What a fun project this was! I’ve designed logos before for myself (this site) and the Southern Vermont Young Professionals. But, I’d never formally learned about logo design, branding, and identity. I initially thought, “okay, this will be easy! Find a font I like and slap a nice .svg next to it.” But after reading all about Branding and Visual Identity in Robin Landa’s book, Graphic Design Solutions, I learned there’s a LOT more to logo design than I thought.
What actually makes a logo?
According to Graphic Design Solutions, a logo is the unique identifying symbol of a brand. Logos come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The four main types are: logotype, lettermark, symbols, and emblems. So there are a lot of options to work with and to start from when creating a logo.
Branding and Identity
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I need create my brand. Not only do I need to figure out what type of logo to make, I need to think about my brand or identity. What does my brand’s purpose? What does it have to offer? Why or how is this brand different? For my visual identity, I also need to find a color palette, shape, and typeface.
I love plants. Especially during these New England winter months, plants save me. So I thought of the name, “Green Thumb Plant Shop“.
This shop (in theory) would have a physical space, not just an online store. I would want this shop to have an earthy, natural feel. Green Thumb would be approachable, with realistic pricing, and friendly staff. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy‘s definition of a Green Thumb is, “A knack for growing plants and keeping them healthy.” This plant shop’s name would make customers feel lucky or hopeful about purchasing plants from there, even if they are known plant-killers.
While I was reading about logo design, I actually drew some sketches in my notebook of Green Thumb Plant Shop. I’m not the best at drawing, but I knew I could make my idea happen on the computer. Below are my sketches and preliminary ideas.
I really like this font that I must have downloaded at some point in the past called, Harlem Script. This font seems friendly and approachable. I also like that there are a few holes in the font as well, making it seem natural and earthy. The bottom font is Avenir Next with extra spacing. I thought it would help the logo feel more clean. I wouldn’t want to walk into a dirty shop. I played with shades of green and ultimately used the brighter green because it felt more like a healthy leaf color. The final logo I finished with after playing around with a few ideas is below.
I combined the vines idea with the thumb and loved it. It feels like the vines are climbing up this “lucky, green thumb.” The logo feels natural and earthy, yet crisp and clean. I love the boldness of the black against the bright green, drawing the eye through the logo. Since I remember reading (or hearing) somewhere that logos should also work in black in white, I created some alternate versions. Usually, a brand has a set or series of a logo or brandname depending on where they will be used (I will speak more on that in my next blog).
I love this! I really enjoy the process of creating a logo and a brand. Perhaps this will be a part of my future career. I learned a lot about design and identity in this exercise. It really puts into perspective of how important the identity of a brand is. I feel this exercise helped me think deeply about design as a whole.
If you are opening a plant shop, contact me about this logo! 😉