Thursday, January 11, 2007

Logo Design: Fairfax Park Apartments

Designing logos can be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding activities that a graphic artist can get into. It involves the challenging task of balancing function (in the sense that the logo should be able to successfully represent the company, what it stands for or what it aims to convey to its customers) and aesthetics (should be pleasing to the viewer’s eyes, easily recognizable and attractive). Various artists utilize various techniques and approaches in developing logos, but there really is no best or sure path to creating the perfect logo. It all depends on the preference and style of the artist and the needs of the company seeking a visual identity.

Generally, my creative process involves identifying the basic requirements of the client (sometimes clients require certain visual or textual elements to be present in their logos, but others give complete freedom. I appreciate that clients provide certain guidelines, descriptors and preferences because these help shape my objective in the design of their logo), researching information (such as common trends in the design of the logo’s niche, history of the client and their business, etymology of names, etc.), sketching/brainstorming/conceptualization (pencil or pen concepts on graphing paper, at least 3 interpretations) and final execution (vector drawing in CorelDrawX3).

I had a great time developing the final logo for Fairfax Park, an apartment complex located in Hamburg, New York. The design they say will appear on all company branding and advertising (such as storefront, business cards, website, letterhead, etc...). The client provided certain guidelines: logo must contain the words "Fairfax Park," can contain any number of colors and can contain gradients and that it must be cozy, with an emphasis that the complex is in a park like setting (perhaps an image of a tree and grass may be used). I understood that the client wanted to convey an image which is close to nature, a good marketing strategy attractive to people looking for residence in an urban environment.

Initial concepts included the integration of leaves, hills and trees, keeping in mind the client’s suggestions and preferences. I veered away from the idea of representing the apartment itself in the graphic, as the boxy shape of a building seem to contradict the message that the logo aims to convey. I wanted the logo to reflect the name of the apartment complex also, and I decided to integrate the initial “F” within the graphic, thus making the symbol stronger as it can stand alone even without the name text. It should be impressive and ingenious, but most importantly, should be simple, easily recognizable among existing logos of their competitors

I am not fond of the use of gradients in logos. I prefer solid colors, as this easily translates into any presentation format, be it print or web image. But sometimes, in this case, gradients actually facilitate the image and present each component of the graphic effectively. Finally, the text should be flowing, ideally something cursive, unlike the tact and seriousness of serif fonts. In terms of visual ergonomics, the logo, to my opinion fits the expectation of the client, effectively balances the aesthetic requirements of the general viewer and its purpose. Here’s the final concept chosen by the client, presented in horizontal and vertical arrangement.

My other logos can be seen at my deviantART site.

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