If you’ve been following my Facebook posts from the beginning, you’ve seen a little bit of the development of the logo for my studio. Let’s take a little bit closer look at the development of my recent logo.
The first idea for this logo came over ten years ago! That’s why it’s important to write ideas down because you never know when they are going to be useful later. Anyway, about ten years ago I was in college and I was taking an introduction to ceramics course. I really enjoyed it and wish I’d fit further ceramic studies into my schedule. The professor was very experienced and having been born and raised in China had first hand knowledge of many of the old world techniques. During one lecture he mentioned that each pot maker would have had their own symbol that was carved into the bottom of each piece they made. At the time I considered taking my initials and combining them into one smooth symbol, but never really found what I was trying to achieve at the time. For years the idea haunted me and from time to time I’d be somewhere and be bored and practice combining my initials in different ways.
A couple months ago I sat down a little more determined than ever and filled a sheet of paper with these different concepts. The imaged above is a crude recreation because I couldn’t find the original. Eventually I found one I liked, scanned it an enlarged it, and proceeded to refine it.Prototype #1 was close to the doodle I liked best, but it was still too rigid in parts for my liking. Prototype #2 was a little more fluid, but I didn’t like how the first leg of the ‘M’ had grown so long. The distance between the first and last letters seemed too great and the up curve on the ‘J’ extended out too far. Prototype #3 is the final version, although there were a series of very small refinements between #2 and #3 so this more likely Prototype #7. Many of these changes are subjective. Even now I look at the final one and wonder if I should bering the top of the ‘J’ down to be closer to the top of the ‘M’. When first thought about making this logo for my ceramics class I liked the idea of trying to make it look like a Chinese character because so much of modern ceramics has roots in China. Now that it has nothing to do with ceramics I like that a person ought to be able to easily pick out my initials out of this design.
But wait, there’s more.
Part of the reason I set out to design this logo was to include it on a rubber stamp that I could use for “official business” and certificates of authenticity. To date the only thing I’ve used it for is my amusement on a letter to a friend. The incorporation of the logo into a stamp had challenges as well.This was the first iteration of what the rubber stamp might have looked like. Playful and fluid logo encircled by no nonsense Times New Roman. At first I didn’t hate it. I posted it to Facebook and thought it might be the way to go. After I slept on it I started to dislike it more and more. It was too boring. I’m much more pleased with the final version. I wanted an all-purpose stamp that I could put on a number of things. “Studio Document” was fairly generic, but “IT” is even more generic and refer to just about anything. “It Came From The Studio!” is a play on the classic B-movie title “It Came From Outer Space!” and it kind of fits my mood. And so here it finally is in rubber stamp form.
Is this the end? Of course not. One of the things I have to remind myself is that design is fluid and it’s not forever. Sometimes there is pressure to create such a great design that we feel it has to be definitive and last forever. Off the top of my head I can’t think of one brand that hasn’t had a logo redesign of some sort over the years. I’ve already got names saved up for future side projects…