Thursday, October 28, 2010

loco for logos

If I could do one profession for the rest of my life, it would be designing logos. I could do it all day. Logos are a way for companies/people/businesses to express their identity in a quick glance (see this post about the evolution of the logo... dating back to cave drawings!). I could go on and on. When I thought I would do a post on logos here, I quickly realized there is just too much material to cover in one post. So you will see more posts about logo design in the future... mark my words.

The reason I have logo design on the brain is because I recently designed a logo for my friends Justin and Danielle. They are urban farmers. Yup. The live in St. Louis, in a normal city house, and they have a farm in their backyard. YellowTree Farm. So neat! They provide ingredients to some of St. Louis best chefs. It's sustainable, local food at it's best! Check out this article about them from this week's Post Dispatch (the article is what prompted their desire to have a logo).

I didn't get tons of info from them about what they wanted. While I love love love having this creative free-reign, it is a bit of a challenge. Luckily, some of the imagery/symbolism is inherent in their company name, and also in what they do. YellowTree and Urban farming are the two thoughts I concentrated on when coming up with ideas. Obviously, some sort of illustration of a yellow tree was in all of my designs. Now, originally, I had thought I would go for a more rustic, almost country look... traditional farmers market type stuff. But it seems my brain was focused on the Urban aspect of the farm... so most of my designs ended up being more modern looking. Here are the options I came up with for them to choose from:

And here is the final design they chose (it had to be altered from the original because they to keep YellowTree as one word, and they needed one with a ".com"...):

I'm posting these because I think it is always fun to see the background of logo creation. So enough about me... what about some of the world's most recognized logos? What's their story? Here's a few...

Unilever has one of my favorite logos. I am a fan of simplicity and minimalism. Somehow this logo feels minimal, while packing a ton of symbolism into it. I just find it to be so pretty, like a great fabric print. Check out the explanations of all the different little symbols in the Unilever logo! Amazing.

FedEx. Seems kinda ordinary. But once someone points out the arrow that is formed in the negative space between the E and the x, you will forever admire the simple brilliance of this logo. Here is an interview with the designer. Speaking of logos with hidden meanings.... here are some more.

I don't need to post the Apple logo. You all know what it looks like. It's a cultural damn icon. Now, have you ever seen this? The original logo? Such a huge difference!! It is so not modern or clean (though how cool would it be to have this as a tattoo? hmmmm...). The rainbow apple was the next step, followed by the simpler, monochrome apple we know now.

You knew I had to mention it. The Gap Logo redesign fiasco. Did you follow this mess? It was CRAZY. First of all, why would they change? Their old logo is simple and iconic. The new logo got brutalized by critics. For good reason. It's just weird and makes no sense. A gradation blue box? WHY? Thankfully Gap listened to the world and went back to their old logo. And int he meantime they got lots of press...

So, yeah, logos. One of my favorite things to design. If you fancy, here are some of the other logos I've designed... My main hope is that none of them end up on the Your Logo Makes Me Barf blog... hilariousness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

4 Reel - Horror movies

It's almost Halloween... prime season for scaring the crap out of yourself with horror movies, am I right? Growing up I refused to watch scary movies. When my friends would watch Freddy Kruger at sleep-overs, I would go hang out with their parents. While I still haven't watched any of the likes of Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th, I have come to really appreciate extreme horror movies in the past few years.

I hate to throw around the word "extreme" willy nilly, but I am talking about movies that made me have a physical reaction... cold sweat, nausea.... really terrifying stuff. In this installment of 4 Reel (I pick 4 movies with a theme, and describe each with 4 words), I give you 4 movies that are fantastically done... so well-crafted and horrific that they may scar you for life. No. Really. These are intense experiences. Proceed with caution.

Three ... Extremes

disturbed, resonant, disconcerting, brilliant


desparate, sad, physical, gross

Ichi The Killer

traumatic, visceral, intense, blood-soaked

Let The Right One In

emotional, chilling, beautiful, revenge

Previous 4 Reel posts:
Samurai films

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

letterpress lust

A couple of summers ago I was on a trip to Nashville (and a couple other southern destinations... see this recap), and was smart enough to visit Hatch Show Prints. Hatch show is one of the most famous letter press printers in the country... famous for it's music posters.

From wikipedia: "Letterpress printing is a term for the relief printing of text and image using a press with a "type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image." In short. Letterpress is neato. And pretty. I've collected some letterpress beauties from around the internets....

Speaking of Hatch Show... gotta love this old Johnny Cash print.

These 2 are from a local St. Louis shop that I LOVE, Firecracker Press.

There are several talented letterpress printers/artisits in St. Louis, actually. Like my fellow Roller Girl, South City Shiner's Sensura Studio. See her portfolio here.

Also, one of St. Louis best music acts, Sleepy Kitty, also does some awesome prints.

Evil Prints is another local shop. Check out his disturbing, yet pretty, "Bugz" like this one, "Mrs. Buttermoth."

I came across these. Dude put dice in the letterpress machine to make these fantastic posters! Brilliant! He has an Etsy store... it's closed right now, but looks like it will reopen soon.

I want to learn more about letterpress and woodtype. I would love to visit the Hamilton Museum someday, or at least see this documentary.

Until then, I will just discover and enjoy the myriad of letterpress pretties across the internet. Like this Flickr group, or online shops like Sweet Olive press. I am very much behind the use of letterpress for business cards. The texture and interest a letterpress gives cards can make them so unique and/ or elegant... even without the use of ink!! This tutorial about designing for letterpress might come in handy!

And, of course, there's ETSY. Search "letterpress" and you'll get a plethora of results. Letterpress is great if you want to get some really great original design/artwork, but don't have a huge bank account to go out and buy paintings. Here are some that caught my eye...

Gorgeousness from Letterpress Delicacies.

Oh my heavens. Necklaces made from brass letterpress letters from Gwen Delicious Jewelry!!

Awwwww!! Hedgehogs!! Lucky Bee Press.

Dear Colleen, I kind of need these.

YeeHaw!! that about sums it up. Cool stuff.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

photo theme: leaves

Fall has arrived! Most trees are still green, but they are starting to turn. One of my favorite things to do is to pick a theme and go for a walk with my camera trying to find photo opportunities fitting that theme. Leaf hunting on a crisp, sunny day is the perfect way to get into the autumn state-of-mind.

Past Daydream Believer Photo theme posts:
My Kitty
Emo Toys
Fire Hydrants