Tabitha Kerbabian

Letterer & Graphic Designer

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5

Custom Logo for AMK Carpentry

I am designing a custom lettered logo for my brother's carpentry company, AMK Carpentry. His name is Ara, and I'll be referring to him by his name here throughout the rest of my project. :)

When I began my initial research and brainstorming for this project, the first thing I did was search the company name on Google (even though Ara hasn't established his business name yet).

I ran into an existing company in the UK called AMK Carpentry LTD. I talked it over with Ara, and he decided that he doesn't want to change the name. Afterall, AMK are his initials and carpentry (trim, framing, etc.) is what he specializes in, so there wasn't a better fit as far as we could imagine. His company name won't include "LTD." or anything like that, which is the one small difference.

I suggested that though his logo will say AMK Carpentry, his website could simply be amk.ca and social media profiles could read "AMK" as the company name and have something like "quality carpentry in the GTA" or "specializing in trim and framing" as the subtitle. He'll have to work on his SEO once he has a web presence to differentiate his business from the one in the UK. Because the businesses exist in different countries (he lives and works in Ontario, Canada), they won't be competition for one another and therefore I don't think the very similar company names should be an issue outside of SEO. Any thoughts or advice on this matter would be much appreciated!

I had Ara fill out a questionnaire to get a better understanding of his business needs and what his custom logo design should embody. Here are the key words from his response:

  • reliable, honest
  • professional
  • skilled, reputable
  • proud, dedicated
  • quality workmanship

  • modern
  • sophistocated
  • GTA (servicing the general Toronto area)

His logo will first and foremost be applied to business cards, but future applications include:

  • a personal website
  • various social media platforms

  • vehicle decals
  • lawn signs

  • stickers, buttons
  • tshirts, magnets, mugs

My design proposal is to create a custom logotype for AMK Carpentry with clean, sophistocated sans-serf lettering for a modern look. The overall design will be strong and structured to reflect the company's skill and reliability. The design will appeal to the target market - home owners and contractors with a desire for quality workmanship.

INSPIRATION & CONCEPT SKETCHES

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These are my initial and very rough sketches. This was really just a doodling session to get the ball rolling. The dots won't actually be included in the business name, so I won't be using those in my future sketches.

I'm so bummed to have missed the challenge deadline for this class! My MacBook battery was dead already and then my power cord died. I had to wait for new ones in the mail and put all of my projects on pause until my computer was back up and running. Luckily, this delay doesn't hinder my success in finishing the project by the client deadline (August 27th). So I'm picking up where I left off!

CONTINUED CONCEPT SKETCHES

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I spent a lot of time playing with different options for a monogram. You can see my favourite rough concepts circled above.

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At this point, I wasn't sure which concept would work best, so I moved over to graph paper with the few concepts I liked to explore them further and in better detail. I asked Ara what tool he used most in his work, and he said it was a tie between his nail gun and mitre saw. I immediately and very excitedly began sketching concepts for a die cut mitre saw supporting graphic.

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Here, I've moved forward with the concept I feel works best - 'AMK' loosely resembles the form of a house, with 'CARPENTRY' as a secondary element underneath. I also drew a rough sketch for what a die cut mitre saw image could look like for business cards (the top two curved lines are the saw's cover, while the zig-zagged line underneath is the blade).


REFINED ROUGHS

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I took the two concepts I liked best to my LightPad and inked them with Micron pens. In both concepts, I've tested the idea of making the letterforms look like they have mitre joints.

DIGITAL PROCESS

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The top left image and the one underneath it are my original sketches that I placed in Illustrator. I traced over them with the pen tool, and then proceeded to make the mitre saw image using the ellipse, star, and pathfinder tools.

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The mitre saw will not be printed on business cards (it will be die cut) but I continued to work with it in Illustrator because I'm picturing it cut out of the business card. On other elements like letterheads and envelopes, the logotype will stand on its own without the supporting element.

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I used coloured rectangle shapes and the guides to show the percision in spacing. All of the red rectangles are the same size as one another. It was important to me for a carpentry logo to have percice spacing!

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Here are the test prints I did. I made notes about things I wanted to adjust before finalizing the design.

FINAL LOGO

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I made this brand mockup with a template from MediaLoot. It shows what the logo would look like on a letterhead, folder, envelope, business cards, stickers, a carpentry pencil, and on a smartphone and tablet (thinking future website splash page). The supporting mitre saw graphic can be printed on stickers, but will be die cut on business cards.

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Here is a summary of the rationale I provided in the design presentation for Ara:

The final logo design presented in black and white offers the modern and sophisticated look the client was after. It embodies precision, structure and stability to reflect the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail provided by AMK Carpentry.

The composition of the letterforms resembles a house composed of bold, sturdy and justified letterforms. The mitre joint details between each component of the letterforms is a subtle nod to the trade, and the slightly rounded edges on each component evoke trust from the target market.
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I got a quote from a local printer for die cut cards that actually have one real wooden side and one white side. They would cost $500+ tax for 250, which is about $2.10 per card. Since my brother is just starting up his business, we're going to do a smaller run of 100 business cards just in black and white. When he's saved up for the fancy die cut business cards, we can have a special edition run printed on the wood cards.

Thanks very much for the class, Nicolas!

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