Brand Evolution: How I Made My Mark
Every time I sit down to design for myself, I realize I become my worst client. Why? Well, here’s the deal. I spend so much of my time thinking about my clients. I think about how I want to do all that I can to ensure I deliver the best product possible. I want them to have the very best I have to offer. Me and my needs always become second fiddle to my clients. So when I need to wear both hats – client and designer – I throw myself a curveball. Nothing is really ever quite good enough for the client or designer in me to represent my talents. So, where do I start?
In order for me to be truly creative and really want to dig deep into my deepest creative paths, I need to really understand what motivates and influences me as a creative. What is it in my life that has made me want to become a designer and what do I have really deep passion for? Ever since I can remember, as a kid, I have always loved drawing. But it’s all been connected in some way to typography. I have always gravitated towards drawing type, whether graffiti, script, freestyle or block letters. So I decided to pair this passion with one of my life long loves and that is baseball.
There is so much rich history and American folk art tied into baseball that it has always been a passion of mine. Whether in uniforms, stadium signage, team logos, baseball cards, stadium tickets and banners, etc. It doesn’t matter. Baseball and typography go together like milk and cookies. So with so much reference to use, this is where my ideation started.
Because I was designing for myself on this project, I decided to move away from a traditional mood board. Instead, I created several “boards” on Pinterest and this served me pretty well. The flexibility of being able to go back and search for new inspiration if something wasn’t working was great.
Ultimately, I just wanted to have a deep amount of resources available to me. I already had it in my head, the direction I wanted to go with this design, so having a lot of inspiration in front of me only fueled my creative direction.
Again, I went against sketching my ideas out for this project. I had in my mind what I wanted to do with this piece so I just dove right in and quickly worked/sketched in Illustrator. This allowed me to work quickly and get my ideas working as quickly as I thought of them. What I ended up with a very geometric, sterile set of shapes. This was exactly what I wanted to do to set up the base of the logo insignia.
In the next phase, I started to move towards a known direction. After I lightly explored various directions, I knew determined which direction I wanted to move with the letter structure. Once I understood that and I started to work with ornamentation, I decided the mark needed more weight in order to work at different sizes and applications.
Now that I have gotten the design base down, I can start to think about more ornamentation. Something that will give my mark more character and allow it to be more memorable. As I start to refer back to my Pinterest boards and pull from my inspiration, I can start to add little design elements and experiment with ideas which could possibly lead to variations of my single mark. The goal, though, is to get the mark solidified and explore all the different variations possible.
As I have gotten far along in the design process, I realized, I need to start looking at my character sizing and spacing. I need start thinking about how my mark will translate at different sizes and if the nuances are legible when I reduce my mark. In many cases, when a mark is reduced, you need to be very aware of character spacing, detail loss and legibility. So, you are almost looking to have to created a different, but related, mark for use at small sizes.
In the final phases, I knew I wanted to add more dimension to the mark. So, I decided to do a very classic dimensional split to each character stem. If you look at variations of this style, there are so many directions to go and different options for the different degree of detail you would like to take it. I decided on a very simple variation of the effect and then started to look at different color options.