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At the outset of this project I decided to design with the name “Crow Publishing” in mind. As described in the mission statement, I wanted this company to represent undervalued artists, and I thought using crow imagery would help strengthen that message. When designing the actual logo, I wanted it to represent a bird, but not too literally. I decided to abstract the concept, and I think it turned out pretty well.
As far as creating the bird, I used a lot of the Shape Builder tool. I realize now I should have saved my progress in Illustrator, but I honestly just forgot to do it until it was far too late. I would also like to talk about my creative process, as it pertains to this project. I didn’t do any sketching. Sketching hasn’t ever been something I use to help lay my ideas down. I usually just go into Illustrator and tinker until I have something I like. In this case, I started with a square then progressively laid shapes on it, and took away pieces until I had the body created. As a result, there were some segmented shapes, like the middle triangles. Then I shrunk them a little bit to create the separated interior, and finally added the legs using Pen Tool. I wish I had saved earlier versions, because it was pointed out to me that before I extended the wings, the bird looked more like a chicken than a crow.
Once the bird was finally done I started to work with the typographic theme of the logo. The crow looked, to me, to be a fairly modern representation of the animal, so I thought I’d try to get the typography to represent that as well. I ended up choosing Raleway because it was sleek, modern and the “W” in that font, I thought, brought out the almost gothic aspects represented in crows. I knew I wanted to have the bird represent the “O” in “CROW,” so I added a circle behind it to help bring out that shape. It did end up allowing me to not only add more depth to the logo, but a larger color palette as well.
I chose orange, black and grey for my colors because I thought they captured an aspect of our perception of crows. I really liked the orange because it evokes some amount of stress, and when coupled with the Crow in front it has a couple representations. It looks almost like a sun that the bird is flying in front of. The dichotomy between orange and black reminds me of Halloween, which evokes part of our understanding of crows as spooky animals. Let’s also not forget about “Scarecrows,” another strong Halloween tie. Black and grey were nice because they provide a darker, cooler presence to the sharp orange. Black was easy, as it is the most commonly associated color with crows. Grey was added because I wanted to provide a steely, modern color to the design.
The four logos themselves came pretty quickly after every other decision was made. “As the Crow Flyer” was an homage to my love of bad puns. The two “Crow Publishing” variants were fun to make. The variant logo was actually my favorite. I thought it had a really slender and modern look to it, and the shapes on the end were pulled from the middle section of my bird. It wasn’t until they sat on either side of the words that I realized they looked like beaks, which was super cool in and of itself. I would have picked that one for the main logo but it didn’t have enough of the actual crow itself in it, so I thought it better to leave it as a variant.
What ended up happening, I found out too late, during the turning-in process was really annoying, because I didn’t notice until everything had been submitted. When I went to align each image to the pixel grid, I hadn’t selected the two check boxes that would scale strokes and edges, so my type got skewed in two logos. It was a hard to notice until I was looking at my PDF’s during class. Hopefully after I fixed them and resubmitted everything looks the way I intended.
Overall, it was a challenging, but fun project to do. I missed two key components in sketching and showing Illustrator progress, which is just dumb on my part as a student. In the end, I thought my logos turned out very well. They were simple enough to scale up and down. They had the modern look I wanted them to. The typography matched the logo very well. The colors worked well together, and with the overall meaning I was trying to convey. Apart from preventing the silly mistakes I made, I only wish I had more time because it was a lot of fun to do. It’s probably good I didn’t though because I would have likely gone too far and ruined it.