Logo development is tricky work. With just a few seconds to identify your organization’s vision, what colors do you choose? What shape will people identify with you? What objects, words, and fonts will make people recognize your cause, or want to learn more? And how do you move from a good idea to the final design of a logo?
Recently Spindle & Widget created a new logo for Wide Angle Productions, a production company powered by Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM). It was a great experience working together to create just the right image. Here we’ll share the process from beginning to end.
WAYM already had a strong brand (including the logo designed by Gin Ferrara in 2005), and wanted to create a logo for Wide Angle Productions that built on the existing organizational identity: young people using media technology to tell powerful stories. From there, I had a conversation with Susan Malone, WAYM’s executive director, to understand the style and usage of the logo.
Malone was drawn to scout badges for their color and boldness, and needed a design that would look good on packaging and as a video title screen, as well as on letterhead and social media. I created a pinboard to collect ideas, and found some new inspiration in state park badge designs by Caleb Heisey. The unusual frame shapes, combination of text styles, and bright, yet calm colors felt both fresh and classic.
The first drafts I designed were a bit messy – but that is the nature of drafts. I played with the colors and shapes, and designed logos that used the unique frame styles from the state parks signage, along with images of youth and cameras. These drafts were drawn in both color and black-and-white, to show the options for one-color printing (a necessary cost-saver for most organizations). These were sent to WAYM for review by Malone and several staff and youth members.
WAYM chose the design “A” and requested more variations of shape, outline, and size. I played with borders, backgrounds, and also updated the camera to look more like current technology — see the difference between “C” and “H”? From these, WAYM picked 3 designs: C, E, and H, to finalize.
The next round of drafts focused on the little things that make a logo work – the spacing, font choices, and sizing of various elements. I also flattened the bottom of the characters’ shirts — the kind of edits that seem small, but make a big difference when seen again and again.
WE HAVE A WINNER (or 3)
In the end, WAYM selected 3 designs, all of which had the same core lettering and image, with 3 variations for framing, which will give WAYM options for packaging, video titles, letterhead, and other marketing materials. While the process from initial design to final product can seem lengthy, it allowed everyone involved to see the possibilities, and make a final choice that WAYM can be confident will represent the program, and the organization well.
Spindle & Widget love helping organizations create visual designs to elevate their visibility and their missions. Drop us a line to see how we can help you!
Gin Ferrara is a multimediator, storyteller, and mom, and the daily oomph behind Spindle & Widget.