Working as a graphic designer is one of the most exciting experience I’ve ever had because every day is different – one day I have no ideas and I feel stuck and on the others, I have a sudden afflatus and can instantly go to Illustrator* and start designing without creating moodboard/inspiration board. The second instance happened to me regarding the project I’m about to tell you more about – logo and submark design for a lovely client – Canyon Heart.
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DESIGN PROCESS – LOGO DESIGN FOR CANYON HEART
STEP ONE – GET IN TOUCH
Each of the design projects starts with the initial chat over the email when I ask a client general questions about their business and brand. At this time, we both decide if we are a good fit for the project. At this stage, I as a designer, identify the problem the client is currently having with their brand and/or brand identity and come up with an individualised solution.
STEP TWO – IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM
Canyon Holgate from Canyon Heart (previously Canyon Howls) reach out to me in September to help her made some tweaks to her current logo, since it didn’t reflect her new business name, the logo wasn’t versatile enough to use it as a watermark for her pictures and she didn’t like all caps letters.
STEP THREE – QUESTIONNAIRE + CLIENT HOMEWORK
After the initial chat, I’ve sent my logo and brand design questionnaire to get to know Canyon and her business in even more details which will help me develop her new brand identity. In the questionnaire, Canyon had a homework to create a secret Pinterest board and invite me to it, with images that are her visual inspiration for your brand so I can understand the styles she likes. The design is subjective, therefore an inspiration board on Pinterest is a great way to see how the client perceives and visually define the brand words like professional, modern, regal, love etc.
ABOUT CANYON HEART
Canyon Heart offers graphic design & basic virtual assisting services, including social media management. Canyon loves social media and she’s dedicated to providing top notch services. The second part of the name “Heart” come from her love she has for blogging & business and the current logo didn’t reflect that.
I absolutely love the way she described her business using adjectives and if her brand is a person and describe their personality:
“Canyon Heart is an all-American girl next door. She looks good dressed up for a social media event but just as good out on the farm working with her animals. She is professional but in a very laid back manner. She likes very rustic, western decor. She is classy, regal, attractive & polished.”
I knew I need to capture all of that in her new logo, but keep it modern style, like Canyon mentioned many times.
You can tell it from far away that Canyon has been in business for over 3 years, because of the way she described her target audience so thorough and clear!
Her target market is a 35-40-year-old woman who is looking for help with her animal based blog or business, especially with social media & or graphic design. This woman is employed full time in a corporate position & she runs her animal based business or blog on the side.
Canyon wanted her clients to feel welcomed & invited to explore when they see her new brand. They should perceive her business & blog as professional, classy & regal. As I’ve mentioned above, she needed a new logo and submark design which reflect her brand and attract her ideal audience.
Below you can see her old logo:
STEP FOUR – SOLUTION
After a long chat, we came to the conclusion, that in this case, the best way to approach this problem is to design a new logo for Canyon along with a submark, which she can use as a watermark for photos on her blog. Besides the new logos, I’ve designed her colour palette, designed an alternative logo and gave her a font recommendations.
STEP FIVE – RESEARCH
The fifth step in this project was definitely different because I haven’t created an actual moodboard – it all happen in my head. When I was thinking about the logo concepts, I kept in mind the words Canyon used to describe her brand answering the question:
What attributes of your business would you like your logo to reflect?
Thanks to the inspiration board/moodboard on Pinterest, I was able to understand Canyon’s vision for her new brand identity and move on to the concepts creation phase.
STEP SIX– LOGO CONCEPTS & STEP SEVEN – PRESENTATION
After the research/inspiration board phase, I jump into Illustrator* to create three logo concepts for Canyon. It was quite challenging because the name and tagline of her business are quite long and I had to keep in mind her love to animals (especially the leopard print and browns), incorporate heart illustration without being cheesy and capture her love for serif fonts.
