On logo design

I’ve been working on a concept for the logo, which I’m finding incredibly difficult for a couple of reasons.

First and most obviously, I am not a graphic designer. I mean, people go to school for this stuff. They make a career out of it. I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing, nor do I pretend to. That would be a disservice to graphic designers everywhere.

Aside from that, coming up with a logo is sort of like naming a kid. You know it’s going to be their label for the rest of eternity, so it has to be just right, because once you finalize it, you’re stuck with it.

I’ve come up with quite a few ideas, sketching out dozens of different designs, most of which stink. I even spent several hours on one concept, only to realize that, in the end, it wasn’t at all what I wanted. It’s pretty frustrating.

But I have learned quite a bit about logo design in the process. I’ve looked at hundreds of logos at this point, from breweries to restaurants to random businesses I’ve passed along the way. I’ve got a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t, basic layouts, what makes something look striking and professional. And I’ve been able to come to some conclusions as far as what my preferences are for our own logo.

Finally, yesterday, I started to sketch out some designs that actually looked like real live logos, one of which really began to rub me the right way. I showed it to Tim, and he felt the same way about it. Here’s what I sketched out:

I think I’m gonna roll with this one for a little while. I have to draw it up in Illustrator, which may take me some time to get right. I’ve got some pretty respectable Photoshop skills, but I’m fairly new to Illustrator, so there’s a bit of a learning curve there.

I plan to have the outer circle in a green color with off-white text/viney thing, and the inner circle in off-white with green text/viney thing. I also think I may use a mirror image of this, with the viney thing on the right and the text on the left. Not sure, I haven’t decided on that one just yet.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just hire a graphic designer to do this?” In the future, if we package our beer, I most certainly will hire someone to design our labels. This is just too difficult for me to do more than once. But the logo is something I feel that I have to do for myself. The logo will represent our company, which is essentially an extension of ourselves. I want it to give you a certain feeling when you look at it. I want to make sure it’s right. And most importantly, I want to make sure that it’s 100% ours.

Also, I’m a control freak.

For now, until I get a nice, professional-looking version done in Illustrator, I’ll probably use a hand-drawn version just so I can continue to work on the website design. The way the header area of the site looks right now is driving me crazy, and I need a logo to change it to the way I want it. So yeah, baby steps.

    4 comments

  1. Steve says:

    Dear Steph and Tim,

    I think the logo is great! I would also leave the hand drawn version like shown above. I think that going to a computer made version would be too mainstream and you guys are unique. Also, the “ruggedness” of it gives me the impression that you are people who like nature, like beer, are down to earth and enjoy hearty things. If your logo was clean cut and I didn’t know you, I would be less inclined to choose your beer over a rugged one like above. In addition, I think the name and picture compliment you guys. We always say that you two are like peas and carrots and the logo portrays your personalities together. (I could list the reasons that you are peas and carrots, but maybe that’s a better discussion over some of your homebrews!)

    Love, Steve

  2. Don’t worry about perfecting it as people are CONSTANTLY updating packaging. Just get to where you have a firm enough template / layout you’re pleased enough for the public to see it.

    I like the hand-drawn look of the logo also, too many things are “digital” nowadays!

  3. Dane says:

    For the record, I’m a professional graphic designer (and owner of The Brew Bros, interestingly enough…) and I think your logo is spot on. I couldn’t have beat it, and I think that’s saying something, at least for me it is. Very real, elegant, and professional. It fits perfectly with everything I’ve seen in your blog and with the website design. Funny enough, you’d put a lot of pro designers to shame…some have no sense of what looks good…at all!

    Keep it up guys, I’m very very interested to see where this goes. VERY. I’ll be in touch.

  4. Steph Weber says:

    Thanks Dane, I really appreciate that!!

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