Three years ago I was wondering how the Stori Dori logo should be designed. With barely any money I knew hiring someone to do it for me was not an option so I settled for the next best thing. A notebook and pen in hand, bedridden with an injured back, I went about handwriting the name STORI DORI over and over again with a ball point. It took almost all day.
I had no clue whatsoever what made a good logo design, what the latest trend was, how I was going to take my messy scribble and make it good enough to use.
What I did know was that I wanted my logo to be unique and what better way than to utilise your own handwriting? Trawling through fonts was out of the question as there are hundreds of thousands to choose from, and after a while all the hand scripted types looked the same or I’d seen them somewhere else before.
I needed a logo quickly to send off to a leather stamp maker. Branding my leather work was all I had in mind and all I needed was the right file type for production to begin.
For the entire day I filled an entire notebook with furious scribbles of my logo. Starting to resent my mission I pushed ahead, half sitting up and leaning on my elbow as my back was causing me agony in any other position, my pen could not lay ink quick enough. All I knew was that the logo needed to look “effortless” and stylish enough to stand out from what was already out there. The added awesomeness to that is having it done by my hand. Stamping this on leather was like signing each one by hand. I loved that imagery.
And then it happened. As it usually does, either the first few ones or last few are the best options to choose from in my experience. The next really challenging part was finding someone skilled enough to make a vector out of it. In my mind, I knew this would be a my working logo until I could devote more time and money to developing the best one I could. I just needed something to get me started.
What I didn’t take into consideration was how much I would actually need to use my logo beyond just a leather stamp. On leather, it looks amazing but because it was made digitally in haste, the edges of each letter stroke looked really choppy when the image was blown up. How that had a knock on effect was that I couldn’t really use my logo for larger projects unfortunately.
Last year I set out to find a designer who could recreate the hand drawn logo with a different brush effect. I had someone in mind who could be up to the task so when I contacted them and explained what I was after, the second round of logo design began. The first round of issues was she interpreted my design specifications in her own handwriting style which totally threw off the appeal of the original logo. With some back and forth in the emails and having to rewrite the logo as best as I could in a calligraphy felt tip, scan, and submit to this designer, she finally got back to me with the design and I gave the go-ahead to create them in different file types and variations.
But the problem was I wanted to love it and didn’t. I sat with it for months without using them on anything eventually choosing to use it on a print I’d created.
Then late last year I met up with some dear friends to have a chat about SD ongoings and the future of the business when the subject eventually came up about the new logo design I’d shown them. My heart sank when they said they didn’t like it. Deep down I agreed with them but because I’d spent some money on this new design I felt like I HAD to use it. Till my dear friend said to me “Logo design is so tricky, you will spend a lot of money to get it exactly right. So don’t worry about that! It’s part of the process. Besides, you could use them to tell the story of how it came about.” So here I am, telling that story.
I knew they were right because I had the new variations and I was reluctant to use them. And I’m so glad I didn’t because an Ah-Ha moment was just around the corner. Admittedly I didn’t do much at first. Speaking to another dear sister to me, we set about retracing the original logo to smooth out the edges and add thickness to downward strokes. If you’ve never attempted this digitally I can only compare it to trying to smooth out icing writing on a cake that’s already been written on. It’s hard! So hard.
About a week in to Ramadan this year I came across a video tutorial for an app called Procreate. The fact this app existed was the reason I bought an IPad Pro in the first place but it seemed too complicated to try doing anything other than attempt at drawing a basic shape, but with more expensive tools.
The IPad Pro is an expensive piece of kit. I justified the purchase by convincing myself that I’d use it for all sorts of work related tasks such as video editing, creating my own design graphics (hence procreate) and all sorts of amazing things that I could learn. Having tried Adobe Illustrator before and fallen flat on my face about it, this HAD to work. It’s also much lighter to carry around so if I fancied working remotely, here was my best option.
Months passed before I dared to attempt tracing the original logo. My hand was making it too shakey to give a clear broad stroke. I seemed to be making the logo worse the more I was trying it, hence asking my friend to do it using Adobe.
So we’re a week into Ramadan and I was just starting to recover from a massive bout of flu. This tutorial I’d come across was showing me how to tweak the brush or pen settings in the app to give you more control when using these functions. Opening up the app and giving it a try inspired me to have a go at writing the logo afresh, once again. Other tutorials showed me how I can save it without a background, fill it with different colours, and I drew a proverbial line for now at learning how to add different effects (it’s on my to-do list for learning Procreate!).
I set about using the different pens and brushes and constantly sharing with my Creative Powwow sisters, they’re my go to in SD design and discussion. Their feedback helped me get crystal clear about my logo vision and it really motivated to not quit until I had my new design.
And for the second time, it happened. As soon as I wrote it I KNEW instantly we had a winner. It kept to the spirit of the logo whilst also being different. I love the new and improved S and D that was so problematic to try and replicate and improve. What was done originally was done in the moment, letting that go and accepting that it was a one off allowed me the space to embrace a new moment of creating a design.
Testing it out as a watermark on one of my images sealed the deal. It looked the cats whiskers! So pleased I then set out to create all the variations I’ll need for all types of products I’ll be using them for.
So there you have it! A Stori about a logo and the will to keep going until finding the right one. I hope you learn some things from my experiences! It’s certainly helped me understand and appreciate design work a LOT more.
Now over to you! Did you learn something from my experiences? If you have a logo evolution story send me a link or leave me a comment below. I’ll be unveiling the new design in the next coming days so watch out for it!
Until next time, friendlings…
With so much love,