Category: Logos

Logo concept and design – Ibarrra Moon

As my Twitter following has slowly began to gain in size in 2013 I have been connecting with people of all business varieties and from all corners of the world, one of whom was two lovely American ladies who were in need of an identity for their new business.

Fran and Hannah work in construction and wanted a logo concept and design, they already had a good idea what they wanted to call the business ( a combination of both their surnames) so they simply required a way of putting their startup idea into a visual form and that is where connecting on Twitter led to me helping with their logo.

International connection

This was my very first international design proposition I had ever been given but any hesitation to work for someone thousands of miles away was blown away with just how easy it was to communicate and work with Fran and Hannah.

Beginning the design

Once we had discussed the brief, I’d understood their business and background and discovered what they were looking for I set myself to working on creating some Identities.


To begin the logo design I created over twenty variations of a logo, I didn’t include any colour at this stage as it is important to not let  colour influence design decisions. Above is the very first stage of playing with shapes and concepts. Being contractors communicating this in the logo seemed quite important, so a font that was quite bold and structured looking was the initial decision.

Also, with the business being owned by two ladies the idea to differentiate the typography would help re-enforce this message clearly, in the fourth column this message is further enhanced by the inclusion of two stars.

First Response to initial logo designs

After a few days Fran and Hannah gave some feedback about the ones they liked the most and four in particular where the ones they wanted to take further into development ( see four images circled below).


Their responses where always very positive and they were very pleased at how many different varieties of logo they had to choose from and this was only the first stage! I could tell this was going to be one of the most enjoyable freelance jobs I’ve had thus far.

Stage 2 : Developing the logos further

Once I knew which logos to experiment with, combine and explore I asked Fran and Hannah if they had any idea what colours they liked as a work around. They informed that green and charcoal are the colours they envision their business in and thus I began stage two redeveloping the logos with these two colours in mind.

Below is the results of stage 2 and again the logos have been circled that the client liked best, their response was humbling…



[quote name=”Fran and Hannah” ]….I wanted to attach the logos that were our FAVS!! As always, you TOTALLY OUTDID yourself! We love them all!! HAHA [/quote]
The client really liked the second stage logos, they liked them so much they wanted to use three! Obviously having variations of the same logo is quite a common occurrence when designing an identity, but I advised them although they could have three logos that they need to be slight variations of each other to maintain a clear brand.
They agreed and so I moved onto stage 3 of refining the design.

Stage 3 : Refining the logo design

What my international clients wanted was now becoming clearer. So I played around a little more sending two variations of the house within the moon and the two stars.

I had also decided that including trees within the moon would also be appropriate as on further research Ibarra can mean meadow and with the client based in an area that is very wooded it seemed quite appropriate and made a more welcoming feel to the design.
Even though the logo was developing I didn’t feel it was quite hitting the right mark, maybe there was too many gradients and in the logo below, too many colours. Using the feedback given I further developed the logo and took elements from each of their favourite ideas to make it into one consistent branded logo…

Stage 3 : Finalising the design

This was the final stage, bringing it all together in different file formats for both print, screen and vector for enlargements.

The charcoal and green I felt were good choices for the logo, charcoal for a nights sky and part of the gradient for the moon and the green for the meadow, building mostly out of wood and green is symbolic of growth which is perfect for erecting new properties.

Looking at their favourite logos rather than having a moon literally how it looks in story books by putting it on its side it looked less like a story book and more conceptual as well as having the double edged concept of also being similar to a smile.

Hearing that the client wanted to use three logos , one being the text on its own for letterheads and the others for their vans and uniform I adhered to their requests and below is the finished product.

It was an absolute pleasure working with my first American clients, I learnt a lot from the job and I wish them all the success in the future.
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WCRC Ticket to Read logo

When the British coalition government decided it was going to make cuts to the services of  towns and cities across the country a library located in Woolton Village, Liverpool was one of the things marked to be closed. A devastating choice for a village that has a high level of elderly and families living in the locality who relied on the service.

But with Woolton, having such a fantastic community a few of the people living in the village got together to keep this much loved and much needed facility open to the public and is still open today with the help of volunteers and independent funding of the local community. Being born and raised in the village I felt a duty to help in any way I could so offered my logo services to the people of Woolton free of charge. Here is the meaning behind the WCRC Ticket to Read logo.

The new name of the library


With the ending of publicly funded library came an opportunity to rebrand and expand the services of the library. No longer would the library be simply for books but many activities would take place in the library, for this reason they rebranded themselves as a resource centre with a strapline “ticket to read” a play on the Beatles hit “Ticket to ride”.