Side note: As I’ve mentioned in this post, I always present each of the logo concepts on different pages in black and white first (to avoid “colour distraction), then present each of the concepts with the colour palette I’ve chosen (showing four different colour combination from the entire palette). Also, depends on a project, but I show each of the concepts on a mockup for example on a business card, Facebook page, website header etc. What you see above and below are the last pages, where I show the client all the concepts on one page (to make it easier for the client to choose one of the concepts) and then I place all the concepts in the recommended colours (picking the best option from four colour combinations).
I came up with three distinct logo concepts:
The options one was the most modern and sleek of the three. I combined sans serif font with a serif font and incorporated the heart illustration instead of the letter O.
The option two was the most playful, because of the little heart which was a little “extension” of the letter n. In this concept, I used the three different fonts: script, sans serif and serif font.
The option three was the one which I instantly thought Canyon would choose, because I felt like it captured all the things she envisioned in her mind – animal paw which is strongly connected to her personal love for animals as well as the fact, she wants to work with female business owners who owns animal based business; also it included the sans serif font which she really wanted and modern sans serif font for her tagline.
Above, you can see all the logo concepts for Canyon Heart in recommended colours. Because of using a colour palette with different shades of brown, I was able to capture the leopard print vibe, Canyon mentioned many times.
STEP EIGHT – FEEDBACK & STEP NINE – REVISION
Canyon decided to choose the second concept, but as a revision, she suggested to add the paw print from concept three above the logo, in the middle to the second concept and lose the heart the end of the word “Canyon”. Canyon needed only one revision (from two included in my logo package) which was really great. She loved the colour palette, I’ve designed and thought it was spot on, which was a huge compliment for me.
Colour palette for Canyon Heart:
STEP TEN – FINAL PRESENTATION & STEP ELEVEN – APPROVAL
After I revised the concept, I send the final presentation PDF file to Canyon and she approved the design. You can see the final version of her logo below:
The final logo is versatile; it can be used with or without the paw and in any colour from the colour palette I’ve designed for Canyon, it can be also used with or without the tagline. The logo works well in black and white too, in case she needed to use it that way.
DESIGN PROCESS – SUBMARK DESIGN FOR CANYON HEART
STEP ONE– SUBMARK CONCEPTS & STEP TWO – PRESENTATION
After Canyon approved her new logo design, we moved to submark design creation. As for a logo design, I offered three distinctive submark concepts to choose from.
The submark concept one was the combination of Canyons initials CH with a script font used in her final logo design and delicate animal paw print in the background, all shaped in a outlined circle
The submark concept two was the combination of Canyons initials CH with a sans serif font used in the word “Heart” in the final logo, shaped in an outlined rectangle. I instantly thought this one would be Canyon’s choice
The submark concept three was the most playful one, I used the script font used in the final logo for a word Canyon and added the second part of a name in the same font. The lettering was cut out (the are transparent) in the circle
STEP THREE – FEEDBACK & STEP FOUR – REVISION
Canyon decided to choose the second revision as her final submark design which you can see below.
The submark can be used without the paw print which gives and alternative logo option for Canyon (included in a brand board). Similar to the final logo design, it can be used in any colour from the colour palette as well as in black or white (it fits great to be a watermark for her pictures).
STEP SEVEN – FILES DELIVERY
Once both logo and submark design were approved by Canyon, I’ve started to prepare the final files for her. Since I enjoyed working with her so much, I included some extra files in the final delivery, including the alternative logo (submark without paw print), font recommendations, logo without the paw, the paw illustration and brand board. You can see all the brand identity elements below on a brand board.
I’m so happy to be able to work with such a great client like Canyon Holgate and to present the entire design process behind her new logo and submark design. I would love to hear your thoughts on her new designs!
Here’s a lovely testimonial from Canyon:
“I really liked working with Adrianna, she had a quick & reasonable response time. Her prices were fair & she communicated with me throughout the entire project. I really appreciated her professional work ethic! “
CANYON SHERIDA HOLGATE, CANYON HEART
As 2016 is almost over, I’m starting to plan for the next year when I’ll launch new services. It’s all in the planning stage, but you can expect Pinterest 1:1 services, more advanced branding services and web design services which I’m super excited about!