The logo of a company is in essence, the depiction of the very soul of the company. It is the visual representation of your business. Through the eyes of a business owner it appears to be such a small thing when faced with bigger things such as budgets, product management, strategies and marketing that forcefully pull ones attention away. However, there is so much importance on this simple thing, so much complexity and influence that to ignore it or brush it aside is to ones detriment.
When people see a logo their brain makes judgements and decisions about your business within seconds of laying eyes upon it. Thoughts instantly run through their brain such as; it looks thrown together, I like the colors, it looks professional, I could have designed that logo, its very complex, what is that? When communicating to a designer about your vision for your logo, it is very important to communicate what you want it to say about you.
In this blog we wanted to put Cargill Creative on display. To delve deeply into the process of creating an identity. The creativity and toil that goes into the creation of a logo. To show the logos that ended up on the cutting room floor and to explain some of the thoughts and strategies that go into creating the visual soul of a business.
“Start Me Up” (see Rolling Stones)
Initially the idea for the logo for Cargill Creative was focused on CC, the interplay between two letters. In our search through Google Images we were intrigued by the idea of using the Closed Captioned logo with a twist. We came up with the slogan “>> for the marketing impaired.” The logo to the left is what we came up with. The problem with this is it is never a good idea to insult your clientele no matter how innocuous it seems to be. So this idea was scrapped and we moved into the brainstorming sessions.
“The Storm” (see Garth Brooks)
The next group of ideas focused around trying many different directions, ideas and inspirations. Sometimes design is a thought driven, laser focused conception that almost immediately comes together. This is indeed rare however. Most of the time you have an explosion of ideas and through evolutionary thought the final idea comes together from bits and pieces of many ideas. The following logos are samples of this “Brain” storm.
“Square One” (see Coldplay)
Sometimes it can be necessary to put all of your ideas together. Put them up on the wall stand back and look at them all. As you can see there was a myriad of ideas going on here in about every different direction. Colors, fonts and layout were all explored in depth. At this point one can be in danger of becoming frustrated. You’ve tried everything but nothing clicks. Which is really what design comes down to, that moment when you look at it and say “that’s it”. At this time it can be necessary to go back to square one and begin again. So we went back and explored some ideas of merging the C’s into one form, but making it still be two distinct visual shapes. Through the brainstorming process we had more or less settled on the font that captured the feeling we wanted. During this process we began to see the light as the final design came into being.
“True Colors” (see Cindi Lauper)
At this point, we are very close to a final product. However as they say: “the devil is in the details.” Good design is really a matter of paying attention to the details. So we focused in and after coming up with a different tagline, moving the layout around, rounding out the C’s so it was less squished and fine-tuning the Horizontal and Vertical versions of the logo we decided the colors seemed very… tepid. This design was a bold, captivating image that needed a more visually striking color pallette. Which brought us to one of the final decisions, color.
“The Final Countdown” (see Europe)
Color can be a matter of opinion. While we settled on a striking Red and Grey design what we do have in this logo is the ability to adapt the colors for different applications. When designing a logo you have to envision every possible scenario that it could be used on from a crappy FAX cover page in black and white to a billboard sign, a T-Shirt or even a tiny Favorite Icon on your web browser. The logo has to work in every scenario, and that is why this process can be so difficult and rewarding all at the same time. This is why the design of a logo should never be taken for granted.
Your logo will be with you for a long time and appear on more things than you will care to count. Take the time to do it right, and here is where we give ourselves a plug:
“Make sure you have a graphic designer that will care about your logo and the design process as much as or more than you do.”
— Jeremy Cargill