Friday, January 30, 2009

Semester Project: Still Pushing

After Thursday night, as well as some commentary from my previous experimentation, I feel more of a direction to go with the logo, type wise. I will play with the illustrations tonight and have some posts for tomorrow.

I was asked to showcase what "indie" will look like with the rest of the title "Coffee & Books". I tried working with the original title, and after a while, I wanted to see what it looked like spelled "Coffee And Books". I don't know if that is okay for me to change that part of the title, but I wanted to see how it would look. I really wanted to see if this would make the design better...and just maybe understand why it was not considered in the first place.

I was hoping to have the typeface be a condensed look for "Coffee & Books", with the standard typefaces already. I was not able to really find that many condensed candidates; however, I found others that looked interesting to go with "indie" as a full, fleshed out design. So here are my options:

I wanted to see which will look better, having it uppercase to bring contrast to the lowercase "indie", or make it all lowercase. And I admit, it is becoming hard right now to decide which direction to go. Not to mention the size relationship between the two elements, rather to let indie stay bigger and spread over "Coffee & Books" or not.

Any comments, suggestions, or advice are welcome. I am still pushing and experimenting before I make my final decision in the next few days.

Need To Remind Myself...

I need to remind myself that it took so many trials and sketching in order for me to get to my initial logos from last semester. Around a total of 125 small sketches to get me here:

And here:

I definitely need to look in the mirror more, artistically.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Semester Project: Still Experimenting

I still have not found something that I really like, or really think that it will cause a stance. Not type wise or sketch wise. I admit, not going the illustrative, cartoon character route is challenging to my inner being. It's really cutting me deep.

So I went out to get different supplies, glue, crayons, spray paint...just to see what will and what will not work. Here is my experimenting with a mixture of glue stick, hot glue, and crushed coffee beans:

I grew fond of the "i" that came out in the last picture there. As I looked at the others, the hot glue did not help me in the finished look. With that said, my future endeavors with this experimentation will have to stick with glue sticks.

I scanned the "i" into my computer, fixed it up in Photoshop, and live traced it in Illustrator. Here are some experimenting I did with the "i" and different other fonts here:

Hopefully this will lead me somewhere to pushing more ideas, instead of pushing my head against the wall.

More trials to come soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not Impressed

This is a random post, I just could not ignore my resentment design wise. Usually, Google has different illustrations or designs used to showcase its' name. I can understand that, and I'm used to it too. However, just today, a few minutes before posting this entry up, I ran into this for Google.

As the title of this post entry, I am not impressed. As an illustrator, I would. As a graphic designer, I am not. I may understand the concept that everything is haywire, jumbled up, and scratchy when you are looking through a search engine. But to make the legibility hard to read to find the name "Google", that does not fulfill the works of a great design or concept.

Thought I might share this with you guys. Any thoughts or comments?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Semester Project: Serif or Sans Serif?

I wanted to go and look for different fonts that could be considered as possible directions for Indie. I know I want to have Indie be different from Coffee and Books, and I felt that Indie would really set the tone for everything. For Coffee and Books, for the illustrative part of the logo. Everything.

At first, I wanted to try to go with sans serif (I really do enjoy sans serif most of the time). It is more playful, a chance to be gestural and loose. However, most of the big named companies use sans serif (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts) as their typeface, and it would be good to be more distanced from their feel.

As I tried all the different types to spell Indie (all lowercase, first letter capitalized, all uppercase), I started to see what Stan was referring to about the all uppercase scheme. Too much yelling "INDIE" instead of being firm and solid. You don't have to yell out that you're independent, you just show that you are.

I also started to see more potential in the serif choices, more than I thought I would realize. So right now, I am trying to decide what typeface will work, so that everything can come together along with the typeface.

Semester Project: More Research

I still remember the day I went to Indie Coffee and Books to talk with the owner about our re-branding project. I won't say I still have the bad taste in my mouth, as she was not interested in being supportive or enthused. I was not able to take pictures during that conversation; however, the company's website provided some photography. And not bad takes I might add.

