July 27, 2015

My New Logo, and How I Got There

Being a craftsperson means I do pretty much everything for my business. It is not only about making the work. There is lots to that goes in to selling, designing, packing and shipping, doing my taxes, maintaining my tools and machines, building my website, and making my work known to the world. That last piece is called "marketing," and it is a category of tasks that might not seem very romantic or interesting, but it absolutely is an important part of making a living doing what I do. And I actually enjoy the challenges of figuring it out.

My marketing involves my website, the craft fairs I show at (only one these days, "Sunapee"), and the postcards I send out to my mailing list twice a year. And an important part of all these things is having a consistent look and feel. That is my "brand" and it is most specifically embodied in my logo.  30 years ago I had a logo made for me that I have used for all these years, but it really didn't work anymore – it was designed before I even made lampshades! So my son Tom, who works in advertising, encouraged me to modernize my brand. That involved my wonderful new website woodsheds.com and also my new logo. Tom's good friend, Jeff Chandler, is an artist, and Jeff volunteered to work with us to come up with the design for the logo.

This took a few months, and many interactions of ideas. Jeff interviewed me, and it was very wide-ranging. We talked about motivation, intention, inspiration, technique, and materials. Then Jeff started sketching in a notebook.  I suspect that Jeff showed us over a hundred ideas. At first Tom and I got to see pages and pages of tiny sketches. As we responded to those and talked about things we liked and didn't like, Jeff started to produce increasingly refined illustrations, in series that depicted lots of minor tweaks and variations. Here are three examples of directions that we eventually abandoned:

The logo that you see at the top of this blog post is the one we eventually and happily settled on. Jeff provided me with the complex Photoshop file, so that I can continue to play with this, and come up with variations for particular purposes. For example, two version that are black and white:

I am impressed with Jeff and his tireless enthusiasm for this project. And the result works perfectly for me. It is distinctive, dramatic and professional. It speaks to the organic shapes that I use in my work, the colors of my lampshades, the origins of the wood in the Aspen leaf shape, and the romance of the light that is indicated by the candle flame shape.

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