from the roughs, “Life by John” just doesn’t look right in a modern sans-serif. I eventually chose Garamond; it’s classic, professional, balanced, and stable, which is how John would like to come across to his clients.
After some additional polishing and edits, I came up with the final design and color. I believe the logo form is inviting, strong, and conveys hope and growth, and pairs well with the name “Life by John”. The color blue was chosen because for one, it’s John’s favorite color, but mostly because it signifies professionalism, openness, and a sense of serenity.
I am confident that John’s logo will help catapult his business into success and good standing with many clients in the years to come, and look forward to being there with him as it happens. And of course, he was happy with the married-to-a-graphic-designer discount.