At the start of the IRISHGUY Design Studio branding project, I began with a pencil drawing. Apparently playing with the three traditional Irish triangles. While I enjoyed exploring the different conjunctions of the shapes. The designs missed their mark.
While I pushed to make the three triangles work… it did not.
The final logo has none of the elements that I wanted the logo design to have. The power of a good graphic designer is to explore the design idea.
To create a smart, timeless, and clever logo design. You first have to fail, explore, and refine.
After drawing the 3D triangle – I cut out paper shapes. And created different arrangements. Here are the two that most interested me.
Asheville Business Card Design
Asheville Business Card Design can mean one of two things. A business card that is designed without a brand.
The Hands on Health Asheville Branding Project included a range of graphic design services. I worked with the Asheville startup to develop a strong logo design package.
Due to the nature of the business model – and the over saturation in the Asheville market. It was important to create a design that was different – while still having a local appeal.
Branding Development and Logo Design.
Doing the graphic design for the business card samples had many firm visual guidelines that were easy to follow and adopt a strong visual design.
I have said it before – creating a business card is often the first that your graphic designer can test the guidelines of your Branding Package.
Improve your Asheville Business
Asheville is very much a word-of-mouth small town. You are as likely to run into more people are the local grocery store, than at a nightclub. The upside to this is that Asheville grocery stores are quite common and happening places. Often with free internet and awesome coffee.
Due to the clients word-of-mouth appeal, I created the appointment card on the back of the business card – making it easy to secure follow-up appointments.
The client said that the scheduling feature was a great success – often while buying groceries.
Other Graphic Design Projects
- Logo Design.
- Outdoor Signage.
Website Design and Development Projects
Other aspects of the project included website repair and custom programming for the company website.
The company website was on a limited service hosting plan. While the templates were complicated and limiting – I was able to rewrite most of the code to transfer the website interface over to the brand palette.
Sure, the entire process took many hours of coding (way too many hours). But, you know I love to overwrite code – there is nothing better that I like to do. I am quite a master at CSS and figuring out how to best control any website element.
Rewriting the template to reflect the new company brand colors for my client was an awesome power of CSS. I don’t often get to show off my CSS programming skills. That all changed with this project – to be honest – I took a good guess on most of the CSS coding.
For more information on creating custom website solutions for your business or personal website.
Branding Asheville Ballet Season
Video Project for Asheville Ballet
Video Editing projects are such fun when you have creative footage to work with. For Terpsicorps – Asheville Ballet promotional video there was so much beautiful footage that I could have used.
The art of video editing is knowing which shots will tell the story best. I had great fun getting to film dancers. Capturing the dancer’s motion and creativity. And then bringing all of those series of images to the video editing part – filtering and combining the storyline.
Due to the marketing masterminding of Brian Jones (Branding Creator for ALICE) the promotional video for The Mad Hatters Ball was a huge success.
The video was both showcased on local TV news and public access TV. Published by Mountain Xpress newspaper. And featured as bonus footage during the online interview with Asheville Citizen-Times – and that was just for the preview.
Video Promotion Script
Heather (the creator/visual direction of Alice and director of Terpsicorps) – “I had definite ideas in my head of what I wanted to see come to life, and I sat down and wrote out a bunch of storyboards and pictures and things that I wanted. Having absolutely no idea whether any that was possible. I guess all that comes down to see what happens and meeting these people who can make it happen”.
Craig (Advanced tech, camera work, creative continuity )– “Bringing all these assets together is a gargantuan task requiring a lot of organization and production. Alice is a very complex project. We’re are going to be utilizing no less than four video projectors and six screens”.
Gary (Digital Media Artist, Animator, and Special Effects) – “Some of the approaches that we’ve adopted is to use live footage shot in the Asheville area. And then apply different special effects and animation techniques. Using Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere to create the content that we need for the show. Alice is a prime example of where all of our skills come together to create a beautiful project”.
Identity Branding Package
Providing my clients with the ability to express their business individuality through a well planned Identity Branding Package.
Branding that connects. The success of all businesses, not-for-profits, groups, communities, and organizations is dependent on brand recognition and online perception.
What is Branding?
A brand is the public’s expectations based on the promises provided. The brand is the big idea of what your company, organization, or community present. Brand Identity communicates, supports, expresses, visualizes, and synthesizes the customer perception.
Why is having a healthy Branding important?
Research shows that people fall in love with brands. People are loyal to their brands. People tend to trust their brands, and honestly believe that their brand is better, if not the best.
A strong brand stands out. Even in a densely populated marketplace a strong brand is the differentiation. Brand awareness builds businesses. The future success of business, not-for-profit, group, community, or organization is their brand reputation. Brand identity endure. (more…)
Asheville Salon create beautiful, stylish, and manageable hair. Their hairstyles have a huge curbside appeal – that range from everyday wear, to formal, to high-fashion art form.
When Danielle and Greg approached me to develop their brand and logo design for their downtown Asheville hair salon. They asked that their business name be user-friendly and have a strong search engine appeal.
After much local SEO and market research I proposed Asheville Salon as the brand name.
Asheville Salon is both rememberable and rankable.
Asheville Salon Logo Design Process
The Asheville Salon logo was a true design collaboration, that was very natural. Danielle created the sketches. I directed and refined the designs. Greg provided the much appreciated Art Direction.
Danielle wanted the logo to capture the idea of hair in motion.
During Stage One of the logo development, we explored creating the Letter A from hair. While the look is both organic and has a hand-drawn element – both visual elements that Danielle had wanted to include.