As the Woolton community are quite a diverse society and the new resource centre would also be a hub of activity it was felt that it was important to make the logo as universal as possible without references of age, gender, sexuality, race or service.

Recording the library heritage in the design

As explained earlier the facility had always been a family library and the main purpose to store and borrow books for the local community. For this reason I wanted to represent that in the logo. The typeface used reflects the san-serif fonts that are usually found within printed reading books.

Communicating symbolism within the WCRC Logo

After observing the activities that take place at the WCRC it became evident that the WCRC allow its users to communicate in different ways. Community building, poetry reading, acting, art, group debates and even reading a book is a form of communication thus the use of speech marks was considered suitable for the design as it also removed gender/sex specific notions.

Strong community represented in logo shape

The Woolton Community are a strong people and this was something I wanted to represent in their design.

Considering shape the circle is considered an unbreakable shape. A shape that has no bends, no kinks, no corners and usually can represents ‘the whole’, in this case the whole community.

By selecting the circle to represent Woolton people it displays that nothing breaks the spirit of the community and they have a unity, friendship and helpfulness to each other that is difficult to find in general.

Colour of communication

Finally the colour that was selected was blue to represent the communication. Blue is the colour of the throat chakra within the human aura and it is believed that blue conveys the ability to communicate well.

Although a simple logo in design the concept and theory behind its appearance is not as simple, similar to the character of this village in Liverpool. Maybe simple in appearance to the onlooking visitor but underneath the surface there is a lot more than meets the eye.

It was a pleasure to work for my boyhood village. Woolton is a place that will always be dear to my heart, I had many fond memories reading books in the library and growing up in this neighbourhood.

It is a very pleasant place that is worth a visit should you ever be visiting the city. It was the home of John Lennon ( which can still be seen on menlove avenue), the place where the Beatles first performed at a school concert ( Bishop Martin School ), the location where the song Strawberry fields was inspired from.

Now the home of a few premiership footballers such as Brazilian Lucas Leiva and also to prehistoric standing stones that are older than those in Stone Henge!

Are you from Woolton or is your community feeling the effects of  the government cuts? What do you think helps build a strong community? Please feel free to leave any comments below.

Fiver vs Designers – a business owners perspective

You may be aware of a website called fiver where various people offer their skills and services for a measly $5.00!

For the business owner it may seem like a great way to save some money and if you manage to find the right deal you are saving a great deal of money. As a designer Fiver is a website that could potentially destroy the livelihood of any Western creative but if used correctly could be a good way to gather new leads.

In this post I will discuss the benefits and problems with Fiver from both a business owners point of view and the creative’s livelihood and then will conclude with what to think about when choosing to hire a fiver creative or a freelance creative/designer.

Why Fiver is great for business owners

From logos to websites to posters or video promotions Fiver offers services for all your marketing needs and not at a price that will break your business budget but at such low cut prices it is almost criminal!  $5.00 for a new corporate logo that would usually cost a hundred times more if dealing with a professional designer is something that most business people will be rubbing their hands together in glee with.

Or maybe you need a small video intro or a ‘customer testimonial’ or do you ( but please don’t! ) even try and boost your social media accounts by adding thousands of fake followers and likes? The list of things you can buy for such a small amount of money is limitless ( but also not always worth it )!

Not always amateurs

The people you find on fiver may not always be amateurs with no artistic training or experience, a lot of the guys you will be hiring may have many years experience and knowledge that can do the job you require and do it quite well.

If you are happy with the work that the person created for you and they seem a genuine good guy/girl then it could be the start of a beautiful business relationship. Should you need further services you may return to the person you found on Fiver as you know they will do the job you want and do it well plus they know your brand so it will be easier to communicate ideas with them.

If you do go back to them, please…consider doing business outside of fiver, designers need to make a living too you know! 🙂

The problem with Fiver for business owners

If you can get around the feeling of guilt that you are effectively hiring a designer as slave labour paying them 99% less than what their skills are worth.

If you don’t value others, they won’ value you

When you hire someone for little money you don’t always get the best service. Naturally, all people need and want to feel valued and if you are valuing someone’s talent and ability that they have spent a lot of time learning and honing at $5 then they won’t necessarily be interested in putting a lot of thought and effort into the piece.

Different countries, different economies

For our eastern counterparts in India where $5 has more value than in the west it may not be a problem, they will probably do all they can for you but as a westerner you can’t possibly make the kind of money to have a suitable standard of living through doing deals on fiver, it just isn’t viable.

