Week One: Creating a LogoMark
So, I've been following a long with the course since it opened, but haven't really started posting until today for a variety of reasons. One is life and the other is that I've been ruminating on the kind of logo I wanted to create. Logos for me are a slow process because it takes me a second to find the right inspiration and meaning. Once I get there, however, it tends to happen really fast.
At first I thought I wanted to create a fictional art university, then I toyed with the idea of a networking company for artists. I even played around the the name and the color scheme I wanted, until I finally settled on the idea of creating a fictional spa/retreat. chose this industry because I wanted to be able to include alchemy symbology in my logo and it was only fitting to try and stick with the natural theme if I were going to do that.
Generating the Logo
Once I settled on a general idea, started playing with sketches for what I wanted the logo to look like. I really liked the symbol for Earth, as I am very fond of geometric shapes - especially triangles - and there was something aesthetically pleasing to it about me. It was simple but carried with it a lot of meaning and I wanted that for my logo. While sketching the various ways that i could incorporate triangle and lines in my logo, the name "Wild Earth" popped into my head.
Building the Concept
Now that I had a general idea of what I wanted, I felt like sketching anymore wouldn't be beneficial to me. So, I took the idea directly into Illustrator where I built the concepts I had sketched.
They didn't feel right to me. They felt too bulky and incomplete. They didn't translate that simple and airy feel I was looking for. However, I did find that I really enjoyed the shape of that triangle at the bottom of my intial earth symbol and wanted to play more with that. So i did a few simple builds playing with the use of that triangle.
Finally, it occured to me that I could incoporate the earth symbol into my design, but instead of creating a tangible mark, I could use negative spacing to have that line. Once I did that I added a diagnol line so that both of my lines converged outside of the triangle, creating this idea that there was a path and that path led to something. I thought it was right for a wellness reatreat to have a logo about movement and the mystery behind following this path.
Evolving my concept
Lastly, I wanted to incorporate more colors, so I headed over to my favorite pallete generating website and picked out colors I thought would work well for the natural and calming retreat I had in mind.
Then I incorporated the two greens into my logo by adding a gradient on to it. This would give it more visual interest to offset how simple and flat it felt. Finally, I took an exact copy of my logo and made it just black and white so I had a version that could be used when printing in color wasn't an option.
Week Two: Creating a Logotype
Typography has always been difficult for me because there is so much to consider. The characteristic of type; kerning, contrast and heirarchy. This week's assignment of adding type was pretty much me trying every single way or orienting my logo and my type so that it fit.
First I had the idea that I could set my type right next to my logo with just a regular Sans-serif typeface with a bold font. For this one I started out with Acumin Variable Concept Extra Condensed Bold. I liked the way it made the word "Earth" look, well .. earthy. I quickly moved to Avenir Black, however as I needed something slightly more spread out and still bold without having to modify tracking. I paired it with a cursive typeface called Great Vibes to contrast. Obviously this idea doesn't work well, but I knew I was headed somewhere.
So, Next I decided to see how the logo would look if I chose a different type treatment. Namely, remove the words "wellness retreat", capitalize the "W" and the "E" and move the words closer together. Again, I like how this typeface makes the word "Earth" look, so I wanted to make it work.
So, I did just that as well as incorporated the deep green color, "Black Leather Jacket", from my color selections. I really like this color, but I did not like the way the two words combined with the logo looked. It looked more like National Geographic, or even a green technology company than a wellness retreat. So I revisited the idea of cursive type, but decided to focus on the word "Wild" instead of earth. I also decided to switch my designing to completely in black and white to help focus my ... well, focus. The design also needs to look good in black and white and I figure it would be easier to add color and have it look good than to remove color.
I also decided that a completely horizontal logotype was probably not what I was looking for, so I experimented with stacking the type on each other. I bumped up the size of the word "Wild" and changed it to Baskerville SemiBold Italics. I really like Baskerville in this type. It's traditional yet expressive and pairs well against the sans-serif normality of Avenir. I reduced my "earth" text from Avenir Black to Avenir Light to bump up the contrast between the two words. I liked the new vertical layout and the use of Baskerville, so I played a little more with contrast and alignment.
Now, I liked this and was really going to post this as my final. It wasn't perfect, but I thought it was good enough to continue on with the course. yet, something was really bugging me about how the "H" in earth (pictured right side) extended so far past the normal x-height of the text. This is normal as ascenders usually do this, but it just did not feel right. So I clipped the top of the H to make it fit (pictured left side). Still, it just didn't sit right. also, I know the kerning needs to be adjusted on "Earth" but I can't find the screenshot where I did that.
So, Instead of finicking with this any more I decided to see what it would look like if i just put the entirety of the text in Baskerville SemiBold Italics. When I did that another thought occured to me, what if I used my logomark as the dot on the I?
I really liked the way this looked and continued to play with this idea by increasing the size of the logo mark and arranging the "wild" and "earth" in a way that I could use the alignment of the letters "LD" and "EA" to do something with the word "LEAD" later on. I guess that's my scrabble brain but, I think it helped me in this situation. Especially considering the idea behind this retreat is about wellness, finding your inner self and maybe even learning to lead.
