Phyllis and I are pretty happy with the our new self-built website and, judging by the lack of complaints, so are you. (If you have suggestions for improvement, please leave a comment to this post.)
On the other hand, as an artist I…well…kind of suck, so we need some help with a new logo.
We were going to turn to one of those online design market places (and may still, if this doesn’t work) but then I realized that we have a huge number of smart readers here at AAC and maybe one of you might be interested in keeping us safe from some horrible DIY design screwup. And the beauty of this approach is that we don’t need to spend hours explaining what the heck it is we do, or what our brand is, to some stranger.
So here’s what we need in a logo:
- Instantly recognizable and differentiated as ours.
- Classy and low key.
- Should look and fit well in the existing header without adding any height.
- Scales well. In other words, it should be recognizable when quite small, say 30 pixels on the short (height) side.
- Should be usable and recognizable alongside (or incorporating) the words “Attainable Adventure Cruising Ltd” or by itself.
- Adobe Illustrator native vector file, not a bitmap, so we can scale it.
The logo should communicate what we write about: Offshore Voyaging. I have no idea how one goes about doing that:
- a cloud,
- some waves,
- a sea bird over waves?
Beats me…told you I sucked at this stuff. (The logo should not imply that we are only for sailors and not for those with motorboats.)
Although I was once in the printing business and therefore know something about fonts, I only know enough to understand that putting fonts together in a cohesive design takes talent and training.
So, although we are reasonably happy with the fonts, sizes and weights we chose for the new site, if you have suggestions for improvement, we are all ears.
Any fonts suggested need to work together to create a clear hierarchy of importance and legibility trumps all. Each of the following needs to be specified:
- The heading “Attainable Adventure Cruising” (could be part of the logo).
- The heading of each post.
- The byline for each post.
- The body text for each post.
- Heading 2 style within post.
- Heading 3 style within post.
- Heading 4 style within post.
- Heading 5 style within post.
- Heading 6 style within post (for footnotes).
- The headings of sidebar areas.
- The body text in the sidebar areas.
You can use any font that appears in the Google font library that includes an italic and bold variants.
The headings within the post should have a clear hierarchy.
Our current thinking is to stick with the same colours that we are using now, to keep some brand continuity. And, by the way, we chose these colours with the Adobe Color CC Wheel, so they do work well together.
But, having said that, if sticking with these colours will screw up that brilliant cohesive design for a logo and associated fonts that has jumped into your head, particularly if your name is Jonathan, and you also answer to Jony, we would certainly consider changing.
OK, now we have the job defined, let’s talk about money. My first idea was to run this as a competition with some not very big prize. But then I thought about how much, as a photographer, I hate and despise those competitions that news, photo, and magazine sites run that are nothing more than a thinly veiled and extremely sleazy way to con a bunch of photographers into parting with the rights to their work for nothing.
So here’s the deal. We can afford to pay US$250 for the above help. Yea, I know, it’s a pittance and less than you could earn flipping burgers. Welcome to our world. The undervaluation of creative people is one of the great sins of today. But it is what it is, and since we work for very little, that’s all we can afford to pay. To make the deal a little sweeter, we will throw in a three year membership. (If you are already a member we will add three years to your existing membership.)
We will pay you half up front and half when the work (as specified here) is done and approved. If we don’t like the end result and don’t use it, you keep the deposit, but we don’t pay the balance.
On the bright side, if you are a talented professional designer, I’m guessing this won’t take you very long.
Making it Happen
So, if you are both qualified and interested in helping us out, please contact us with a quick summary of your experience and maybe an example or two of work you have done together with a concept, or even a rough sketch of what you have in mind.
Note that I said “qualified”. I know just enough about design to understand that doing it well is way, way, harder than it looks and almost always requires some form of professional commercial art training.
What I’m trying to say, hopefully without bruising anyone’s feelings, is that if you are an untrained amateur, this is probably not for you.
And, in the same vein, we are not looking for technical website building expertise here. Rather, we need a typography and design expert.
Having said all that about looking for a professional, you, our members, are who all this effort is for, so if you have any suggestions to make any of this better, please leave a comment.