Logo Design Project

In NMAC 3145, over the break we were tasked with coming up with a logo for ourselves and our ‘Brand’ using the website Canva, which is a free to use design platform that I highly recommend. I confess, I struggled with this one because I really DO want a brand logo and I’ve never managed to come up with something that really fit, because I’m crazy picky and not a graphic designer.

My very first ‘brand name logo’ I tried to make for myself when I made my first short documentary was shot down by the professor for being too ‘silly’.

gay-pirates-logo

I wanted to make my production brand Gay Pirate Productions, and this was my very super basic logo. Why, you may ask, did I want to brand myself Gay Pirate Productions?

There are 3 reasons:

  • I love pirates
  • I love queer people (though I’m bisexual, not gay)
  • It fits the trend of your “Bad Robot” and your “Mutant Enemy”, which are very recognizable production brands (JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon, respectively), two-word, memorable, simple brand name theme . Also, Gay Pirate wasn’t already someone’s production brand which I find INSANE since it’s such a fun name.

Personally, I’m still pretty attached to that branding and tbh the Logo isn’t bad either for 20 minutes, google images, and photoshop.

However, that was for my film-making and, as I said, my professor at the time shot me down for being silly (not shocking, he was a boring guy who had no sense of fun). For this assignment in NMAC 3145, I need to make a brand for myself as a whole, because I am involved in more creative endeavors than just film-making, most notably my writing, and even beyond creative endeavors of that nature, I’m slowly but surely becoming more heard-of in the film and TV review communities online (obviously I’m still a nobody, but there are peers with far more well-known and established reputations who I talk with and who mention me and get my name out, so it’s slow but sure).

Basically, I need a brand and logo that makes me recognizable in multiple potential fields, not just my creative endeavors, but potentially professionally as well.

It took me forever to decide what I wanted the wording to be, because in the past I’ve gone with just ‘A JCW Production’ and used my initials, but I don’t really feel attached to that because JCW is a pretty common set of initials, I’ve found (I have a friend named John Casey Wells, for example). It took me a long time to decide on the one I did in just using J. Chelsea.

Since I was in middle school, I have been signing things J. Chelsea Williford. My signature on anything is not Janna Williford, but J. Chelsea Williford because I’ve never gone by Janna. I get sick of people calling me Janna, too. It’s normal, because when they read my name on anything official it says Williford, Janna C. It’s only natural for people to assume my name is Janna. However, once I’m done with school, I want to try and move away from that. I want people to recognize my name.

Yes, my twitter is @JannaWilliford but that’s because there is a girl in Texas named Chelsea Williford and I know this because every time she signs up for something, FOR SOME REASON, the emails come to my chelseawilliford@yahoo.com account. I was lucky enough to get an email address with just my name, only for a teenager in Texas to sign up for online accounts with my email address. (I also get emails from her school choir instructor on my chelseawilliford@gmail.com account. It’s hilarious.)

So I picked J. Chelsea, because it’s recognizable and it’s a name I would use on everything. Anything with my full name says J. Chelsea Williford. I had never seen someone who used their first name as an initial, but as an adult I’ve come across some authors, and some filmmakers, but it’s still pretty unique to me in everyday life.

My very first attempt is still my absolutely favorite of the bunch:

j-chelsea-1

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The colors of the sky works so well with the background, that font is perfect because I write my J’s that way, so that instead of a line all the way across the top, I just go far enough before doing the downward hook, and it says everything I want it to. The color purple, beyond being my favorite color and beyond being both the pride color and the ‘blend’ color for the bisexual flag, is one that is used to symbolize wit and creativity, and when I’m writing or film-making, the creativity of those endeavors is symbolized by the color purple. Also, the person looking up at the galaxy symbolizes moving forward into the unknown, making unknown advancements, reaching out beyond the limits of the imagination, and simply taking a leap and breaking the mold to try and do something brand new. Also, it has to be noted, I’m a space nerd so SPACE!

