A couple of months ago, I was approached by Mark Adair of Envision Customworks to design a logo for his environmentally friendly building and construction company. Envision Customworks was launched in March 2009 in Jackson, Mississippi by Mark and his brother. They are a construction company that specializes in higher end remodels. They build custom furniture out of various types of wood, steel and glass.They design and build custom light fixtures, kitchen layouts, cabinets and bathrooms.Their niche lies in the fact that they use recycled material to build their beautiful custom pieces.
One of the examples of the ecologically sound building techniques that Mark cited, was their use of wood from old warehouses in New Orleans that was milled down to make beautiful furniture, cabinets and floors. Mark wanted the logo to clearly portray that they were a green company without everyone thinking that they were a seed store or had something to do with gardening.The logo had to be simple, modern, stylish and a recycle emblem was an absolute no-no.
Usually when I am going through my client’s answered questionnaire, ideas start cropping up in my head and by the time I finish googling words and company names, I am ready to sketch out a few concepts. I like to word map the logo project with the logo name, colors, qualities, styles, idealogies and elements that I foresee using in the design.Mark had signed up for two concepts. Armed with the logo questionnaire that Mark had answered for me, I set to work on the Envision CustomWork’s logo concepts. I started by doing a name search on Google for Envision Custom Works. After being satisfied through a variety of different search strings and combination of words that the name was very unique, I started word-mapping in my sketch book. Then I did a few rough sketches of the ideas brimming at the top of my head. Then I started checking logo websites, inspiration sites and posts to check whether the sketches I had done were unique or had been done before.
I see a lot of logos on a regular basis as I am a member of many logo websites and communities and also because I post a lot of logo related content on my blog. But when I am actually doing a project for a client, I never head anywhere for inspiration. I just sit with my sketchbook and let the unique nature of the client’s company and his requirements guide my thought process. I feel this works best, because at this stage taking external inspiration is clouding your mind and taking you away from the task at hand. Once though the sketches are done, I always like to check if a concept is done before, which is extremely plausible because there are millions of people in this world and not all of your unique ideas are going to be untouched. Someone, somewhere might’ve already thought of them before. With the exception of one time when I found that a design I was developing had a similar logo done, I have never faced a problem about having to scrap a sketch based on ambiguity.
Once I was satisfied that my sketches didn’t have similar designs out there, I took them to Illustrator and started fleshing out the sketches in vector format. Mark had sent me a few photos of his work and one thing that came across in all of them was the beautiful wood work. I decided to base my designs on wood which would also contribute to the "green" factor. I wanted the logo to be strong, stable, viable and timeless. I wanted it to have the company’s initials in it and do justice to Mark and his brother’s artistry in their field. Within a few hours I had the two strongest concepts vectorized. I wanted to try out something new, so I scoured the internet for tutorials to create a wood grain effect in Illustrator. After several tries, I was happy with a particular wood grain effect that looked modern and very zen like. I used it in both the concepts to bring out the look and feel of wood. I offered a couple of color and type variations so Mark could see what his logo would look like in different styles. It was a challenge bringing out the "green" nature of the logo and I adapted organic design to achieve that. I did use a subtle leaf in both designs, but more as decor for the wood pieces, rather than an element in itself. In this particular logo, the wood depicted via sharp angles and visually pleasing modern, zen like design was going to captivate the earthy feel of the logo and give it an eco twist.
I then worked on the presentation of the two logo concepts in Photoshop. I sent the concepts to Mark and he really liked the first concept. He wanted to build on that concept and tweak it a little bit, but before that he requested to see an additional concept which would show off their dovetail joinery speciality. He even sketched what he had in mind which helped me develop the third concept for him to see. After seeing the third concept, Mark was convinced that he still liked the first concept, so we went to work on that. A few variations later, Mark was happy with how the logo looked and Envision Customworks had its brand new identity in place.
"The Envision CustomWorks logo includes the letters E, C and W in the negative space. The idea of conceptualizing, imagining and realizing is fulfilled through the perception of the solid letters doubling up as building material [wood planks], an abstract piece of furniture, a door [the letter C] opening outwards. This symbolizes Envision CustomWorks’ ability to see beyond the norm and create exquisite and solid pieces that enhance and please. The green colors unobtrusively hint at the green nature of the company and the modern typeface renders the logo a classic, timeless quality."
Mark was kind enough to leave me a testimony. Here is what he had to say, "Working with Sneh Roy from LBOI was an absolute pleasure. She helped me achieve a wonderful logo in a very professional manner. Concepts were brilliant! She worked with me until I was completely satisfied with the logo. I would recommend logo design by LBOI to anyone. Thanks again Sneh!"
Thanks to Mark for his generosity with his words. I had a fun and extremely creative process, creating a working identity for his company and I hope his laudable efforts in the "green movement" take him and Envision CustomWorks a very long way.
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