Thursday, August 23, 2012

logo love

One of the best ways to make a good first impression is to have a strong, memorable logo mark. Your company's logo, after all, serves as the face of your company when you can't be there in person.
Over the last 10 years, I've been entrusted to design or refresh many of my clients' corporate identity and it's always such a rewarding process to see a logo come to life, actively making concept sketches turn into computerized icons that blossom into full-fledged logo marks complete with typography and color.

I thought I'd share a few of the logos I've been fortunate to work on recently.

Ekko Workshop is a brand new division of Ekko Mobiles, which designs the most amazing large-scale mobile installations. Wanting to take their concepts to the wholesale market with desktop-sized models, Ekko asked me to create a mark that stayed true to their down-to-earth, "workshop" roots, so I chose strong, modern typography and developed a simple icon that feels somewhat industrial.

Powell Boulevard Veterinary Clinic has been my fur family's trusted vet since we first moved to Portland 10 years ago. So when they asked me to design a logo for their brand new Eastside Pet Rehabilitation Center, I jumped at the chance. They had done their research and already knew they wanted a very illustrative logo that incorporated iconic East Portland/outdoor imagery, a slightly retro/travel poster look, and oh, yes, a dog! Because of budget constraints, I used a combination of stock art (trees) and custom illustration (dog and Mt. Hood) with early 20th century inspired typography.

The 2012 Ski Summit is an in-house marketing event hosted by Harry's Fresh Foods that targets restaurant managers from high-end ski resorts across the country. Thinking back to my childhood experiences skiing (which weren't all that great despite taking place in the Swiss Alps), I decided to mimic those ski patches all my class mates were so eager to sew onto their parkas. Retro-inspired graphics and a sporty shield combined to create a memorable logo for this fun event.

When Cox Marketing asked me to help out with a logo project for her client, I was more than happy to jump in. Sologic was the new name of a company specializing in root cause analysis so I started with concepts for the iconography that would reflect their specific process. The end result is a series over overlapping fields that are grounded by a solid base. I combined modern typography that communicates their technological expertise with a simple yet fresh color palette, and the result is an intriguing mark that makes a lasting impression.

If you're an avid reader of my blog, then you already know that the University of Oregon's Annual Giving Program has been one of my clients for over decade. Every year I design their letters of appeal, and in the last few years we've tried to develop a visual theme that ties together all the different mailings they send out during the academic year. This year, the tagline stayed the same as last year, but I gave it a fresh new look by using a slightly futuristic type face and a twist on the traditional sunflower yellow and kelly green UO colors. The first two mailers recently went to print so stay tuned on examples of how this emblem "in action."

For more examples of logo design, please visit my portfolio or get in touch – I'm always happy to show you my work in person!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

picnic time

Whether at home or at work, it feels great to know you're appreciated, doesn't it? It feels even better when they throw you a big party!

That's where the company picnic comes in: many organizations use the relaxed atmosphere of a casual summer get together to thank their employees for all their hard work.

Harry's Fresh Foods took it a step further by holding their picnic at Oaks Bottom, a local carnival-style amusement park that reminds you of the good old days.

So yes, when Harry's asked me to design the invitation postcard using the "got soup? got fun!" tagline, I could taken inspiration from the carnival location using color fanfare, stars & stripes and even clowns. 

Instead I chose to keep it simple and understated, only hinting at nostalgia through use of typography. Because as we all know, sometimes less is more!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

gala program

To follow up on last week's post about the gala invitation for the University of Oregon,  I thought that today I'd share the program book I designed for the event.

I updated last year's square format with this year's color palette, damask pattern and logo border. The metallic paper worked especially well with the dark pattern, giving it extra depth and lustre.

The inside front cover was a flood of chartreuse green while the first page featured a black pattern band behind the logo – I love the overall effect and contrast it created.

The interior pages were reformatted to reflect this year's modern typography and color while the grey stripes from the save-the-date made an appearance as a header at the top and bottom of each page.

The end result: an elegant program book that effectively reflected the prestigious nature of the event while not breaking the bank in terms of design or printing costs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

gala invitation

Last year, I was asked to design the invitation and collateral materials for a gala hosted by the University of Oregon to honor local leaders (read more here and here) and everyone was thrilled with the results. So thrilled, in fact, that they asked me to incorporate elements from last year into this year's design. And I was more than happy to oblige!

Starting with the save-the-date postcard, I changed the format and updated the color palette and typography. While green is definitely a UO color, using a lime/chartreuse version of it instantly sets a more modern tone.

I also used a tone-on-tone damask pattern for texture and elegance and added a curved border to enclose the event logo, which they chose to reuse from last year's design.

The invitation itself was presented inside a custom die cut folder of metallic silver cover stock that had a sticker with the logo and damask pattern applied to the front.

Once opened, the folder revealed a die cut invitation that matched the shape of the logo's border. It was glued in place above the pocket, which contained an informational card with bios of both recipients as well as the reply card and envelope.

While the package as a whole was quite stately and elegant, the use of a sans serif font (Helvetica Neue Thin) and color (PMS 583) gave the invitation a distinctly modern vibe.

My favorite part? The little round sticker used to seal the folder! Such a simple little thing, but it's what gave this suite the final finishing touch.