However, as beautiful as that is, as much as I wanted to just go “There, done!”, there’s something really important…. it isn’t really a logo. It’s more of a banner. It’s beautiful, but that is not an effective logo.

The goals of an effective logo aren’t just originality and memorability, which this has in spades, but to be recognizable in multiple formats. I checked this in small format, and it works as a tiny logo, so I was hopeful. However, when you check it in black and white it’s utterly useless. The stars wash out into the name, which blends into a bloom of white with black speckles and lines around the outsides. It’s utterly useless in black and white. Also, as loathe as I am to admit it, it’s just too busy. It’s beautiful, but it isn’t a good logo.

So, I decided to nix my beautiful, wonderful, magical night sky motif and just go for a different color to go within that pattern:

j-chelsea-5

Better, right? It’s still got the cool, edgy look to it and, though the space symbolism is totally lost, the texture and colors still lends towards the idea of a creative brand and it’s just as versatile.

In the small-scale test it worked better than the first, but in the black and white it once again failed. Even without the space-scape messing it up, the lines of that pattern still just don’t work in black and white. I wanted it to so badly because it’s such a beautiful logo, but it’s just NOT a logo. It’s more of a banner, like I said. It would be great for an advertisement for J. Chelsea but it just isn’t a logo.

At this point, I was really stumped. I was back to square one, almost, and I was feeling pretty downtrodden. I didn’t really have any other ideas, and even with all of Canva’s versatility, it just wasn’t giving me options I wanted.

Then, it came to me.

When I was in high school, I have no idea why or how it started, but I would always draw this symbol on the margins of papers. It was a jagged heart with a line through it. It wasn’t like a broken heart or a heart with an arrow, it was just a scratchy heart (because I’m a terrible artist) with a line through it. I wrote it on EVERYTHING. I have no idea why, other than the fact I’m a doodler even though I can’t draw, but I did.

So, while Canva didn’t have the options to recreate that heart exactly, I designed something more modern but still similar. This is the result:

j-chelsea-6

It feels so incredibly basic, and I can’t love it the way I do the original, but to be perfectly honest, that’s a pretty good logo. I stuck with the font I liked and the color I liked for the heart, and I almost made the strike through a different color than black, but honestly, this works better as a logo.

The goal of a logo is to be simple, recognizable, memorable, and be all those things in small form, large form, or black and white. This logo does those things. It’s also still very versatile. Yes, I lose a lot of the symbolism I wanted, but it works. The color I was able to keep, and the cleanliness of the design is superior to that of logos, honestly. I would love to tweak it in a program with more options than Canva, I would like the heart to be shaped differently, I would like the strike through to be longer in either direction, but overall I’m happy with this logo.

My audience for the J. Chelsea brand is supposed to be very broad because J. Chelsea could be on a documentary film, a fiction film, in a book, on a critical review, a watermark on a photo, on some social commentary on global economics, the list just goes on and on. So I can’t aim at just one audience. I need something that’s recognizable and memorable for ALL the potential audiences I could have.

I think with some work, I could make this into a logo that I could love, and maybe one day I’ll have the program and the artistic ability to do just that. Logos change over time, so for now, as a starting point, this logo works just fine for me.

 

 

NaNoWriMo Day 27: I didn’t win YET

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I didn’t win today, but I’m still a day ahead! I could potentially win tomorrow! I’ve written more than what I have left in one day before.

I’ve got some school stuff due, though. I should probably take tomorrow off to focus on school stuff. I’ve got a major paper due the 29th and a smaller thing due the 29th but it’s due in the morning of the 29th so I definitely have to do it tomorrow.

The point is, I’ve got this. I’m not in any risk of NOT winning NaNoWriMo this year!

How are you guys doing? Hopefully you’re on the way to winning, too!

NaNoWriMo Day 26: I GOT AHEAD OF PAR!!!

