Branding: Attributes

In branding a company (or yourself) you go through a research process to discover brand attributes. From those, you build a brand dimensions map. I began building for my final presentation with this visual, cleaning it up from the previous rendition. 

During this process I discovered that everything in my life centers around relationship. Relationship with God, family, co-workers, clients, etc.

Branding: Logo Me Round 2

Self branding adds a complexity to an already intense process and once again I was a bit slow on the uptake. However, when the breakthrough happened, I was pleased with the outcome. You can see how far this came from the previous Logo Me Round 1 posting. 

Pieces of this process included painting, drawing, inking the triangle logo until I found something I liked. The rough, hand drawn rendering was a conscious choice even though I love a smooth look. Beth (instructor) pointed out this truly reflects “me” and brings my fine arts into my logo / identity.

With a lot of help on the color study, I landed on the brown (earth/stability/natural) for the open (welcoming) triangle and blue splash (water / creativity / life).

The naming was also difficult, but I liked studio33 because it can represent all of my art, as opposed to locking me into one aspect of it such as graphic design or fine art. I also solicited a lot of help on the font choice which is Fontin.

Eventually the tagline was added and became more than a tagline, as you will see in subsequent postings.

Lawn Pride 3 Ad Layouts

I was so not inspired by this project. This is a real company locally, but I have not yet fallen in love with advertising and just struggled for inspiration.  We had to do the same concept in 3 different layouts… I get this nasty feeling that I still have a LOT to learn and that something hasn’t yet clicked in for me.

BTW this is not as simple as it looks…but I did eventually have a very cool idea that was more complex and time consuming. Maybe I need to learn how to be quicker with my inspiration so that I have more time for execution. The idea came the day before it was due.

A year younger…

“I no longer question why did I come into this room? I just adapt to what the room is about. Sleep. Chocolate. Reading. Study. Shower. I enjoy them all. So no problem. I never have to worry about the question.” – Ed Brogden Sr.

I love that comment from my lifelong friend, and am posting it in honor of my birthday this weekend. It fits well with my emmersion in the self-branding activities. May I always have this attitude no matter the circumstances of the moment … adapt to them and make the most of them!

Branding: Logo Me Round 1

In Corporate Communications we began the process of branding ourselves. This will take weeks, so this week we tackled discovering our values and creating 3 symbolic logos in rough form.

We interviewed people from 3 different roles in our lives (I chose a sister, a close friend, and a peer-student-friend).  Probably my biggest suprise was how my student-friend was so perceptive and caught things about me that I had no idea were noticable, such as my “concern for justice” and “makes concepts clear and understandable to others”. Both of those are huge drivers in my life, but not necessarily obvious (from one student to another, anyway.) I also liked how my sister said “classy vs. cheesy work” (no kitsch here!) and a friend said I am like a “laser beam”.   My perceptive student-friend also commented “not complacent or too comfortable.”  I laughed at that one and couldn’t help commenting that I am “not likely to allow that in anyone around me, either.”

This all boiled down to 7 core values. Pretty much the same ones I have had for years, but it is good to rework this process periodically. Sometimes one or two might change depending upon life’s circumstances.

At that point, I created a brand dimensions map using 7 attributes derived from the values activity. Beth asked that we visually show it, as well as use words. Since Relationship is at the core of everything I do, from spirituality to business to being creative, I started with the crucial component of integrity and wrapped my attributes around and flowing into Relationship.

I then thumbnailed and brainstormed until I came up with requisite 3 logos in rough form.

Working with the premise of a whirlwind (another term I was given through my interviewing…at least it was not a tornado which is destructive!) I ended up with my stylized initials:

Then I took the infinity symbol and played around with it until I had it looking like a paint brush. I put three spots of paint with it representing body/mind/soul as well as perfection and Divinity (3 is a strong number for me.)

Then the final one came when I was adjusting a triangle. A triangle is my personality shape, if you remember from previous attempts at logos. One flick of the wrist and I had a brush (stroke) with it. I stopped there before I messed it up. This one is my favorite. It will be interesting to see if it still works once I move through the branding process over the next few weeks. 

