Posts filed under ‘Business’
My Dear Blog, Loyal Readers and New Visitors,
I apologize for my absence from informing and entertaining you with all things related to graphic design and the wonderful design world. There is no excuse for my absence other than the success my 2011 marketing plan has already had to increase my current workflow. However, this does not acquit me from continuing to write on this page.
Please forgive me for neglecting you. I promise that I will do better from here on out.
…not me, Amy. Me 4th Leaf Design Studio!
1 year ago today was the first day that 4th Leaf Design Studio started! I can’t believe how far this little idea has come in 1 year! I have learned so much about running a business, had my ups and downs and just keep pushing forwards.
This coming year brings so many new and exciting things for the business. The most important is time. One of the mistakes I made last year was wearing myself too thin by becoming involved in so many time-consuming organizations. This year, I’m taking a step back and will be much more critical about what I decide to do with my time. In order to get my business to continue to grow, I’ve decided to attend The Simple Plan by Sage Wedding Pros. Here, I will be able to finally write out my entire business plan to help me stay on track with all of my goals. We will also discuss the possibility of my company dividing into two: one for the identity biz and one for the stationery side. This is going to be exciting!
Also, the website will finally be posted this year! Hopefully before the beginning of 2011! We’ll be increasing the items we offer on the Etsy Shop and hopefully will start having a few pieces sold in stores for your convenience. For the identity side of the business, I’m revamping the way we create your entire identity which includes a manual on how to use all the new information you’re given.
This is a very exciting time for 4th Leaf Design Studio, and I feel so blessed to have so many great people helping me throughout this process. Thanks also to all the people who took a chance on me this year. I hope your experience still encourages you to recommend other people my way!
I know many of you are waiting to read the next Graphically Speaking (GS) post about identities and how they relate to your company. Sorry! It will be coming next week, I promise! This week is jammed packed with many identity designs, website layouts, invitations and save-the-date creations. PLUS, this is the last week of my Page High School 2010 Volleyball Season and, WE’VE MADE THE STATE TOURNAMENT! I’m so proud of the girls so the next couple days, I will be living in Murfreesboro, TN coaching and cheering on my high school team to the state championship.
If you’re able to come or interested in seeing some great volleyball, the finals will be tomorrow at 4:00PM at The Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus.
Last week on GS, we discussed the general differences between a logo, an identity and a brand. In the next few posts, I will dissect each of these words more in-depth.
Today, we will start to discuss these in more detail, starting with the triangle: LOGOS.
A logo, or logotype, is a graphic representation or mark symbolizing a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc often uniquely designed for ready recognition. (Source)
At 4th Leaf Design Studio, to reach a better understanding of what our clients want for their logo, I have categorized logos into three groups. Almost all logos can easily fit within one of these; shown in no particular order.
PLEASE NOTE: I have no affiliation with any of the represented companies. I am just using their logos for examples. These views strictly of 4th Leaf Design Studio’s.
1– TYPOGRAPHIC LOGOS
Typographic logos are basically a company or brand’s name spelled out with a clever use a type. In many cases, the designer will alter a typeface to fit the look the company wants or they may combine typefaces to create another feeling. Below are several samples of typographic logos.
Notice how the designer for the FedEx logo strategically altered the typeface to create a forward moving arrow between the E and x. The Coca-Cola logo has been around for decades with very minor changes. The elaborate script typeface, change in baseline (where the bottom of the letters sit) height and the differences in the C’s create an interesting composition in the logo that has made it timeless. The baseline changes and mixed typography of the Ebay logo emphasizes how approachable and playful the site can be.
2– Lock-Up Logos (or Marks)
These are logotypes that use a combination of a graphic (be it an image, a ligature or some other graphic) and the typographic representation of the company. The reason these logos get their own category is because they are recognized both as a lock-up and separately by each individual piece. A successful lock-up logo considers the proportion of the mark to the size of the type associated. When a brand with a lock-up logo becomes successful, they can easily use just their image without NEEDING the adjoining type spelling out the name.
Take Nike for instance. You recognize this as the company logo:
… but because of their wonderful marketing and recognizable graphic, you also understand this to be the same company:
Many companies are recognizing a use for having a lock-up logo. Nike simply brands each of their shoes, hats, and any other active wear by using just their mark. This saves a lot of real estate on their items for other graphics.
Another unique notion about these lock-up logos is their ability to be altered to fit any orientation. They can be in a vertical layout, a horizontal and as just the graphic (as discussed above). NBC does a great job of making sure their logo is used in whatever orientation best fits.
