Designing logos can be incredibly challenging. The trick for me is to spend a lot of time with the idea away from my desk where I feel pressure to be putting ideas into documents. Ideas have to begin in the fertile fields of imagination and be allowed to graze for a while.
It’s nice to have a smartphone on which to sketch out ideas when they come to me from out of the mists. iOS has a cute Notes application where I can make sketches with my finger. When the idea struck me to use the You Are Here pin icon as part of the logo, I sketched it out on top of a Treasure Map X and filled in the edges of the X with arrows. The idea was that the X and the <O were denoting Here and the arrows would denote Staying.
Another idea hit me that I haven’t fleshed out in a document. It’s derived from the old Family Circus comics where the children’s paths are mapped out. There would be a dashed trail running in a circle around a group of chairs in a room. If I hadn’t noticed the deadline for submissions had already passed I probably would have spent time developing the second image, but life is short.
Using Pixelmator‘s vector tools, I rendered the sketch as an illustration. The You Are Here pin stayed pretty much as it started, but the arrows turned into tiny houses to develop the message into one of Here being Home. The X finds itself in the negative space created at the junction of the houses and the pin.
After quite a bit of fiddling with the proportions of the Arrows/Houses and adding the name of the event the logo was fashioned for (in Monotype Calvert Standard, converted to paths and hand-kerned) I went ahead and exported that as a jpeg and sent it away. I texted the image to my friend B. She replied back quickly, that it was okay, but wouldn’t I be putting the organization’s logo in the big fat circle, clearly left empty in the You Are Here pin, right where it would obviously go?
Having friends and listening to their input makes me a better designer. Thanks for your sharp eyes and clever mind, B.