Self-promotion is a tricky business; on the one hand you want a strong and recognisable brand which customers can become familiar with, then on the other hand, you want that brand to renew and grow and evolve to keep your business current and relevant in today's fast-paced world...
Bearing this in mind, I set out to update my current logo whilst still maintaining its original features. After some consideration, I decided that the organic vines of flowers, leaves and tendrils were integral elements that should be kept, while the heavy text and pencil-drawn textures could be replaced as they were making the design appear dated. I began experimenting with digital typefaces.
Choosing the right typeface is always an area I struggle with; do I go with boring but safe type, or an interesting and unique font that has the potential to make or break a design? I explored both ends of the scale and settled somewhere on the safe side of the middle with Charter Italic. The elegant curves of this type fit well with the vines, and the forward flowing motion appears to carry my design into the future.
With the text set, I recreated my hand-drawn vines in digital form in Adobe Illustrator and tried out various colour combinations. Not wanting to stray too far from the original colours, I settled on a nude through grey gradient for the text, and white flowers with golden middles for a natural appeal.
Once I had placed my new logo on my website, I became aware that the homepage now looked dated in comparison and I realised that I will never actually be able to say 'well, that's the website finished!' as it will have to exist in a perpetually rolling state of evolution if it is to succeed in promoting my work.
My next task, then, was to create an exciting new graphic for the homepage. For this, I revisited the 'Wild' project that I had created entirely by hand and considered how I could modernise it and bring it up to date. Applying the same principles as I had with my logo, I decided to keep the hand-drawn illustrations, but convert the text to a digital animation. Feeling out of my comfort zone, I initially struggled to combine the contrasting analogue and digital elements, and it took several attempts before the two layers started to work coherently together.
To turn my graphic into a moving GIF, I used the animation timeline in Adobe Photoshop. This is a really useful tool and relatively easy to use. I would definitely recommend it to anyone starting out on simple animations. The layers are built in the side panel as usual and then toggled on and off accordingly in the frames along the bottom to create the illusion of movement. The toughest challenge I faced was trying to get the movement flowing smoothly and naturally. My early attempts were a little stiff. However, I think the final version works pretty well and certainly provides a more dynamic first impression on my homepage than the previous static images.
Lastly, I concluded that I would also need new business cards to carry the updated logo through in a physical form. My current business cards have a classic but safe design, so my aim here was not only to incorporate the new logo and illustrations, but also to add a dynamic new look. Once again, I initially struggled with combining the analogue and digital elements, and it took multiple drafts before I was able to create a design that successfully merged my delicate style with modern graphics. This is clearly an area I need more practise in, but I am learning!
Hopefully I can apply everything I have learnt here on my next project... I'll keep you updated!