When I first met with Victoria about her logo, she sketched two completely different ideas out on a scrap of paper.
Idea #1 was a hummingbird flying up to a gramophone that grew into a flower.
Idea #2 was to have a silhouette of a woman with wavy hair and a big flower in her hair and an old-style microphone. Think Billie Holiday.
I had very rough sketches to work with along with the notes I had taken in the meeting. So I went home with visions in my head of things I wasn’t sure I would be able to create. (Illustration isn’t my forte, although it seems to be more and more a part of my work.)
As I looked at the two ideas, I decided to start with the hummingbird. I looked up photos of hummingbirds to find the right kind of shape for the logo, and to get an idea of how the hummingbird looks from different angles and positions. Once I had found the right position, it was time to draw one.
It took a while to find the right amount of detail and shape for the illustration. This is important with logos. A logo must be clear. It has to be simple enough to be useful at very small sizes and print well in black as well as color. My favorite tests for a good logo are the fax and the icon test. Will it still be clear when faxed? Will it be recognizable as a 16×16 pixel icon (the size of the bookmark icon on your browser). If it passes these, it the needs to be made full screen to see if ithas any flaws that would make it look bad if printed in a larger format. So all of this went into drawing the hummingbird.
Then came the gramophone. It turns out that the old-style ones pretty much look like they have a flower on top anyway. But it wasn’t going to be enough to just shape it sort of like a flower at the end. I felt it needed to have a plant-like fluidity right from the base. So I again gathered photos. This time, of gramophones and flowers. I also looked up logos and illustrations of these items to find ideas for how to simplify these items into a simple illustration that would still give the effect. I found the right angles and styles to pull from, and got to work. I quickly ran into issues of balance as I realized that most gramophones are built in a very balanced way. Which is great, except that I had to have a hummingbird feeding in it and still present a balanced visual. So I had to redraw the lines of the flower and stem to allow for the hummingbird, but still look nicely balanced and believable.
In the end, I think it came out rather nice. And the other concept ended up looking more like a poster graphic than a logo, so we ditched it. The client chose the hummingbird and was very excited to see her vision realized.
What do you think?