We each had to present our values, map, and logos to the class. Any thoughts?

Home Depot Print Ad

For Design Layout we were assigned a business and instructed to create a print ad using the almighty grid as our guide. 7 products with info and one product needs to be featured. I used the grid, but purposefully “broke” it in several places.

Sometimes finding the right picture to illustrate the concept and then making that picture work is the hardest part.  I wanted one of the dogs with the leaves and this one from 2007 was my best option (ie the project is finished and bagged.) If I had known this 3 weeks ago, I could have gotten some fresh photos with the exact look I was going for… but it works! Thanks, Bailey (and Charlotte)!

The lesson I am learning this quarter… take loads of photos from different angles if there is even the remotest possibility it could be used later on for an assignment!

Follow up with class feedback: I should have made it larger. I constrained it to a specific size which was a bit small. The products feel like they are floating, so with more space I could have done a lot more with this.

Side note: The week I finished this I had messed up my back really bad… creativity was so not happening, nor was I sitting for long periods or even concentrating well. Now that I am feeling better… we will see if I can be a bit more inspired on the next project!

The Invitation: Final Photoshop Montage

Throughout the online Adv. Digital Imaging course, one of our assignments was to work on a project, applying that week’s learning, until by week 5 we each had an interesting poster. We had to include a poem or phrase and 3 photos of our own (preferrably).

I chose Charlotte’s poem, a photo of myself (this will be changed once I get a good photo of the 3 of us out to dinner sometime!), a photo I took of Charlotte and Lainey sharing a cup of tea (out of a teacup from a set a good friend gave us), and a sunset from our trip to Marco Island.

To bring cohesion to the piece as well as to keep it simple so the words wouldn’t get lost, I changed the opacity of a couple photos and made them more of a sepia (honey) color.  I also applied a background texture that was all scratched up, which shows through the sunset layer with it’s lower opacity, giving the piece a mildly grungy or old look.

There is more I want to do to this… but it is a great start. I enjoyed working on it.

As of this week, the class is over, dropping me down to 3 classes through mid-December. This was a purposeful choice as it will give me more time to enjoy the holidays! I am so looking forward to them!

Alchemie Client Logo

Rachel and I teamed up to work on the logo for Alchemie (a company created by one of our fashion programs). Alchemie will be selling wallets which they designed and are producing. 

Our Corporate Communications class participated in naming the “company” as well as each of us presented logos for their selection.  While our logo did not make the final cut, we were in the top 3! I think we hit the mark for the homework assignment; however, since we were told to design as if this were an international corporation that intended to grow and not to focus on simply this one product. We were also requested to keep our presentation limited to a specific set of slides, one black and white and one color version of the logo, and to a short timeframe.  

In our presentation, we were to outline our process.  Alchemie is a play on the French for alchemy. If you are interested in seeing the short presentation with some of our early sketches and explanation of our process, you can view it here> Alchemie Project.

So what did I learn? I thoroughly enjoyed teaming up with Rachel, and working the process with her was fun and helped fuel my own creativity! I have always preferred teamwork when the team is responsible and able to pool resources!

I think I also learned it is ok to break the rules outlined by the instructor if you really want the project? That is what the winning group did, anyway, with a long presentation and they definately took it to the theme of wind/earth/fire/water, which was for this particular product set only, thus locking the company into that theme forever. I don’t know and am a bit confused on that point.

What I am not sure of is if that would work in the real world. I think that is something I would be checking out ahead of time because to make such a gamble could sink your company if you were wrong. I have worked with companies where they will throw out your presentation without review if it does not fit the guidelines they set forth. They view it as you are not hearing their initial request and thus they do not want to work with you in the future.

So I am a bit confused as to what happened with this project. I think the Alchemie group was not looking at things long term and were a bit tunnel visioned with their current project. The logo  they chose (while excellent) was very specific to their current product line.

The majority of the class followed what we were told, and there were some wonderful offerings on the table for a global mark! There is real talent in this school!