While I may debate about whether my time on social media is worthwhile, sometimes you just never know what’s going to happen on the Internet. Case in point, thanks to Twitter, I can now add “Logo Designer” to my increasingly varied resume.
Once Upon a Time…
In a faraway land called the Twitterverse, I was introduced to a chick from Florida who designs and makes jewelry. As these things happen, we clicked via silly comments and exchanges and a virtual friendship was formed in a non-stalkerish sort of way. Okay maybe a little stalker-esque because we started following one another’s blogs and, once I finally caved in and joined the masses on Facebook, we friended each other there as well. Oh, and don’t forget Google+ (although I often do).
Part of what kept me interested was Abbie’s (short for Abigail) creative spirit. Now, I’ve seen some homemade jewelry and it’s, well, let’s just say it’s something a five-year-old’s mom might be proud of if she was feeling really generous with the praise that day. But not Abbie’s. She often uses found objects such as sea glass and rocks, but also tosses in an occasional gemstone. Then she flings some wire around it and turns a hunk of rock into a wearable piece of art!
All the stuff on her shop Contortum Designs makes me wish I wore jewelry – seriously, I barely put on my wedding ring – and I’ve already staked my claim for her to design any accessories when The Trials of Hercules (and all subsequent books in my Osteria Chronicles series) are made into movies or TV shows.
And Then One Day…
One day while wasting time on Facebook when I should have been writing, a message pops up from Abbie asking if I’d design a logo for her shop. She had seen some of my artwork and thought I could whip something up for her. I was super honored, if not a bit scared.
Now, while I can manage a professional-looking book cover in Word, it is not meant for true design work. I made it clear to her that since I don’t normally do art on the computer (and because design programs are very expensive) that I would be producing a hand-drawn logo, not something crisp, perfect, and easily manipulated like a logo made using design software. She was okay with that and we went about trying to figure out what she wanted.
She found loads of very cool images online to give me an idea and said she wanted something beachy to go with her sea glass and other found objects. In my head I also was picturing something that could work in the initials of her shop as well as something twisty to go with the wire wrap.
I had too much fun coming up with rough sketches for Abbie to choose from and may have overwhelmed her a bit, but everything I saw kept giving me ideas for her logo. Despite a little prodding, Abbie didn’t choose my favorite design and instead chose the most complex sketch of the lot. I got a little nervous again wondering if I could pull this off.
Delving Into Design
The design she selected was sort of a Celtic knot into which I would insert something sea-themed in the center. The loops at the sides also allowed for the C & D of her shop to be worked in quite easily. The main trouble was trying to keep it symmetrical and smooth.
Being as careful as possible and using my handy dandy oval stencil set, I worked one loop. I then tried to draw out the other loops in the same way, but lost the symmetry, so, out came the eraser. Instead of drawing each loop, I opted to trace the original loop, then transfer it three times to form the outer portion of the design. The center portion fell into place after that.
For the sea-theme, I really wanted to do a seahorse (especially after I learned I cannot draw a starfish to save my life). I made a stylized version on black paper using an opaque white pen, then simply cut this out and pasted into the center of the loops.
I scanned the image into my computer and, using the only “graphics” program I have (I won’t admit what it is), I cleaned up some erasure marks, darkened some areas and made the seahorse a brighter white. Believe me, it was a pain in the butt, but it was worth it. I also made a cropped version of the design since I felt the whole design was too big for a logo and wanted to give Abbie the option of something smaller.
It was time to send it off. My own eyes pick up every flaw in the logo, every curve that isn’t just right, every line that isn’t perfectly drawn, so of course I was worried Abbie would hate it. I attached the images to an email and hit send and tried to put it out of my mind (it didn’t work).
When her response came, I was afraid to open it, but, like a stuck on bandage, you just gotta rip that thing and deal with the pain. But there was no pain. She loved it and was even willing to fork over some of her hard-earned dollars for it!
Now my design has been sent off to be turned into stickers and is featured in her newsletter and on her Facebook page! I do think the design works well for her shop and know that it is something she can send to a “real” designer in the future if she wants to make color changes or tweak the image.
If there’s something you want drawn, painted or designed (book covers included), just let me know!
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.