Week Three: Visualizing A Brand
For this week, I don't really have much process shots. Most of my time was figuring out the particularities of using Adobe Dimension. It is very similar to other 3D programs I've used, but a lot more paired down so it was somewhat easy to navigate and find what I wanted quickly after watching the videos. I did go back into illustrator to make labels and to use the pattern I made and export it, but other than that it was a fairly straight forward week. I liked the look of the green on white, but decided to use my other colors in the bag to get a better feel for the use of neutral tones and the more get a more "earthy" vibe.
Week Four: Creating a Publication
This week was pretty fun but also challenging in its own way. I love print design and the idea of working in InDesign for anything is always a plus. It was challenging because I wanted to do so many things, but I had to keep it to a single page.
To start, I sketched out a simple layout in the software of whereabouts I wanted to logo and added a few blocks of placeholder text.
Next, I went to my favorite royalty free image resource and found an image I think encompassed wild earth, and added the "Spa and wellness retreat" to the bottom of it.
The image is mean to evoke the idea of introspectiveness in nature.
I didn't like the text placement and the thickness of the bar, so I modified the text placement and came up with the tag line "Where does your path lead you?"
Then I thought i'd utilize the page to be an ad for what wild earth could offer and came up with the following.
I didn't like how boxy the page was so I added a swoop using the pen tool. I didn't like this but i did like the idea. So, I played with it a bit more until I decided that an ad wouldn't be in wild earth's nature. It is the idea of introspection for introspection's sake, not monetary gain. sure there is money involved, but they wouldn't let that be the forefront of their brand. It would be more personable. So I decided to remove any information about pricing and stick with simple text that I imagine outlines the brand message in story form.
I did little modifications at this point because i liked the change. I added a logo to the back of the male's t-shirt, I changed the font of the contact information to Baskerville bold instead of Baskerville Italics, and I added transparency to the green swoosh so a little bit of the image was visible to break up the large swath of color.
Week Five: Creating a Style Guide
For this week I have a few process shots to show my starting point, but then I got really into creating the style guide and completely forgot about archiving my process. To start, I wanted to get a general lay out of the cover page. I have a few other style guides i created for other brands that were more in-depth, and even though this brand isn't a "real" thing, I tried to mimic some of the things I did in those guides.
To start, I know I really liked the way I placed the logo on the one page publication I did, so i wanted to mimic that to start with. I also included a solid block of color at the bottom to cut up the white space and start to utilize my brand colors throughout the document. During this process I started to second guess some of the colors, particularly the peach color called "Dust Storm". You will see a lack of it when we get to the page about defining colors, I left it out on purpose.
So this is what I ended up with after adding color and text and the use of the wild earth logo. It wasn't the best, but it was a good enough start for me to move on to the rest of the document. I figured once I learned how I wanted to do the rest of the document, I could fit the cover to that theme. So, I immediately started on the page with my logo definitions by blocking out where I wanted my images to go.
I shifted everything over one column so I could put in a section content area. Then I filled in the text and images as my rough draft of the layout shows.
I liked this, but I needed to fine tune it more. This is where things go off the deep end and I stopped doing screenshots of my process. Here is the final PNG's of my style guide pages.
Reflecting on the course
When I saw this course listed on the Adobe Education Exchange I was immediately excited because I am in love with all things related to branding - specifically the materials that come along with it. I do have to admit this course was very easy for me because I do this pretty much on the daily and for fun. However, I did not expect to learn anything about Adobe Dimension. In fact, I didn't really know it existed. I see it all the time when I go to update my adobe products but I've never downloaded it because I didn't know what it was used for.
This course was fun and it did boost my confidence in the material by supporting information I had been teaching to students. It gave me the peace of mind to know I was instructing in the way that was appropriate. It also gave me a new skill in Adobe Dimension.
I think the challenge I had for this class was a bit different than the challenges other people might have had. I started late because I was busy and had to spend a lot of time catching up with the assignment, creating something I could feel somewhat proud of, and cataloging my experience as I was doing this. I failed on the last two assignments to do this, but I think the time crunch and wanting to get this done before work became a hassle for me again gave me much needed clarity in what was and wasn't necessary. My inclination is to go big or go home when working on print materials, but this forced me to work within a strenuous time crunch that - while I am not all too unfamiliar with this - I wasn't expecting.
I think the assignments were well thought out and fit what we were expected to learn during the course. I think my least favorite assignment was the first one and my most favorite was the last assignment. The first one was fun but It took me a while to understand what was expected out of it, what were the requirements etc, but I think that is just my brain being used to having restrictions when it comes to logo creation. I liked the last one because I really enjoy making print materials and I felt a style guide helped the brand come to life more by giving it rules and established do's and dont's
Going forward, I already have a branding type assignment for my students, but I really liked the style guide assignment and think I might create that as an assignment at the end of the semester so they can leave class with something tangible.