We both felt like the logo was missing a refining element. We agreed that including the Letter S was an important visual aspect for the Asheville Salon brand. I created the visual study for Danielle. I wanted to share the idea that letters can be any range of different shapes, while remaining true to their form.
With more than 20 examples of the same two letters. No two letters are visually the same – while they are all understood as the same.
Refining the Logo
With Danielle’s sketch of the letter A and S coming together into one form. I capture the sketch and refined the image.
We had reached two logo design objectives.
- “Hair In motion” Danielle.
- “Include letter A & S” Gary.
While we both liked the shape and motion – but with more clarity. A bit abstract is fine – but clean up the edges.
The function of a logo is to print the same every-time. The final round of design revisions were cleaning up the edges, refining colors and laying graphics to increase pop value.
- Website – www.ashevillesalon.us.
- Business Card – Coming Soon.
Asheville Business Card Design Inspired by a Needle
Asheville is the home to the small business. Working on the design for the Asheville Business card for Underground Weaver was a fun project. I spent time with the Weaver and watched her work. Bernice worked between different artisan projects – all of which were wildly different from one another. The one thing that caught my eye was the tool that Bernice liked to use. A hook needle. (more…)
Beach Mountain began as a two location project. Bringing together a trendy South Beach condo with a rural North Carolina farm into one brand was a fun project. Creating the combination of mountain and umbrella graphics seemed appropriate.
UMBRELLA GRAPHIC The umbrella was a smartphone shot in South Beach. I later rendered the image in Adobe Illustrator.
A logo should stand up and be clear. When the document is printed, the product is stocked, or your brand is stitched – that brand ID needs to deliver and connect. Having a strong typeface is essential for a strong brand. If your logo does not work in black and white – redesign the logo (there is a bite out of the apple). Seriously, a logo needs to reach your target market. That logo needs to stand true when it is printed from a cheap home printer, or scanned from any computer by any user, or faxed on the most problematic fax machine.
GRAPHIC POSTER: Two locations bought together with photography and graphic design. The poster includes the new Beach Mountain brand (mountains and umbrella). The poster was the first time that Beach Mountain used the stylish ID initials – which later became an active company insignia.
Logo Design Variations
The Beach Mountain – Asheville logo changes are for stitched onto shirts, made into stickers and tags. While retaining its integrity for over eight generations of copies (we tested 12).
MOUNTAIN GRAPHIC was created by capturing the Beach Mountain mountain range. The mountain graphic later became a strong design element to enhance the logo when used in print and website banners.
BRANDING: Less Impact
Business Card Design for Asheville Firm
The Fastfwd Website Hosting Business Card design worked so well. The print job was perfect (and very cheap). The front of the business card is covered with a UV coat. The UV coat adds a layer of shine. The UV coat also saturates the colors. In the case of the Asheville Fastfwd Business Card design – the bold red to black design bars really popped!
The great thing about my design. I create all of it. The patterns I use I either photograph or draw. I am not online searching for the images I need to make my point of view. I control my design and development (unless its collaborative – even then with strong design options).
The first design option I have as a graphic designer. Create your own. With the Fastfwd business card design. I wanted the visual to be something grounding but with motion.
Weeks before I had photographed the Belfast Airport. The outer walls have these amazing piped walls. The grooves and highlights provided me with the motion. Including an element from home provided the grounding.
While most of Belfast Airport exterior photography does not include the wall fasting. I chose to include the fasting on the business card. The knot was the active working part of the walk – without the knots are work – the wall will blow away. The knots were the design and tech crew at Fastfwd.
The front of the business card design was the company overview. The back of the Fastfwd Business Card is a micro view of the personal contact information.
The back of the business card is the same image zoomed into a section of the photograph. The crop was tight to create the sense of self. One person. Following with heavy white type – I added the contact information. With phone contact on the left. And online contact on the right. The contrast between red, black and heavy white was perfect for the cheap print job. I am a firm believer, if you use cheap printing – do make it difficult.
The Asheville Fastfwd Business Card Design follows all the basic rules of graphic design. And, printed perfectly for less than $0.001 each! Now that is good graphic design.
NOTE: Fastfwd Media Design is now Fastfwd Online Services.
Branding a Startup
Creating a Brand requires many hours of work. My team and I worked with the client on developing their Brand, Logo, and Website.
While the goal was simple enough – launch a dog news platform similar to www.dogster.com. Market Research showed excellent results for a dog-lovers website. Those numbers have certainly held true with the arrival of 18+ major pet related website now filling the void.
Brand Color Palette
The Dog Day News online brand was inspired by old newspaper print – Red, White, and Black.
Primary & Secondary Brand Colors
Red, White, and Black chose as the primary Brand Color Palette.
And, five shades of red for the brands secondary color range.
It was such an honor to redesign the BIG RED TOMATOES (Atlanta) Branding package. The Big Red Tomato was one of the key players in Atlanta cuisine. Serving Award-Winning Italian food in the heart of midtown Atlanta.
The graphic design aspects of the Restaurant were quite simple – “We want a Big Ass Red Tomato.”
Early Illustration work for Logo Prototype
Creating a local restaurant branding.
Business Card Design
The business cards carried over from the graphic design of the menu. The graphic design on the reverse of the business card
Gift Certificate Design
The Branding for the Big Red Tomato was carried over to the Gift Certificate.
Match Box Design
Restaurant Menu Design
Front of Menu – fold into four.
Inside of Menu – fold into four.