Author Topic: Help with Logo opinions  (Read 280 times)

Offline darrin1200

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Help with Logo opinions
« on: August 30, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »
I'm not sure where this should go, as it is not hand written. Currently, one of the big struggles my business, Timber Elegance, is branding. I need to tweek my look and start using the various social medias to get my work out there. I have been struggling to come up with a logo for my Pen Making business and decided on a simple Monogram logo.
 
I tried many times to draw/write the logo myself, but my skills are just not up to the task. I ended up using a font called English157 as a base for the Capitals of the monogram, then converting them to an image. I then used a program called Inkscape to add, adjust and tweek it until I got what I think is a good logo.

This will be used for everything from my business cards to signs and Internet icons. It will also, hopefully, be used as a signature mark on my work, such as engraving on a pen clip or being inset as finial button in my pen caps. So not only will it need to be drawn, but may need to be worked in fine metals down to as small as 11mm in a cap button or 3mm as an engraving.

There is a lot of lettering expertise in this group and I value your opinions. Have I hit the mark here?

Thanks in advance.

Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 12:18:23 PM »
It's a beautiful logo but does it represent your business? It feels a bit more like a personal monogram, than a logo. Also, the T could be mistaken for an F.

I designed logos for a number of years - give us some description of your company and what you would like the logo to represent and I could have a go at it. Also, do you have a website so I can look at your pens?

I hope I haven't rained on your parade. It really is beautifully crafted. But it feels like a wedding monogram to me and I'm not sure it best represents your business.  ;)
Truly, Erica
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Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 02:28:22 PM »
Erica, you are in no way raining on this parade. This is exactly the type of help and advice I'm looking for.

Part of the difficulty, is that my business name does not really say "Fountain Pen". My original plan when I got out of the military, was to work with wood. I really loved the idea of making beautiful wooden cases and boxes, thus the name "Timber Elegance". Making pens and writing instruments just sort of grew from a little side hobby. Originally most of my pens involved wood, so the same still worked. However, as my passion for making the pens evolved, so did my materials. Now, the majority of my woodwork is for accessories like pen trays and stands. Now I have had the name for almost 10 years. I still like the name, and I am not sure it would be wise to change that at this point.

Unfortunately my website, there is a link in my signature, is not very good. I set it up about 8 years ago, and haven't done anything to it. It is not really indicative of my work today, which is handcrafted writing instruments, with a specialty in fountain pens. My Etsy shop, also linked in my signature, has more pens but not a lot of my custome pieces yet. I have been trying to post more of my work to my Facebook Page and to my Instagram account. That is part of whats driving me to focus on my branding. When someone goes to my website, they don't really see my latest works or what it is I do. It is also very clunky and difficult to maintain. I am hoping, over the next few weeks, to update/renew my website, business cards and social media image. I would like to focus my brand so it looks cohesive no matter where it is. While I wish I could hire someone to come in and help me develop an image, my current budget doesn't allow for it, so its all on me.

I have a big show coming up in October and I need new business cards as well as large labels to stick on "brand" some paper shopping bags. This is why I am really pushing on the logo right now. My main requirements for the logo, is that it be unique to me, simple in detail, and is scaleable, It also needs to look good when placed in or on a circular item, ie inset in the end of a pen cap. I have avoided using a Nib/Fountain pen image for the logo, as I am no artist. This means I need to look at stock images, but the problem with stock images, is that they can and do get used by anyone.

I am always hoping to have that "Aha" moment and see something that would be a perfect logo for me. Since that hasn't happened, I figured a simple monogram would cover the bases. I chose a cursive font for the letters, link to the fountain pen and writing. I kept it simple so that it could be scaled very small and still be recognizable. I was afraid if I did to much detail it could get lost. I chose to to put it in a circle, to not only give it a shape, but one that would go well on when used on round items. I connected the letters to the ring to keep to the cursive writing feel, sort of like a flourish. I'm also concerned about the T looking like and F, but I am uncertain how to fix that.

Thanks again Erica, I really appreciate your insights.
Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 02:52:05 PM »
This is picture of the Business card I came up with on Vistaprint, using this logo.

Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline Starlee

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 08:30:01 PM »
Hi Darrin,

Your craftsmanship, both boxes and pens, is refined. 'Timber Elegance' suits your work rather well. I like your logo, although I see Erica's point. The T definitely looks like an 'F', but if you change the weight and length of that entry stroke on the E that should help. Adding a leaf element might bring it back to the wood theme. Similarly, instead of blue, what if your colour scheme were more organic; i.e, a 'tree' palette of green and brown might help with the theme as well. But, if Erica is willing to give it a go you are in excellent hands! I am excited for you.

One last suggestion: maximize your business card. When I did mine, I invested in double-sided printing and included a flourished example on the other side. You could include a pic of one of your pens (or something)

I will definitely be coming to visit you at Scriptus in October, to check out your final product. ;)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 08:32:02 PM by Starlee »
Star

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2019, 09:40:52 AM »
Thanks Star. I am looking forward to seeing you at Scriptus.

While I love working with wood, Iím actually trying to pull the feel away from wood. The problem I encounter often, is that people see the business name and assume everything is made from wood. I am hoping to get the feel to move more toward the writing instruments. I actually considered creating a sub brand, TE Pens, to be more in-line with what I do. That is partially why I went with the monogram.

