Black and white . . . all clear cut . . . . obvious. . . self explanatory . . . . nice and easy . . .
. . . But is it?
There’s 50 shades of grey to get through first!
OK . . . . what do you know about sheep?
I am getting fairly knowledgeable, for a graphic designer . . .because this is the second project I have worked on that is for a sheep farming client.
Initially the client only wanted a re-vamp of his website . . . but after looking at the site in question . . it was immediately apparent that he did not have a logo.
. . . Now I must impress. . . I never EVER tell a client what they need. . . or what they should have. . . .
. . . I am a facilitator . . . I aim to make the answers become black and white by asking insightful questions. . .
. . . and while having a logo will never have a detrimental effect on your business . . . .
even I was not “in the know” to be able to be sure whether there was a particular need for a sheep farmer to have a logo.
So I asked the question. . . .
how much marketing do you do of your sheep? . . . are you in any situations whet you need to stand out against your competition . . . .
. . is “looking good” . . . . “appearing professional” . . . . and “maximising credibility” . . . a high priority?
. . . and it turns out that YES – IT IS!
In recent years there is much more competition for sheep breeders . . . . . many more situations where they attend shows and events . . . .
. . . and establishing a “brand identity” that will resonate with potential clients is quite important. . .
Right, well in that case . . . . . A logo it is then!
Job number 1. Establish the facts
The current website was mainly done in black and white . . . . with yellow used for the menu and some text. . . (that I did not like as it just did not seem to belong).
And as that is the only marketing in existence then nothing else to go on.
Job number 2. Ask the client
As ever, I discussed with the client (Matt) what he wanted for his brand . . . .
. . . by taking the time to understand his business. . . listen to what he tells me he likes . . . and drawing inspiration from his ideas. . .
. . . and all this will help things to become black and white in my mind . . . all clear cut . . . . obvious. . . self explanatory . . . . nice and easy.
We looked at other sheep farming websites that are his competition . . . to see what we are up against. . .
And by doing what I do best and being brilliant . . . we are going to create a unique tailored design that stands head and shoulders above them.
After discussing colours with Matt, reflecting upon the use of colour by his competitors and questioning the significance of the yellow on his current website . . . .
. . . he emphasised his personal preference for black and white. . .
I suggested that by specifically designing so that everything is in black and white, with shades of grey EXCLUSIVELY . . .
. . . will create a unique striking effect that will set him apart from his competitors branding which all contain colour.
Then after gaining an insight into the three main breeds of sheep on his farm, it turns out that they have black faces, grey faces and white faces . . .
. . . eureka! . . . its all meant to be!
Job number 3. Get Creative
I asked Matt if he could let me have photographs of each breed that would clearly show their faces . . . .
. . . .as this was my inspiration for designing a black and white logo using silhouettes and shades of grey to define each breed in an entwined emblem.
So then there are fonts – typestyles – call it what you will. . . .
As this was a revamp of the current website . . . and therefore any clients they already had were familiar with the existing namestyle at the top of every page . . . .
Bentley suffolks – old namestyle
. . it was important to retain some familiarity. . . . to avoid existing customers visiting the site and being too confused.
Therefore I decided to retain a similar style of type for the name of the brand.
As it was currently in (what looked suspiciously like, or much too close to) Times Roman, my design judgement meant it had to be changed somewhat.
While Times Roman is a beautifully crafted and traditional serif font that is great for paragraph text and non specific letters . . .
. . .The fact that it is so commonplace means . . . . It really IS NOT a font that will establish uniqueness or individuality to a brand.
. . . . There are plenty of other options. . . . so off to Google fonts to select that perfect alternative.
. . . . something “a little bit the same but with plenty of difference”.
Matt sent me great photographs of his sheep, making it an easy task (for a designer) to create 3 distinguishable silhouettes for the breeds.
While the black face and the white face are obviously black and white . . . .selecting the exact shade of grey for the other breed had to be aesthetically right.
50 shades of grey designer style . . .
A tint of black was not going to cut it here either! . . . too cold and harsh. . .
Fortunately the photographs allowed me to sample a selection of accurate greys for the breed. .
. . . . and a keen designers eye for selecting just that right one . . .using a magenta, yellow, and cyan mix.
But then as the default background colour on just about everything is white . . . .
. . . in order to have the white face sheep stand out . . . . you need to cleverly use very subtle shades of grey that look like they might be white
the challenge is set to have greys that look white and greys that look black . . . .all depending on what other shade of grey they are next to!
Some considerable time later . . .
. . . . .after all the normal trials and tribulations of design creation . . . as explained in the fradley graphic design fairy. . .
. . . I was able to submit some initial designs.
. . . . After which I adapted the design to incorporate the insightful and well thought out feedback supplied by Matt . . .
Then everything really did became black and white . . . all clear cut . . . . obvious. . . self explanatory . . . . nice and easy . . .
. . . .and the new logo was born.
Bentley suffolks – new logos
(Top) A main landscape version.
(to be the first choice)
(Bottom Left) A secondary smaller more portrait version.
(for use where the main version does not fit well or look right)
(Bottom Right) A simple emblematic version
(for social media icons / T shirt monogram /
or situations where the full brand identity is less important / already familiar)
And the website?
. . .The design is also completed with coding currently in progress, in the more than capable hands of my affiliates at DBN web design.
Thanks for reading