Brand Journey: Part Two

Sorry for the radio silence this past month. The last four weeks have been a whirlwind-- designing everything from wedding menus to labels for smoked salmon. It has been fast paced and exhilarating, but I am glad to have emerged victoriously on the other side. I have begun to see a couple blank spaces pop up in my planner as I survey the coming weeks and I am thankful for the opportunity to get reorganized, recentered, and refocused. Also, I finally have the time to share with you the next phase in my brand identity process, something near and dear to my heart that I have been sitting on and refining over the past few months. The new Gatlin Paper Company logo is ready to step out into the daylight and greet the world.

 

The Challenge

As a designer, I have found that it is easier to create for my clients than to design for myself. Part of this is because I am a total perfectionist, but most of it has to do with my proximity to my own business. When I am crafting a brand identity for a client, I am able to see the big picture, put on my objective lenses, and take giant steps back and fourth to keep focus and context. With my own brand, however, I am living it day in and day out and that much needed distance for reflection purposes is hard to achieve. 

 

The Process

As I began work on the GPC logo, I kept one goal at the forefront of my mind. I wanted to create an aesthetic representation of the ideals that drive my business-- quality, luxury, and intentionality to name a few. Because my services have grown over the past year or so to include small business branding, I needed something that would draw in my ideal client, appealing to both the entrepreneur as well as the bride. My eye has always been attracted to neutrals, elegant lines, and clean forms and strive to create work that exemplifies these qualities.  

After a whole lot of thinking, I took my ideas to paper, immediately ruling out some ideas and pursuing a few forms that I found interesting. Pages and pages of sketches followed until I had created a composition that I was truly excited about.

I used my inspiration board as a kind of "measuring stick" alongside my designs to make sure I was staying on track with my original vision for the brand identity. Lastly came a couple of weeks of nitpicking and color scheming in Adobe Illustrator until...

 

The Result

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the new logo suite for Gatlin Paper Co.

 
 
 
 

Because I have had many months to settle into what this business looks like in the day to day, I was well equipped with an understanding of I would need this logo to do functionally-- it's specific applications in the real world. I knew I would need a strong brandmark that would be able to stand alone on a business card, as a favicon, or as a watermark on photos. This "g" created the foundation for my primary logo (above left.) I also knew that I would want a secondary logo in my brand identity arsenal to give me variety when creating my brand materials (above right.)

This process has been a great reminder that quality design takes time, intentionality, and a whole lot of drafts. Sometimes it even means stepping back for a day or two, digging out of the project to give enough distance between design and designer to see flaws, gain inspiration, and decide if what you’ve come up measures up to the original vision.

I can't wait to show you how the rest of the brand identity is coming together! Keep your eyes peeled for the final stages of the brand journey in the coming weeks.