3– Crest Logos
I don’t just mean logos that look like something plastered on a knight’s shield, although the Lamborghini logo is a nice representation of that! These logos succeed in communicating everything about the company all combined in its own holder.
There is not one particular shape that is the best to use, but rather you use the shape that best fits what you’re trying to communicate. If you remember several years back, the UPS logo went under a make-over.
The NFL’s logo was also simplified recently. In the past, it had a star to represent each team in the league. It made the logo dated and incredibly busy. Now the NFL shield is a much simpler version of the original highlighting the 8 divisions of the league rather than every team.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand that your logo is your customer’s first real impression of who you are. Be sure to have a logo that represents the formality of your company, the approachability of who you are and a general concept of what you do. Understand the style of logo that will also work best for you. For example, if you’re a photographer needing to watermark your images, you may want to have your name spelled out so it is clear that the image belongs to you. This “little” image is your stamp that will go on EVERYTHING you do. What does your logo say about you? Are you happy with the way your logo represents you as a company? Will your clients be able to recognize your logo as a stand-out amongst your competitors?
Now, if you ask anyone what their company’s logo is, I’m sure they will be able to show it to you correctly. That’s great! But the question is: Do you know how to use your logo correctly? To learn more about understanding how to use your logo, check back for the discussion about identities.
On this first real Graphically Speaking (GS) post, I’m going to begin a four-part discussion about the differences between a brand, and identity and a logo. These are three words that are commonly intertwined and misused, but they have very different meanings although they all relate at the same time. To start off, I wanted to give you a quick little overview of what each of these words mean. In the subsequent posts, I will go into more detail of what each one really is and how it helps your company and business.
It’s probably easiest to help you define them visually. If these basic shapes represent each piece:
then this represents how they relate to one another:
In other words, the logo is part of the identity which is part of the overall brand.
According to Merriam-Webster, each is defined as follows (as closely related to design):
logo: 1. short for logotype; 2. an identifying symbol
identity: 1. sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; 2. distinguishing character or personality
brand: 1. a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer: make; 2. a characteristic or distinctive kind
All are very close to the way I would define them. Here at 4th Leaf, they are all defined as:
logo: the physical representation of a company’s name, product name or service name
identity: the essential element, colors, typefaces, images, graphics and patterns used to help visually distinguish the brand
brand: the company/product/service name and everything it represents; the emotional perception generated by a particular company, product or service
Through this, you should see how the logo is the starting point for creating a successful brand. After the logo is designed, then the designer can start to create the company’s identity which then will define its brand.
On the next GS, I will be discussing in further detail what a logo is, how 4th Leaf goes about creating a logo and how we help our clients define themselves.
While going through my back-log of blogs that I like to read, I came across this on from Envelopments discussing the use of type in you work. In the post, there was a great video using kinetic typography to teach some of the basic lessons on typography I learned in school. The video visually demonstrates the differences between tracking, leading and kerning type as well as how typefaces have evolved. It’s remarkably done! Very impressed with this video!
Want to see more videos like these? Check out this link for more examples of kinetic typography.
As a new business, it’s always nice to be recognized on a well respected site. Yesterday marked the second time I was featured on the site Ashley’s Bride Guide (ABG)! ABG is Nashville’s source for all things wedding related. Ashley started the site when she was planning her own wedding. She went to all of the common sites brides typically use, such as TheKnot. Realizing TheKnot only has a general Tennessee vendor list instead of a Nashville specific, she decided to start a site to help out local Nashville Brides.
To have my small little company mentioned on this site means a lot. The first time I was featured was for a vintage inspired bridal shoot conceptualized by Amy Thomas of Swizzle Events. This shoot was amazing and I love the invitations, menus, escort cards, and candy table signs I created for this shoot.
Other Vendors Involved:
photography: Johnathon Campbell Photography
flowers: Rhonda Patton Weddings
lighting: Nashville Event Lighting
desserts: Crumb de la Crumb Desserts
linens: BBJ Linens
rentals: Classic Party Rentals
bridal gown: Romantic Creations
jewelry: Krystal Mann, Stella & Dot
tuxedo: Street Tuxedo
It was such a fun shoot!
The second time I was featured on ABG was just yesterday for the wedding you’ve already seen in so many of my posts. Lauren & Tim’s Nashville wedding at Houston Station was such a beautiful event that the the vendors, the couple or the guests can stop talking about it! Now the word is out and about around town at what an even it truly was. Congrats to all of the wonderful vendors for making is such a memorable day for this great couple!
Yes, that is me in the last picture with the adorable flower girl wearing a dress created by Designs by Sara Marie.