Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Making of a Logo

Curious about what goes into designing a logo? Here is how the logo for the the NAME National Convention in St. Louis was created.

Step 1
In 2012, I gathered information from the Steering Committee of the event. The committee requested that the theme of the convention, "Rollin' on the River" be used in the text, along with a strong visual.

Step 2 
I find that brainstorming visuals and writing down words helps to put me in the right frame of mind for creating logos. I brainstormed word associations: boat, river, Mississippi, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, steamboat, riverboat, fishing, woodtype ornamentation, and many more! Time: approx. 1.5 hours 

Step 3 
I began sketches based upon the words that had strong visuals. Time: approx. 3 hours 

Step 4
The design process moved to the computer, where I came up with several iterations of the logo until I was happy with the final. Here are 2 earlier iterations:
I had settled on the visual of a steamboat; representing the Mississippi River, the connection between all of the states in the region that is hosting the NAME event. But I struggled with the amount of text; it was just too many words to use with a graphic.

As you can see in the second version (above), I was starting to play with the shape of a boat - stacking words on top of a woodtype ornament to suggest the bottom of a boat. I decided to simplify the design further, and make the text into the shape of a steamboat. The "LL" in "Rollin" was extended to appear like smokestacks, and a flourish was added to give the impression of steam as well as balance the graphic ornament on the bottom of the logo. Time: approx. 5.5 hours 

It was such a fun project, that I even designed an additional graphic to go on t-shirts, tote bags and aprons:

Hope to see you in St. Louis!


  1. Great job, Carol!
    Gest wishes

  2. I love the logo. I also like seeing the previous versions, but the end result is the best and most dynamic. I wish I had been able to go!