John McWade walks us through the identity redesign for a small frame shop, reviewing the "before" and reframing the "after."
- Hi, I'm John McWade, Senior Staff Author here at lynda.com, and in this case study we'll be looking at an identity logo redesign. Designing a logo is one of the biggest challenges a designer has. I don't know a designer, myself included, who doesn't get a little nervous at the prospect of designing or redesigning a logo. What your hoping to find is a line, or a shape, or a color that embodies in a few strokes the essential qualities of an enterprise. Some logos are extremely good identifiers: Apple comes to mind, Nike is one, McDonald's.
We recognize each one as representing a larger enterprise. What they have in common is that they're modern, they're simple, and they're somewhat artificial. A logo like the Porsche crest is different, it's function is similar, to tell you at a glance what brand the car is, but it's artistically elaborate. It has a history. In the center of the crest is the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart, Germany, where Porsche is headquartered.
Stuttgart was once upon a time a stud farm and it's coat of arms has had a horse on it forever, for 700 years. The antlers and the stripes are from the coat of arms of the German state of W?rttemberg, which no longer exists, and the colors are the national colors of Germany. So, the logo projects all of those associations along with Porsche's history in motor sports. But here's the thing, those are all abstracts.
I know how to draw a line, but how do you draw history or performance? How do you draw a feeling? So, here's the challenge: how do you make a logo that's an effective identifier, that's beautiful, and that carries with it abstract qualities like artistry and craftsmanship? Can these things be designed in? And the answer is yes, often they can be.
Our project is this, I'd like you to meet Larry and Sherry Pearl. Larry and Sherry own Newburyport Framers, which is a small high-end custom framing business in the seaport town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. It's a mom and pop shop. A very nice one, and what they do is provide custom design and framing mainly to locals who are as passionate about art and framing as they are.
Newburyport Framers is not a clever name but it is descriptive, it tells you where the business is and what it is. What the name does not convey is any sense of the Newburyport Framers' experience. They do beautiful work, they have great hands-on service, they're fellow artists, and customers really like this place.