After much research Alan decided he would get incorporated, so I offered to create a logo for him as well as accompanying materials (business card, website, etc.). Though I’ve tinkered a little with logos in the past, I haven’t had any formal graphic design training for identity work. However, I’ve worked with plenty of visual designers and seen how they go about it (while learning what they need from a software standpoint)…so with that knowledge plus some online research, here I go.I started with a logo design brief, to identify the nature of the business he wants to form, the clients/audience, types of perception or tone he wanted to give, and a communication strategy. Here’s the highlights:
- He’s had years of experience supporting companies of widely different sizes and needs, and want to provide that corporate-strength IT support to businesses that are small enough that they don’t need a full-time IT person.
- These small businesses need tailored solutions that fit what they need now, but at a level that can compete with larger competition. Their business may expand or shrink dynamically, so their technology needs to be able to scale with them too.
- He wants to focus on the south bay and support local business. Silicon Valley is an interesting spot to do this because of the high number of startups struggling to adapt their business after an initial boom, and entrepreneurs that come from corporate environments seek that high level of professionalism and robust solutions.
I rifled through a bunch of small business magazines, and looked online to see what kinds of logos others in this space use. Generally, the more local the service, the less designed the logos were–if there was a logo at all. Also, most of the companies skewed either towards the computer repair one-off fixing kinds of places, or the one-stop shops for setting up a business.
The thing that struck me about the logos, and sites, was that they’re focused so much on seeming professional that they turn out generic, and the sense of personalization is lost. There were lots of the same style of business stock photography on the sites themselves. They also seemed a little 1990’s, with imagery like floppy disks, arrow cursors, and @ symbols.
After this, I started sketching lots of small thumbnails of potential logos; to get as many ideas out there as possible. Alan chose to incorporate as Alan Meridian, LLC, to focus on that personalized feeling since he’s working for himself and not aiming to grow a business with multiple employees at this time. So, I focused on the letters, and imagery that would feel connected and relevant given the current technology landscape.
From that, I showed it to Alan to get a sense of which ones he liked from the group. That’s not typically something a designer would do at this stage, but since he was sitting next to me while I drew them he saw most anyway. From that I picked these finalists; shown in a larger size, and shrunk down to a small size that might appear on a business card or other collateral. There’s been an additional wrinkle since I started–he is looking into doing voiceovers too. He was a DJ throughout college and has been “the voice of IT” on multiple corporate phone systems. It’s a little unclear whether the logo could (or should) communicate that as well.
What do you think? Any and all feedback is appreciated.