It may seem silly, but I have spent hours trying to design, tweak, and redesign from scratch our logo for this blog. Not only because I wanted the chance to play with different software to create it, but because I really believe in the potential for this blog to be more than a passing fancy. I would love for it to be something people look forward to reading. Researching to find tips and guidance made me realize that I was basically working to make a brand. That seems strange to say. This blog started as an excuse to learn new things and chronicle our efforts. Calling Tinkering Librarians a brand makes this all feel so stodgy. Regardless, since logos and branding are so intertwined, the logo creation project became a learn about branding project. And, well, a bit of madness ensued.
With Dee juggling a website redesign, internet connectivity issues, writing a blog, and all the other responsibilities of life, I did not want to task her with branding us. I figured I’d do a bunch of research, tinkering, and then shoot her the final products. She’d have all the power to shoot me down and set me at it again. In my journey I did a brand personality survey, read articles giving tips, direction, and ideas, as well as some about software, and I played with designs. Overall, to properly represent our brand the logo, according to what I read, needed to be simple but modern; avoid chat bubbles (apparently they are overdone); and had to marry library and technology at first sight.
When I shot her a very quick first logo, Dee graciously complimented it. While it is not TERRIBLE, there is no doubt that I did not hire a professional to make it.I liked it, but I felt it needed to be a bit more original. Unfortunately, I have ZERO drawing skills, so it also had to be created from prefabricated pieces. Ideally you pay professionals to do this. But we’re a blog; we’re brand new librarians, who aren’t rolling in disposable income (logos start at $250); and the entire point of this blog is to learn new things as often as possible. I pressed on.
From my research on logos I made it my goal to try and make a logo that satisfied three conditions: simplicity (something as close to a line drawing as possible) and adaptability (a logo that could be used in multiple colors or in gray-scale if need be). I played around. I tried LogoMaker but it provided few customization options. LogoMkr, yes they are different sites, gave a bit more flexibility, but doesn’t even have the ability to crop images nor draw lines, freeform or otherwise. And a quick image search showed that some of these logos were in use already. Eventually, I used a Paint to crank out my designs. It was a bit brutish, I would not recommend it, but sometimes part of being a tinkerer means making the tools you have work for you.
We did finally settle on one. It was a bit of cheating though. I called up my father, who manages an airport, to see if he ever had to create a logo. Because my father likes to draw, he took my thought of an open book emitting WiFi signals with a USB cable book mark idea and improved it. I tweaked some of the coloring, and now we have our own, completely unique logo. I guess the moral of the story is, ask for advice/assistance before you spend weeks trying to complete a project. Truthfully though, I have no regrets. It was a fun journey.
-Thanks to ALA for providing great librarian jpegs that I used shamelessly in my first attempts.
–If you are curious, the final logo was made in MS Paint. I know, I know, it only makes it that much more amazing.
Next up: Pixabay