I have gone to Dr. Jeff Johnson’s dentist office for my dentist needs all my life. As Dr. Johnson is nearing retirement, Dr. Sam Hall joined as a partner. One summer day when I visited for my usual teeth cleaning, Dr. Hall learned I was a graphic designer. He explained he bought the business, was renaming it “Booneville General Dentistry”, and was looking for someone to design a new logo.
Dr. Hall really wanted his logo to incorporate a tree. I sent him two rounds of hand-drawn sketches, pulling the better ideas from the sheets below.
Dr. Hall narrowed the choices down to his favorites. Then I got to work on digital black-and-white mockups.
This one was the winner!
Over Christmas break I had my winter dentist checkup and got to see how the logo was applied to signage! It was a rare snowy day in Booneville, MS.
It’s really gratifying to do a logo for a business in my hometown and see it applied to signage!
It has been a long time since I have featured something on this blog that I created!
Last summer my high school classmate, Andrew Branch, reached out to me about designing a logo for his songwriting ventures. Andrew is a smart, friendly guy with many talents and interests. While we were in school together, he was known as the guy everyone liked to be around. He also wasn’t shy to bust a move, especially when he was dressed up as our Blue Devil mascot! After high school Andrew studied Portuguese and Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy in West Point.
For nostalgia’s sake, here we are back in high school during homecoming week. (Look at those youngins’!)
Now he is based in Nashville and is crafting his songwriting skills that span an array of genres on the side. Give his awesome music a listen: https://soundcloud.com/branchmgr
In Andrew’s own words, he describes his primary musical inspirations to be….
The Beatles (genres they crossed in a short time), Stromae (his ability to make tough topics dance-able), Prince (for being an uncontrollable force as a musician and not giving a hot ham what people thought of him) and Otis Redding (for being the king of Soul and an electrifying performer)…..those four are the strongest influence on me, artistically.
With a mix of pop, rock, and even country music influences, Andrew needed a logo that could speak to it all and be true to who he is as a brand. Andrew wanted the logo to say “-branch mgr” (branch manager) as his way to sign off any music he wrote and produced with the concept that he will do what he wants creatively as far as genre is concerned. “Branch” is also his last name.
First, I researched design associated with his musical inspirations, general songwriting symbolism, and music label groups while listening to his songs on Soundcloud. Then I emailed him a series of sketches.
An icon I kept returning back to was a heart. Andrew has a big heart and his music is infused with heart, as well. He was surprised by that choice, and in his email response said…
Strangely, I hadn’t considered hearts…at all. hahaha. But, you may have me pegged better than I do.
Andrew picked his favorite 4 ideas for me to focus on with an explanation of why he liked each one:
• 1, the treble cleft b should just be my personal emoji for all things in life. Haha
• The 27 represents, in my mind, a heart with walls, which is very symbolic to me as that’s how I approach songwriting.
• 23 is significant in that, my moniker is -branch mgr, representing my signature being on something means I’ve approved of it as quality
• 9, I just feel is reflective of life and a pulse…music is my pulse and as displayed there, it comes from the heart.
Then it was time to move on to digital black-and-white mockups.
This was the chosen grey scale logo:
Next was color. Andrew knew he wanted a blue scheme, but I threw in a couple other color variations for good measure.
This was the winner, shown with white and black backgrounds:
I also set the icon apart for social media purposes:
Andrew was a great client to work with! I wish him well with all his songwriting endeavors.
As all art is relative and can blend to achieve a goal from time to time, graphic design and photography tend to be a complimentary pair. I touched on this topic in my last blog post Gearing Up for Back to School. It may be easier to see my love of integrating illustration in my portfolio work (brittanyspencer.com), but I am also capable of implementing original photography. This goes back to my undergraduate education at Mississippi State University, as we were taught to have a solid fine art foundation education to make us better designers. The use and know-how of your very own DSLR camera opens much more possibilities in achieving a particular project goal. Stock photography can be cheesy, boring, and overused. (Check out this girl’s collection of ways her stock photos have been used.) Come on, be ORIGINAL! View my last blog post Gearing Up for Back to School to see how I combined photography with graphic design.
I also do some freelance photography on the side for families, babies, graduating seniors, engagements, and weddings. And I am one of those people that LOVES Photoshop, and will edit a photo to make it perfect– free of blemishes, stray hairs, that sneaky fat roll, and even the random power pole in the background.
Here are some of my favorites:
Before and After: A storm is coming 🙂 I love Photoshop.
I can even design some pretty snazzy wedding albums. I finished this album a few days ago. Flip through the digital preview:
Sometimes in conversation with new people, when I tell them I am a graphic designer they ask me to clarify what that entails. I have even had graphic design students enter my intro course fumbling to define “What is graphic design?” on the first day of class. I was one of those students years ago, because I felt graphic design was such a vast field that couldn’t be defined in one sentence. I have shown this video to each of my intro classes, because it really sums up what graphic designers are capable of in terms of design and output in 6.5 minutes:
With school gearing back up, I would like to share some local projects I have done. My younger twin brothers just finished high school, so my skills have been of use to them the past few years.
For example, I added a contemporary spin to their sports ads for the annual football program with my original photography:
As a horizontal ad, it was interesting to watch the crowd to see who turned their books sideways.
BOOM. Double trouble!
I can design an ad that makes your child stand out from the other pages!
I also can design senior graduation invitations, with my original photography:
Senior yearbook pages:
The plan is for their pages to end up on the same spread, as if they are sitting back-to-back.
I can even design classroom posters for school teachers with their favorite quotes:
Now is a great time to contact me for your back-to-school design needs! If you are unsure if I can try something, give me a shout out. I just may surprise you!
Jaime Johnson is a good friend of mine in grad school. She is a very talented photographer, currently specializing in the cyanotype process. Check out her work at www.jaimejphotography.com. We agreed to do an exchange of talent to help one another out for our final year of grad school. She makes beautiful photos of my 3D work that I post on my portfolio website, and I just finished a series of logos she can use to promote herself.
Jaime has really nice handwriting. I saw her writing her signature in class one day, and I found it inspiring. I asked for her best signature, scanned it into my computer, and got to work.
Jaime sent me ideas and other logos she liked, and I sketched out a few ideas on my own. For some ideas I changed some of the letter forms of her signature to better accompany the imagery. The theme was “nature”, which is a major theme in her photography. Here are the rough options I sent her:
Jaime really liked the wind-blown dandelion idea. I cleaned up the letter forms so it didn’t look like a scan, and sent her a lot of options according to the colors she asked for. My favorite color combinations were reminiscent of her cyanotype photos (and by looking at her portfolio website, she agreed!):