You may be helping western designers boost their portfolio but it won’t boost their bank balance to make a living and that is what we really want.

Are you a business with ethics to try and help others make a living or are you all about the top line?

Limited service, the logo design example

Designing a logo , a good logo, takes time. When I design a logo I recommend around 2 weeks of research, designs, concepts & constant iterations with slight adjustments to one design so the final concept speaks about your business in a symbolic nature. A logo can be designed very quickly but its not likely to be the best version of itself.

Once the logo design is complete the designer has to save the logo in various formats so they can be used for different platforms and uses. Jpgs, transparent pngs, eps, photoshop, illustrator files etc.

Finally some designers will also create you a style guide on how to use the logo so that it is consistent throughout your business marketing material.

As you can imagine that service isn’t complete in an hour unless you are billy whizz!

If you hire someone on fiver they are probably going to use a logo template and not put as much thinking into the conceptual design as a professional designer would be wanting to.

Risking your time and money on

If you don’t get the work you expected from hiring a fiver service then you have wasted your time and money when if you had gone to a professional in the first place you would have got a bespoke luxury and personal service that you will, in the end be extremely content with and you will also be able to sleep easy at night knowing you gave a fellow human being worth.

As a business owner you can choose to go for the cheap option but it will reflect on your business badly, investing your money and time into an experienced, qualified and professional designer will give you the best results.

What do you think is more important? Making an initial design saving or investing in a professional design that adds value, recognition and quality to your company? Please comment in the box below.



7 Ways To Get An Affordable Business Logo Design

Setting up a new venture? You’ll need to get a logo for your project. Even trial businesses need a visual identity, and a logo also benefits the most basic of blogs. Some of the biggest companies in the world are known for their iconic logos.

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If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer for a full branding strategy, there are other ways of getting a logo on the cheap, providing you don’t mind making a few sacrifices. Here are 7 sites to try.

1. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelancing site where any advertised task is completed for just $5. The low-cost nature of the site means it’s worth giving it a go for a logo, particularly if the final version will appear on a throwaway site or test blog. If the results aren’t great, all is not lost.

Bear in mind that established designers charge much more than beginners, so sites like Fiverr will rarely throw up the most experienced designers in the world. In some cases, you may be really unlucky and get a ‘designer’ who has never worked a day in a design job. But sometimes you’ll stumble across a designer who comes up with the goods for a remarkable price.

2. BrandCrowd

Looking for a logo design that’s ready to use? BrandCrowd is a website selling logos and brand names as a package. If your project isn’t yet titled, BrandCrowd could present the ideal package.

Note that some BrandCrowd logo designs aren’t just design jobs; they’re complete marketing packages, since you also get a domain name. From basic to complete solutions, the sky’s the limit.

3. LogoMaker

LogoMaker’s no substitute for a professional designer, but if you need a basic logo fast, it’s unbeatable because it’s free. Simply browse through the LogoMaker vaults, choose your logo and customise it to fit.
LogoMaker’s logos aren’t the most versatile in the world; the free version restricts the size and format. For the JPG, EPS or GIF at full resolution, you’ll have to pay.

4. Elance

Elance is a freelance marketplace where professionals gather to bid on jobs. Many professional designers use Elance to kick off their freelancing career, or to top up work from bigger designers.

When looking for help on Elance, choose professional designers that have a reasonable portfolio and good testimonials. The cheapest bids may not always be the best. In addition, check that your logo’s not ripped off: feedback is always helpful.

5. DesignMantic

Designing a logo with DesignMantic couldn’t be easier: just type in your business name and submit. The site automatically generates a page of logos. You can then choose your industry to narrow down the results, and add a slogan, if you use one.

Customisation options are plentiful, and the site is really easy to use, making logo design accessible to all. You can download the logo for free in PDF format, or optionally pay for a larger version.

6. LogoYes

Need to gather feedback on your new business logo? LogoYes allows you to gather feedback on your design once it’s finished. It’s not the most modern website in the world, though, but it’s OK for basic tasks.

While its features are nothing to write home about, the collaborative aspect of LogoYes is quite useful when you need to share your ideas.

7. LogoMoose

LogoMoose is a design community where professionals showcase their design work. Designers can create a portfolio of their logo designs, and interested businesses can get in touch and request their own logos.

There’s no established bidding or purchasing platform on LogoMoose – it’s simply a showcase website. However, designers are encouraged to add their contact details so businesses can contact them directly.

