This post was originally written a few years previously but it's always a question I get asked so I've given it a bump.
Researching a design is another area which people fail to realise as a stage that goes into creating a logo design or brand identity, even though it is one of the most important stages. So after firing up Firefox I started trawling the web for examples of luxury brands and imagery and seeing what common features they have, dragging images and logos I found onto an image or mood board for further analysis.
After assessing the mood board and a bit more research I concluded that the 3F's logo was not the way to go if they wanted to head into the luxury market. A lot of the luxury brands have a unique symbol or icon that can either stand alone or sit alongside a word mark, but where would I find a unique symbol for Foulds, whilst having a chat about family history at work, I had inadvertedly stumbled onto where the symbol would come from. So after speaking to Mark and giving him a brief of my idea he went back to his client who gave the OK for the new direction.
Yes more research, by this point I still hadn't even opened up Adobe Creative Suite to create anything, and was back on the internet doing more research. However this time I was a lot more focused and knew what I was looking for, I was going to delve into the history of the Foulds family and find the family crest, and was surprised about the depth, detail and meanings behind Family Crests. Family Crests were without doubt the original brand image and logo way before corporations started using them with meanings for each colour, image, and variation of the shield, its a fascinating world. Once I found the Foulds Family Crest I immediately knew what the symbol would be, the fleur-de-lis, it's a well recognised symbol but not a lot of people know the meaning for it appearing on a family crest, it's a symbol associated with heraldry and has a long association with the French royal family & also with English Monarchs. However now I faced the task of adopting it and making it fit for the Foulds Fine Furniture brand, and after more research it turns out that the fleur-de-lis has lots of variations.
So now I knew exactly what I wanted it was now time to finally fire up Adobe Illustrator and get to work creating a final logo.
Exploring and evolving the idea:
So now after all the above I could finally get on with designing the logo. With the amount of variations on the fleur-de-lis I really wanted to come up with a unique version that would do justice to the history of the Foulds crest and also allow the modern Foulds to use it as a symbol for their brand for years to come. The process of finding a fleur-de-lis style that I actually liked and would work with the brand was a long process of trial and error; the illustrator screen grab shows a few variations and evolution of some of the various fleur-de-lis I was aiming for. Lots of minor anchor point tweaks and moving in and out I finally achieved a design that I thought worked really well. It was a mix of various try outs that found a happy medium for the symbol. You can see its evolution in the bottom 3 of the screenshot below, I feel that the weight and size of the fleur-de-lis works well enough for it to stand out on its own and also not to overshadow the text that would be accompanying it.
The Final Logo & The Email
Once I'd finalised the fleur-de-lis I had a bit of an experiment with colour, even though the brief outline using black and silver to fit in with the website design I was curious to see how it would look with a different colour palette. Once again I went back to the family crest for inspiration, using the yellow/gold and the red, however as you can see below the colours outlined in the original brief worked much better when applied to the black and white backgrounds.
So once the colour palette had been finalised I moved onto finding a suitable font to accompany the symbol or mark, once again heading back up to my image board I'd created in the initial stages I analysed what type of typefaces/fonts were used and how they were positioned within the final logo. After analysing the designs I decided to place the text below the fleur-de-lis symbol, and then set about finding a typeface, trawling through the long list of typefaces & fonts on my PC and those on the internet, chopping and changing between Serif and Sans Serif, then using a mixture of both, I eventually found a nice serif font that had a classy but modern look, with the only decision left was to have the "Fine Furniture" in lower case or upper case. So whilst deciding I decided to send both versions back over to Mark for the clients final approval.
So heading to my Inbox, to email the final designs across, I had an unread new message from Mark at VTS Design, to which I opened to find the words, "Sorry to tell you this but Foulds have cancelled the job" and obviously more detail as to why. But like that the research and time spent on the project had all been for nothing, the work was never to see the light of day in the real world. Right before the fun part of designing and concepting stationery, signage, business cards, brochures and all the other media that the logo would be used on the project was over. Thankfully working with someone like Mark & VTS Design I didn't actually lose out on this project, they are a highly professional outfit and keep their word and did so on this occasion.
The Final Design:
So below is the final design that was due to be emailed over to the client for approval. Who knows the design may one day be brought back from the archive but I highly doubt it and instead of being seen on various media and marketing materials the logo will only be used as a case study on a blog post. In Conclusion always make sure you have a contract signed with a client that covers this sort of scenario, luckily for me I was covered but I know many people who have had this happen and haven't been and if your a client then please appreciate the amount of work that goes into the deign process.