Look at that!

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That is what you call finishing the day 940 words ahead!

It’s not a CRAZY amount ahead, but after so long behind, I would call that success, wouldn’t you? Also, 4,189 in not just one day, but on SITTING, that’s amazing for me! I didn’t write any until I got home around 10pm. So I wrote that between 10pm and midnight.

I’ve got this, you guys! I’ve totally got this!

NaNoWriMo Day 25: I Didn’t Make Par But I’m Close!

Look at that! I had to grind out all day and then I had a spurt of inspiration for like 30 minutes at the end just before midnight, but hey! I’m getting back up!

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I can do this! I know I can! You guys can, too!

I’m glad I made up for not writing yesterday. I didn’t get to par but I got up again. I need to get ahead now, though, because I still have to take off at least one day to work on this paper for one of my classes. I’m a ‘do it last minute’ kind of person when it comes to papers, but this is a really big paper so I’ll need several hours for sure to get it done.

Oh well, this was still a pretty good writing day. I just need to keep this momentum going.

NaNoWriMo Day 23: I Didn’t Write Much BUT I PICKED MY KILLER

I didn’t have any excuse not to write much today except I slept late, I wanted to read instead of write, and Alvin and the Chipmunks was on TV so I wanted to watch that… and Parks and Recreation.  Also today was Yuri On Ice day so I watched that and then had to yell at my friends that IF THE DOG DIES, I QUIT!!! Oh shit, sorry for the spoiler?

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The important thing is that I’ve worked out what I’m going to do! I picked a killer and motivation and BY GOD IF IT SUCKS, IT SUCKS, BUT I’M GOING TO WRITE IT NOW!!!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which will suck ass, because it means less writing. It also means having to eat at 10:30am. YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT! My aunt decided we’re going to eat at 10:30am… Idk about you guys, but I can’t eat that early. When I have breakfast on days I have to get up early in the morning, I have to force down a banana and bottle of water. Most days I don’t eat before at least 1pm, so yeah. That’s gonna be fan-fucking-tastic.

Ah well, we get to go shopping tomorrow? That’s good at least.

 

NaNoWriMo Day 22: Warning, This Post Is R-Rated

This NaNoWriMo month is drawing to a close and I’m just staying behind. I don’t have TIME for this! Fuck!

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I can’t go on with the story, not in any real way, unless I FIGURE OUT WHAT THE FUCK I’M WRITING! I needed to be building a buffer! NOT FALLING BEHIND! I KNOW that I’m going to have to take at least 2 days off from writing NaNoWriMo (probably Sunday and Monday) and I NEED TO BE AHEAD NOT BEHIND!

I’m just fucking pissed at this point. I’m not bummed, I’m angry at myself. Also I realize I’m using a lot of fucking curse words, but FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK!

I spent the past TWO DAYS talking to people and thinking about it and every time I think I’ve got something, I find a reason it won’t work. I’m so fucking annoyed at myself for thinking that I could just write and it would work itself out. I’m even more annoyed it didn’t WORK that way. USUALLY I don’t plan what I’m writing! I JUST WRITE AND IT HAPPENS! I never plan what I’m writing only THIS TIME it didn’t FUCKING WORK.

And I feel bad for all the people trying to help me and not being able to because everything they suggest WONT WORK. I’m just frustrated and angry and this is driving me insane. Because I CANNOT have gotten this far and not win NaNoWriMo but I really need to go back and just re-write shit so that SOMEBODY can be the killer and have a motive that works, but I don’t have TIME this late in the month.

I need to just fucking pick a fucking killer and finish writing it with them as the killer, then go back in the fucking story and MAKE IT work.

I’m now about 90% positive that once NaNoWriMo is over I’ll never revisit this novel ever and never finish it and never even attempt to get it published.

But I’m going to fucking hit 50,000 words before December 1 rolls around, you can bet your ass on that.