Monthly Archives: November 2007

Logo Design: Lola London Photography

The lovely Lola London, an LA-based photographer recently commissioned me to design a one-color logo for her business. She wanted a logo that was clean, modern, and easy to drop onto a variety of surfaces (most importantly, as a watermark for her photos).      

*Logo copyright 2007 Lola London Photography.

When developing a logo, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple; if anything, take out anything and everything that’s not really needed. Some of the most popular logos are super minimal. Think of the McDonald’s golden arches, the Nike swoosh, or the Apple…apple. A good logo should stand out without ‘screaming,’ it should be timeless, and it should be legible at varying percentages of the original size. Is the logo still defined and easy to read at 50% of its original size or blown up to 200%?

When I design a logo, I try to keep the following concepts in mind:

1. Can the logo be repeated to create a pattern?
This can be useful for the back of a business card, related packaging, wrapping / tissue papers, and textile patterns. Even though the final outcome Lola needed was one color, she can easily use her L’s in fun patterns and play with varying hues:      


2. Are the shapes of the logo simple enough that it’s easy to interchange colors?
Consider the eventual possibility of branding different parts of your company with the same logo in differing colors. (For instance, a photographer might have a division of art editions and a division of stock photography.)

3. If there’s text accompanying the logo, does it have the potential to look dated really fast?
Stick with classic Serifs and very basic, clean Sans Serifs (yes, Helvetica is a viable option!) Corporations are constantly tweaking their logos.

4. All those so-called rules that were covered in art school can help with a logo design.
Think about repetition, harmony and balance. Don’t be afraid to have fun with gradients and pops of color. Experiment and create a variety shapes.     


In closing: A logo is always a sound investment; think of a it as a way of defining and differentiating yourself from your competition.

The Past Still Lingers in Astoria

One of the first things I noticed about Astoria is that the downtown area seemed quite large for a population of only 10,000 people. A hundred years ago, it was the second largest city in Oregon. Astoria’s past sometimes overshadows the present; the Lewis and Clark expedition spent time there and it was the first permanent U.S. settlement west of the Rockies. Certain parts of the city feel frozen in time; buildings look like they haven’t been touched in at least 50 years and original signage is everywhere. Beautiful Victorian houses line the steep hills behind the downtown streets.  







From the edge of downtown, you can see the waterfront. Old warehouses, new restaurants, and tiny shops line the pier. Straight out of a storybook…


The Back is Just as Important as the Front: Taking Pride in Artwork

Last year, I was watching an interview with Minimalist painter Brice Marden and the one thing that has stuck with me ever since is the way he described the importance of the back of a canvas. He said that he learned early on in his career from another artist in the New York art world that the back reflected on the overall quality of the artwork.

Keeping a piece of artwork neat on all sides and surfaces can be time-consuming and difficult, especially when working with liquids. I pour epoxy resin over most of my finished work and drip marks are inevitable. My early work had drips down the sides and gobs of dried resin on the back. Brice inspired me to take more pride in the overall presentation. Now, after pouring the resin, I sometimes spend up to 30 minutes carefully smoothing the edges of the work with a small brush and dragging a gloved finger underneath to eliminate as many drips as possible.

I’ve always felt that signatures on the front of work were distracting and took away from the graphic nature of what I was producing (though I’m sure I’m in the minority!), so I sign small labels on the back instead. I also affix a business card with my contact information on the back of every piece. I feel that it’s important to have a connection with those who buy my work. The information provided on the back lets them know that there’s an open line of communication.

In an era of mass-produced goods, take pride in your work. Stand proud and make the choice to only produce work that you love and feel a connection to, even if it takes way longer to get the finishing touches right. The passion shows.

The Oregon Coast: Charming Beach Cottages



On the way to Astoria, we stopped in Cannon Beach (my favorite town along the Oregon Coast by far) and drove down sandy side roads, spying quaint little beach cottages. I snapped photos of my two favorites; both were slightly weathered and full of personality! The angles on the above roof made me think it belonged in a tiny Bavarian Village.   


This one was extra special because the address was so cute (123?!!) and it even had a wee flower box. My dream would be to own a tiny, cozy cabin near the beach to make the occasional escape from city life. The Oregon Coast in the Fall and Winter has overcast skies, a brisk wind, and is surrounded by a sense of quiet, except for the crashing waves. On Thanksgiving morning, the beach was nearly deserted…