I choose the blue scheme for the business card, simply because I like blue. I tried to research colour in marketing, my head is still spinning. I found that orange is a colour for creativity, blue and black for professional and purple for luxury. After a ton of reading and head scratching, I just wanted to give up and go black & white. I want a colour scheme that will translate well from business card to website.

I do have a flip side to the card, it lists my facebook address, my instagram and my etsy store. I am also thinking of adding a QR code to link direct to my website. Hence my desire to make the website look a whole lot better.

Your idea of thickening up the entry stroke for the E sounds good, Iíll try it and see how it looks.

I was a little disappointed, that the new Montreal show, ďScrivenĒ was moved to next year in May. But I am more glad because it gives me time to prep this refacing of my image. It will also put a little distance between it and Scriptus.

I cant wait to see everyone at Scriptus. I am still waiting to find out where the PreShow will be, so that I can book my hotel nearby.
Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2019, 12:41:42 AM »
I *really* like the Timber Elegance name and definitely wouldnít change it. Nor would I use TE Pens (which is essentially changing the name) either. It would confuse people as they would wonder if your initials were TE. I donít think it matters if everything isnít made of wood. Itís now become your identity.

I also really like Starís suggestion of a leaf icon. But since you already have your business cards printed, I will say I like how they came out. And although I do agree that a more organic color scheme would have fit the brand better (and matched your sites), I like the blue.

(Sorry about not seeing the links - I was answering on my phone).  ;D

I would still change that crossover on the T as it reads like an F for your next go round of printing.

Good luck with the show!  ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 09:09:03 AM »
Good morning Erica.

I donít think my arm needs to much twisting to keep he name. I havenít actually printed the business cards yet. That is how Vista print shows a prieview. I could not figure out how to adjust the E, without it looking rather mutilated. I tried thickening up the down stroke of the T and connecting to its upper cross stroke, hoping it would make it stand out more, but it didnít really fix the ďFĒ issue.

I considered going back to the beginning and moving the whole T up slightly. My concern there, is that it will not fit well in a circular design. I will have to give it a try.

I may even try adding a leaf, perhaps a maple leaf in behind. I do need to be careful with the amount of detail I add, it could come back to bite me later.

I understand what you are saying about blue not really fitting. I like the colour, but it almost seems a little cold. I am not really happy with the colour scheme on my website. I tried another layout on Vistaprint using a purple scheme. I drew the inspiration from the pen on my Etsy banner, which incidentally has a tree of life on it. I am not sure about it either. I like the purple more than the blue, but I think it would look better with some earthy tones like brown and black. The marketing schemes say to use orange for creativity, but I donít think I could go that way.

My original business cards, were brown with yellow/gold lettering. It looked very elegant, but it was a standard vistaprint background pattern. I started seeing the exact same stock pattern, in business cards at craft/artisan shows I attended.

Iíll hit the computer again today to see if I can get anything to come out of my fingers. I have to get back to the workshop Tuesday though. I still need to get some inventory made for Scriptus.

Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline K-2

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2019, 05:13:09 PM »
It seems like a broad edge "T" might help solve the "it looks like F" problem?  What about something like one of these with the E in the middle of the T?
--K

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 08:40:07 AM »
Thanks @K-2

Those are both great looking samples. I never thought of doing something like that, probably its the artistic bone Iím missing.
That second on looks really good. The T and the E look cohesive, but I am not sure with the amount of detail. To scale it down to a little under a 1/4Ē, would the detail all blend together..
Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline K-2

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 01:06:19 PM »
Why not download the image and then manipulate it on your screen to the size you're interested in?  IRL those circles are only 1.25" in diameter, so they're not huge to begin with.  I suspect a broad edge style will scale down better than a pointed pen style on the finial of a pen cap - there's actually a lot less detail in that second image than there is in your initial idea.

Sorry the images got loaded in sideways.  I didn't realize when I posted it.

Anyway, glad I could offer a couple idea sketches.  If you'd like me to do a more finished looking sample, PM me; maybe we could do a swap.  Otherwise, I'm sure you can extrapolate on the the basic idea yourself.

--best wishes getting the design you want just right!  K

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 04:31:57 PM »
I have been plugging away at them for most of the morning. I vectored it and cleaned it up.

The upper tail on the E seemed out of place. I made three versions so far.
I am heading into the house for coffee, and to show my wife. Its always good to get multiple opinions.


Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2019, 09:20:02 AM »
Thank you @Erica McPhee and @K-2 .

I spent yesterday on the Vistaprint website, and finalized my order. I decided to go with the third version of K-2ís logo. After some discussion, I also changed up the colour scheme to a purple and black with white letters. I found the logo to be too stark with just white, so I made it 15%grey.

I ordered business cards, stickers (for paper shopping bags) and a poster.
Please let me know what you think.

I really think this new look is a good step forward. The next step is the website.
Darrin McArthur
Timber Elegance ~ Handcrafted Writing Instruments
My Etsy Store

Offline Starlee

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 01:49:28 PM »
This looks great!! An fyi that I hope you caught if you used it, but the large sticker image has a typo: instruments is spelled wrong :S
Star

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Help with Logo opinions
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 02:54:47 PM »
Fabulous! They came out great. Love the new look. So kind of @K-2 to help out!  ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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