Asian culture, as you can see the bowls at the last picture. Though it did not speak Asian culture in the original logo design. I also did not think of Asian culture being an influence for my redesigning process. Would it hurt to might try it? Maybe not. Something to think about.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Semester Project: Competition

Taking a look at the competitors that Indie Coffee and Books are facing right now in the Atlanta area. All these name brand business offer coffee, as well as many other things to match up with Indie. As far as Wi-Fi service, books, pastries, and everything else.

I wanted to look at the logos for a bit of the competitors, in order to see what has not been done. Both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have sans serif typeface, bold (or thick) lettering, and they are all in caps. Seattle's Best Coffee is also has an all caps typeface scheme, but using serif. Starbuck and Seattle's (which is owned by Starbucks by the way) logos are using circular schemes to attract customers. It is also noted that neither brand uses a coffee mug or smoke swirl as part of their combination mark. Now, Seattle's Best Coffee does have a ring around the sphere, almost resembling a sleeve (the paper item that wraps around the coffee cup). It is still interesting that it did not literally showcase of what they sell.

Dunkin Donuts does have a customized coffee cup as part of their combination mark. Being stylized and hand drawn compared to the clean type for the logo.

I am still being challenged to try and say something else about Indie besides being literal about coffee and books. What kind of areas can I go? I will soon find out, at least try before I resort with showcasing coffee and books. I will post some other ideas sometime tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration Trip Episode 2 - Eve of the Inauguration

Monday, January 19th. Destination: Pentagon City Mall. Objective: To visit the mall, ride the Metro subway, and head to the grounds where the Inauguration will take place.

While we were heading to the Pentagon City Mall, I caught a glimpse of two logos that could use some re-branding themselves. Always have some dumb vehicle in my way while taking pictures.

When we arrived at the Pentagon City Mall, it was very patriotic. Then again, it's suppose to be!

Now, I know that my trip was going to be historical, but I also wanted to capture things that caught my attention graphic design wise. Some of the logos in the mall did just that:

I thought the typeface for Carol's Daughter made it more personal with the cursive handwriting. Along with the flower being there, probably to represent beauty. I just don't like that white rectangle as the background. Maybe an oval could be better.

I prefer the bottom logo for Auntie Anne's than the top one. What is sad is that there are two locations in the same mall for this business. I think they should just go ahead and switch to the bottom logo design.

Using stencil for news as a typeface does not stick well to me. At least to me, I just don't think of stencil being the top choice for news.

The descender for the "g" in "aggreko" looks playful. I also like the orange used to capture one's attention.

After taking the Metro subway to get to the Mall area, it was time to take pictures! And everyone had a mom, my dad, my sister, and my brother (he was with Presidential Classroom while we were at the Pentagon City Mall).

My mom and sister in front of the Washington Monument.

My dad taking a picture. He is very passionate of taking pictures, I kid you not.

Me representin' Georgia!

After my dad and I decided to come back inside from the cold (my mom and sis already beat us to the mall), I head straight to Starbucks. People who know me well knows I enjoy Starbucks. A lot. I am even tempted to start another blog of my journey to every Starbucks I come in contact with.

Anyway, here is one of the stations that were selling Obama merchandise. Lots of people wanted to purchase them at the Pentagon City Mall...and believe me, the stuff is expensive. A button is worth $8. Just a button! Yet, people still wanted to purchase them. Even to the point where a line started outside of a store.

I told my dad that President Barack Obama is the new Michael Jordan: Just slap an "O" on an item, and it's gold. And hey, they're both from Chicago, so why not? Just waiting on Obama's own basketball shoe from Nike. Wouldn't that be something?

The last logo I captured at Pentagon City Mall. I thought the concept for the logo worked perfectly, using the "M" and "W" to illustrate the attire. It's interesting to me they used sans serif for the type. It really does work along with the "M" and "W" as part of the combination mark.

I was not able to capture Nordstrom's logo, but what I saw really impressed me how their choices worked together. The Pentagon City Mall had the Nordstrom's logo in the san serif (the first image), and another mall I saw had the serif logo showcased outside in the parking lot. Both typefaces show a nice use of thick strokes, while still using thin strokes in part of the lettering. To me, both typefaces work together, not against each other. That's what really grabbed my attention.

Next Time: Episode 3 - Inauguration Day, Part 1. With so many people, the anticipation, and the emotions being extremely high, you know it could not fit into one episode. See ya next time!