Wednesday, January 19, 2011

atomic marble

Branding and identity are now, more than ever, all the rage. Once upon a time, it was only the business world that needed a identity. Watching Mad Men helped remind me of that. I am freelancing now, thank you economic downturn. But that has placed many of us in this interesting spot. All of a sudden, I had to find out who I am. What services can I offer that others can't/wont?

As a creative, I can make an illustration, a logo, or design. But I try to do it with the best in customer satisfaction. I work over a project till the client is happy. That is something that MOST crowd sourcing people wont give you. Attention. You get what you pay for, and if $99 (from crowdsourcing) is what you want to spend, I'm sure somebody is willing to do it. I think it cheapens the art of design. The common thought these days is, "if you have a computer, you are a designer". WRONG. There is so much more to a logo than punching in a name to your favorite type face. Giddy Up is mine, but it doesn't speak for ME. Unless I was a western style artist, maybe.

I know some VERY talented designers, and they start out right in the computer. But those guys tend to be great word smiths. Then there are others like me, who always start it off with a sketch. Very old school, but it saves me some time flushing out ideas. Then I only take the ones I love.

With Atomic Marble, the client had an idea of what he wanted, and almost, more of an idea what he didn't want. That is a double edged sword, but thankfully he is a very solid communicator. I love to ask questions, rather than try something and look dumb for it. I don't like to waste time for me, or my clients budget. So after several sketches, I email them off for concept approval. Once we get there, I start looking for the perfect font. And I play with the fonts to see how letters work together. In the this case, we both agreed that the type had to be all lower case. It created too much visual strain to use caps and lower case.

My old school thoughts of working things in black in white, till I get the shape still work. You need to have versions that a silk screener can use, as well as a sign maker. They tend to be simple, one color version. But Atomic Marble needed MORE. So I broke one of my own rules and used gradients and all kinds of little bells and whistles to make this logo work. I decided that, this is a new time. Some people will only ever have their logo on a web page or phone app. So why limit it? Once we started taking that approach, magic started to happen.

I thought we had arrived. But the client wanted to see just a little something more. And I am glad he did. We applied a molten color scheme and were close to home. Now, one thing the client did not want to include was the fun little atomic circles like old retro sci-fi stuff. But I HAD to try it. And WAM, there is was.

Many, many revisions later, we had come up with what the client NEEDED and wanted. In this social media world we now live in, everyone has a brand wanted or not. You have a profile pic on Facebook right? And it tells alllll about who you ARE. Now even Mom and Pop have branding! Keep in mind, you wont get this kind of attention and customer service at most crowd sourcing shops.

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