Over the years I’ve found myself creating a few logos for my choirs and other endeavors along the way. Mostly when I see a need, I think, “Oh, I’m sure I could come up with something!” My general design philosophy is to identify some key element to base the logo around, and then just start fiddling with ideas until something works.
Below are some of the logos I’ve created. Click on each one to hop to a bit of detail on its background and how it was created.
When I first started working on the Sacred Music Chorale’s website, I asked if there was any kind of official logo. As it turned out, they had a logo of sorts, but it was only semi-official, and was quite fussy, with lots of fine detail. I could tell it was going to look terrible scaled down to the small sizes needed for things like Facebook, and so I decided to see if I could come up with something better.
The key elements I was thinking of were: singing and church. Now, I’m not much of a drawer, so I thought maybe I could create an iconified person out of basic geometry. I used heavy lines and blocky shapes so that when scaled it would still be quite easy to make out. I lifted the arms up and added lines around the head to indicate singing. It sort of worked. After some discussion with others, I converted the topmost vertical line into a cross shape, though in retrospect I don’t think that was really necessary.
One thing I liked about the old logo was that shape of the church window, so I decided to create a similar shape around the person, but made it square in aspect so that the overall shape (window + person) would easily translate into an icon. I added the text for SACRED MUSIC CHORALE underneath for some versions, using Microsoft’s Constantia font and stretching the text a bit to make each word the same width.
When I started Summer Fling Singers it was originally dubbed the Summer Fling Vocal Ensemble. I wasn’t quite sure at the time how the group would turn out or evolve, so the first take was more formal. I didn’t really have a good idea for a logo per se, but I decided early on that the overall look of the group would be reflected by the Fell Fonts digitized by Igino Marini, so I just typed up the text with “summer fling” in lowercase but large, and “vocal ensemble” in small caps centered underneath.
After the first year, I realized I wanted a more casual look, and so I redubbed the group the Summer Fling Singers. This entailed a new logo, of course.
Because of the Summer factor, I had the idea that the logo should include a sun, and that I might be able to actually draw something representative. Playing around with Illustrator, I managed to come up with a iconified sun consisting of a simple circle with 8 rays emanating from it. One of Illustrator’s line shapes conveniently added a bit of stylized flair to the rays.
The other change I decided to do was to incorporate another font into the logo, to lighten it up from the oh-so-serious look of the Fell fonts. I figured the word “Summer” would be implied heavily by the sun, and so decided that “Fling” should be brought out. I looked for a nice calligraphy-style font to contrast with Fell yet still create an old-school feeling, and ended up with Aramis Italic.
Then I tried putting it together. I kept Fell for “Summer” and “Singers”, using the nice-looking small caps, and positioned them near the larger “fling.” It almost worked. Unfortunately there was just not quite enough space in the bowl of the ‘g’ to fit “Singers” so I figured out how to convert the font to paths and extended the bowl enough to make it fit.
The other revelation I had was that the rightmost ray of the sun looked a little funny next to the middle line of the ‘f’ in “fling”, since they almost lined up. That’s when it occurred to me that if I could nuke the line in the ‘f’ entirely and extend the rightmost ray of the sun, it would help pull it all together.
To make an small square iconic form of the logo (for Facebook, twitter, favicon, etc), I decided that the sun at the ‘f’ together made a nice pair. Overall I’m super pleased with how this logo turned out!
For my engraving efforts, I decided I needed a name and a logo to help brand them appropriately. I wasn’t feeling super inspired to come up with a clever name, so I just went with my initials ASG. Unfortunately, this also means not a lot of ideas for logos.
I started off by going back to Constantia, which is the font I’ve settled on for most of my engraving projects. I typed up ASG and then tried to think of what to do with it. Eventually I hit upon the idea of dropping the S lower than the A and G.
Once I saw how that looked, I had a brainwave that maybe I could lay the text on a 5-line music staff to add a little bit more flavor plus a hint of what it was about. The trick here was that the mid-line of the A and the top of the G’s middle section did not line up nicely.