Getting a Business Logo

Affordable business logos are easy to come by, particularly now that freelance websites are so popular. If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer, you can always create your own logo in the cloud. The results may not compare to a full branding campaign, but it’s a good way to kick off a new venture with a brand new image.

Featured images:

By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a professional writer working with Brand Republic. Click here to visit the website.

Diamond Lifestyles new logo design

Logo Design

I was approached by a health business expert who is in the process of starting up a business in association with Forever Living Aloe Vera Products to design a logo and business card. In this post I show how the logo developed and evolved over the two week process.

Starting point

To start I needed a basic understanding of the company’s service and products. I was informed that Diamond Lifestyles will be promoting a lifestyle selling Forever Living products and building a team of other sales members to keep the sales flowing, increasing your turn over and reaching the “Diamond Lifestyle”.

My first idea was to combine the Aloe Vera plant with a diamond as can be seen in this picture below. This was a very basic idea and only a very quick mock up to see what it may look like combining the two elements but I beleived it to be “too literal” and no at all professional or communicating the right message so… I went back to the drawing board!


Classical and elegant typography

My first thought was to be very visual but then I considered how other health companies represent themselves to the market and after studying some of the more successful brands a classic and elegant style is used by most brands. I decided that I would try combing the D and L to create an abstract use of the two letters and ensuring the typography was communicating the right message.


I decided this  was the right way to approach the logo but decided it needed some graphic within the lettering. As the company was branded Dimaond Lifestyles I wanted to include the diamond somewhere on the logo. Above you can see the first logo is inside the lettering on the tip of the L but something just wasn’t right so I got a pen and paper out and did a few sketches.

Realising that the key aspect of the company is to help people reach the pinicle point of a “Diamond Lifestyle” I took the back of the D & turned it into a pedestal ( as can be seen above ). This felt right and communicated the message in a more subtle way than the first idea.

Developing the logo idea further

The logo was starting to get somewhere! The pedestal idea was really liked by the business owner and thus some more development ensued. I realised that the new logo had no relevance or indication that Aloe Vera was involved in the company which I considered to be a slight problem.logo02


Considering the plant itself, an aloe vera leaf has what look like spikes ever so often down the edges. Taking this element of Aloe Vera I added it to the D but after self analysis I concluded it was starting to look less clinical and elegant and starting to look a bit more cartoon like which I definitely didn’t want. The message I was sending out to anyone viewing the logo was going in the wrong direction so I took a step back and added The name of the company below the DL positioned like a set of stairs.


Big is best?

After showing the logo to my client we discussed how we both felt the diamond was being lost a little so I made the diamond a lot bigger and more prominent in the logo design than it used to be. Below are a few different variations of the logo with a large diamond.




Add some colour to your life

Now we had enlarged the diamond colour was the next thing to be considered. My client said “I don’t think black is the right colour for an Aloe Vera company” and maybe she was right.

The black is the colour I usually create any logo in so that colour doesn’t influence design but black can also be used in logo design to represent a clinical and crisp feeling which is a characteristic that I felt was important in designing for a health company.

Listening to my clients wishes I took the favoured logo design and then tried varying colours to see what it may look like.


Realising that flat design is in vogue at the moment I tried to steer clear of gradients…now that the logo had colour I didn’t feel it was adding anything of particular value and I still felt as though the black was best closely followed by the white, my client agreeing but also showed interest in the green ( for the literal sense of aloe vera).

Too cartoon like again

Again I felt adding colour to the logo in this flat fashion gave the impression of a cartoon like and even worse, cheap impression to the company which I wanted to avoid thus I spoke to my client and suggested we strip back the colour again and consider “the colour of a diamond”.

A diamond doesn’t have any colour, it can trap light and thus become iridescent of every colour of the rainbow but it is in my opinion a diamond shares similar qualities to that of ice…all these thoughts of multiple colours led me naturally onto considering a 3d gradient approach.

Diamonds are forever


As can be seen in this logo the diamond has been reduced right down but an edgey diamond like gradient has been applied to the logo. Showing this to the client she was extremely happy with how it looked, she preferred a 3d look rather than the flat logo, it was really starting to go in the right direction.

Final Logo


The final logo was slightly metallic/silver. It kept the initial idea of a clinical and sleek look to represent the health industry whilst keeping colour to a minimal to avoid any message linking to colour. Although there is no representation of Aloe Vera my client and I concluded that the key aspect of the company is the “Diamond” status for new members of the sales team.

We discussed that the Aloe Vera could be on the business card thus communicating the link to Forever Living. To learn more about Diamond Lifestyles please click here.

In my next post I will show and discuss the business card I developed in combination with the logo.