Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Business Logo - Deaconsfield Solicitors

In class we were given the task to create a logo for a business. We were put in groups and in my group were Nathan and Nicole. We were asked to come up with a name for our designer business that we were in. At first it was difficult to think of something on the spot but in the end we decided on the name PPL Designs, as it is a combination of the first letter of our last names.

Luke did a role-play as our client and our clients name was Steve Deaconsfield, owner of Deaconsfield Solicitors. We began the meeting and Steve began to explain to us a bit of his background on himself and his business to give us an understanding of where he is coming from and what he specifically wants from us as designers for his company image. He explained that he is 25 years old; he worked for Craig Lile to begin with but went out on his own and freelanced his services. His company has 26 staff in total, 5 solicitors and the rest support staff. Deaconsfield Solicitors is located on Baylis Street next to the Telstra Shop. He explained exactly what he wanted from us as designers for his logo, that it is to represent class and professionalism as his business already has a great reputation and his logo does not need to appear desperate for attention towards clients as they already have lots of business. He was looking at very simple colours of blues and greys, something that would look good on stationary and perhaps on clothes and other accessories. He also asked for a symbol that had something to do with Wagga, Australia and law. We discussed the budget for the job and we found that it would most definently be a very high account.

When we first received the job the first thing I initially did was brain went crazy instantly thinking about what I knew about law, solicitors and how to represent that in a professional and classy way without it looking stereotypical. When I sat down I started brainstorming in my head and just started to draw in the notepad I took in with me things that were coming into my head. As soon as I heard that he wanted something to do with law I instantly thought of the justice scales and how to put that into a logo that would look classy and still manage to illustrate a tight design.

In the group we discuss our ideas and what we thought would work and what wouldn’t and we sketched rough ideas in our visual diaries. Nicole went for the more natural, organic style, which was working quite well. Nathan and I went for a more geometrical, modern design. As we talked more about it we were able to incorporate our ideas into a group design.

Our very first design we did as a group, which we discussed and found that we had very different ideas, so we sectioned off and worked on our own designs and would come together when we were done to give thoughts on what we would present to the client in our next meeting. My own design was looking at how I could make the “D” become the main logo and identity for the business. Using geometrical shapes and a modern style approach to my design I was able to use the blues and greys to work well together to create something presentable to the client in our second meeting.

In our second meeting our feedback I found to be very confusing as to what was wanted by us, but we were able to overcome it as a group. We found he was quite picky in what he wanted. Steve looked at our designs and started on my designs as I began the meeting by explaining what our approach and angle was on tackling this job. He seemed to agree on that we needed to look at a modern approach on portraying his business and steering away from the image of solicitors being scary money hungry people, but being a very approachable, friendly, professional business. Looking at my designs first he liked the first design that we did as a group. He liked the logo but asked for a few changes on the logo, making the “d” a bit bigger and making it more cut out and out in a box making it look more tight and classy. He didn’t look at my second design and moved onto Nathan’s design and basically said in a nice way he didn’t like it at all but liked the font he used. Moving onto to Nicole’s designs he really liked the organic feel that she had portrayed in her designs. But asked to make some slight changes in the way it was presented.

After we finished the meeting and getting our feedback from the designs we went back to the computer and worked on our logos to perfect them and make the changes requested by the client. I made the changes to the logo that the client asked and completely cut out the second design. I played around on Illustrator and came up with different ways to present the logo, giving the client plenty of options.

I found that the technology didn’t hold me back as much as I thought it would, which is probably due to all the practice I have had over the last few weeks. Although there were a few minor issues with the eraser in the program but that was quickly overcome. I did have a few issues with my hard drive as it kept ejecting itself but once I put it into a new portal the problem was resolved.
After the second meeting and getting feedback, the progression of my logo I found it did become tighter. By placing the box around the design it did become tighter. The initial design I did agree with the client was very loose and free and need to be pulled together to create that tightness needed in a good design.

I was happy with my progression in solving the clients’ problem, but I became frustrated in coming up with multiple ways to present the logo to the client in the next meeting. Changing the logo was hard for me, as I didn’t like the clients’ ideas and suggestions for the logo. I felt he didn’t quite have a grasp on what he wanted from that design. But I did take the suggestions on board and made the changes for the design.

I really wouldn’t know how much to charge for a job for this as it depends on how many more changes were asked from us, but it did take most of the day and could definently be worked on for longer I would perhaps charge $500 for the job for our services as it would take maybe 24 hours to 2 days. Still depending on how indecisive the client is on the designs.

At first I didn’t really think that logo design was a major part of Graphic Design. But delving into the process for the logo design I found that it does have a lot to do with the whole graphic design process.

For me I found typography to be an issue, being an indecisive person it was a hard decision for me to decide on a specific and final type to use. It was a little out of control for me I felt my ideas were strong but my type was severely letting down my initial idea and design pitched towards the client.
I did find the whole process very enjoyable as I do like working in groups as well as working as an individual. I found the process to be something that I really did like, as it involved not only using my people skills to deal with the client and working as a team but my skills as a designer. I found I do thrive on the high expectations for different designs needed from me but also the time limits, I found I work well when time is structured and there is a limit on having to decide on a final design to sell to the client as their logo. I really liked listening to the different designs that each person in my group had. Each of them being so different but being so successful in convincing our client that they would work well in his business.

I feel that my designs would have completely different without the groups input, I found to have their opinions to be a very useful tool in coming up with a successful design. Although everyone was being very nice and not criticising the designs which I found to let our group down a little, I believe more constructive criticism was needed, which would of made our designs more stronger when presented the first time to the client. But I do work differently in different situations, I would have like to have worked individually to see what I could have come up with on my own to compare the difference in whether it would have been more successful or not.
I believe the client was very realistic in his expectations. He was upfront and direct in what he wanted and expected from us as designers. The needs for this business were very realistic and given the timeframe and the client knowing exactly what he was looking for I think a day was a reasonable ask. Steve wasn’t indecisive at all and knew exactly what he was looking. This job I believe could definitely have been done in a day given that we were in a group and it was done much faster.
All in all I think the days work was very successful, given a bit of a bumpy start with a few of the designs we were able to work though it and work towards something that represented class and style for Deaconsfield solicitors. Being able to work the way we were and having someone else’s opinion there to guide me personally was useful. Especially picking up on embarrassing things that the client would not be impressed by, like spelling the business name wrong. I think at the end of the day the end result was achieved and that the client once seeing the final designs will be able to decide on a design with the help of us steering him in the right way we think would help make his business more recognisable and distinguished from the competition.