New branding work coming out of the studio for The MollySmith. For those of you who follow me on Instagram you may have seen a quick picture of this a couple weeks ago when I was working on it. (For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, you’re missing out on the fun. I post a lot of “in progress” shots before I make the big official blog announcements. This means a lot of sneak peeks and firsthand looks. Who doesn’t love that, right?)
A little bit about this project..
Company: The Mollysmith
Owner: Molly Sloan
Business: Handmade Jewelry
Mission: To create well-crafted, unique and meaningful jewelry
Objective: Create a look from the ground up that gives a sense of unique, handmade jewelry by a seasoned metalsmith.
Concept: Following suit with metalsmithing, the idea behind this logo was rough, dirty and gritty. We combined those with contemporary elements for an even mix of new and vintage. The goal was to emphasize that metalsmithing is a handcrafted, labor of love. While keeping the logo playful without being too frilly, we strived to show that’s its tough work to make beautiful pieces.
We went through a few revisions as we worked toward the final logo, you can see the progression below. The top version has no hammers. The second introduces hammers, but it wasn’t quite right. The third version includes the crossed hammers, but they were the wrong type of hammer. And in the final version, seen above, all of the elements come together to be something that is a perfect fit for her business.
This branding will continue throughout all of Molly’s business elements, shop, website, business cards, signage, product packaging, social media.. the whole deal. So stayed tuned for a lot of exciting updates for the Mollysmith. They are on their way.
I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately from the daily creative projects of other designers. They range in subject matter and method of creation, but they do share one big common factor – to create. I am a maker by nature, I thrive on it. During my internet surfing it has really become clear to me that this is a great way to push yourself to create new work, build a portfolio of diverse pieces, learn new skills, expand your visual styles and show off your creative talents. Some of the daily projects that have inspired me are:
Daily Dishonesty by Lauren Hom
Hand Written Letters by Mary Kate McDevitt
The Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische
Daily Drawings by Chris Piascik
365 Patterns by Fifth and Hazel
365 Patterns in 2013 by Ollibird
#365 Drawing Project by Sarah Jane
Logo a Day by Dear Miss Modern (this is a little different, but same principle)
I’ve been thinking about starting one of my own for a while now, and have a few rules that I want to follow. 1.) I want to do something unique. 2.) I want create my work based on a theme. 3.) I want to showcase varied styles of work within that theme. 4.) I want this to remain a fun endeavor. I’m still hashing out the specifics like length of time, type of work, and how often I will realistically be able to post new pieces – keeping in mind rule #4, but I’m really excited about this. The project is going to kickoff on March 21st with full details and how to get involved if you’re interested.
I love new ideas. Ideas are my most favorite thing in the world. And I too suffer from creative paralysis. Does that phrase hit home with anyone else, “creative paralysis”? The first time I heard it something clicked and I realized that I’m not the only one that deals with it. The mental overload of projects and possibilities can be overwhelming. I stumbled across this video today while keeping up on my rss feed and completely fell in love with it. If you are a creative professional and are anything like me, you might just identify with this talk like I did. It’s completely brilliant and insightful.
The process goes a little something like this. I get a genius idea – maybe my best idea ever. I research and gather and procrastinate just a little bit, sometimes more, then finally start working. Then the artistic decisions eventually start to stall out the progress I am making. There are so many choices to make and questions to answer. “Which way is the best direction to go? What should I do here?” This continues until my idea haunts me and I avoid even thinking about it. Not long after the project comes to a complete halt as my brain goes numb with overload of possibilities. I couldn’t restart it again if I wanted to. I begin to loathe my idea. It sits in my studio and stares at me day after day. Then my idea turns on me and I begin to doubt myself and my abilities. But something happens, the time passes and all of the sudden the idea has a new life again. I’ve grown, and learned and I have a new light to bring back to the project. So I work and work and work until its finally finished. I feel accomplished. I’m on top of the world. My creative confidence is soaring. I now understand that the idea wasn’t ready when I first thought of it, something was missing. It needed time to develop subconsciously. No, I wasn’t ready for it. I needed time. Everything is right with the world. Onto the next brilliant idea. Sound familiar? Me too, friend.
One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you take things on as you are ready for them. And that’s okay. Things have a way of silently passing by when you aren’t actively seeking them out. So get ready, give yourself time and trust your instincts. Just don’t wait until you are 100% ready because the day will never come. 90% is perfect.
I highly recommend reading Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It follows along the same topic line and is hugely inspirational and motivating.
It is not just you.
After many rounds of design edits I am so excited to share my new logo with everyone. This has been months in the making and its so nice to finally be at the point where I am loving everything about it. No more “I wonder what it would look like if I did this” or “I think it’s missing something”.. Ahhh! It’s done and it’s perfect for where I’m headed with Hennel Paper Co.
One of the reasons I had such a hard time creating a logo was because for the longest time I couldn’t make a solid decision on a lot of important questions. Questions like: What is my business name? What sort of products am I going to sell? What is my signature style? What is this company all about? Who is my target audience? At first I didn’t see the importance to some of these questions in regards to logo creation, but as I tried to move forward it became clear. How can you create a defining mark for your business if you haven’t got your business specifics nailed down. So the logo went on the back burner and I got to work on making those though choices. Believe it or not, choosing a company name was extremely difficult. I have a whole notebook page of options scribbled down. And thanks to Making Things Happen I was able to focus on the authentic core that really makes me who I am and take a solid stance on where I want to go. Being true to yourself is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. It’s important to remember that you are the company. You aren’t representing anyone but yourself and your work.
Once the difficult questions had answers it was so much easier to sit down and create a logo that speaks to my image and my target audience. My favorite part of this logo is that my initials JSH are incorporated into the H of Hennel. I modified a beautiful script font to match and love that the teardrop shaped white spaces mirror from the H to the e and l.
A gigantic thank you to those of you who gave me your critiques during my decision making process. xo
Ebay is genius. I can’t say I’ve always thought this, but I definitely think so now. I recently won a bid for a glorious vintage Sigwalt No. 9 clamshell letterpress made in 1888. She arrived late last week, 15 pounds, 12 inches tall, 18 inches long. Fully restored and awaiting new rollers. Isn’t she beautiful? I can’t even express my sheer excitement to get this girl into production. I am a longtime admirer of letterpress printing, but new to actually making my own prints. Its going to be a learning experience, but its going to be great. I’ve been compiling resources for supplies and advice and plan on posting that for reference once its closer to being completed.
Although I am not a beginner anymore, this video really spoke to me. I wish I could have watched this back in 2005 when I was about to graduate from college and enter the real world. Better yet, I wish I could have watched this back in 2001 when I was graduating from high school. Back then I felt lost. I didn’t know how I would ever make it as a creative, all I knew was that I had to try – I had to figure it out somehow. All my life I’ve felt this anxiety like my work wasn’t good enough and that I’d never be able to compete with all of the amazingly creative people out there. Even today I still feel it, but it has morphed from a doubtful, overwhelming anxiety into an intense drive to be better, shine brighter and to produce awesome work. That relief can only come from confidence in yourself, your abilities and your work. Greatness is built with practice. I think that this is such a wonderful, heartfelt message that can apply to so many different people in and out of the creative field. It’s a powerful 1 minute and 54 seconds.
Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.