Dollgarden logotype / process
DOLLGARDEN – “an online vintage clothing shop with a whimsical and alternative twist, cute & sweet but with a bit of edge.” This is how Carmi described her future business idea, when she asked me to create a logotype. Carmi gave a lot strands straight away and even prepared a moodboard. Ideas were flourishing: Alice in Wonderland, doll’s parts, gardens (The Secret Garden by Burnett), flowers, watercolour technique, Nicole Dollanganger’s art, Kinderwhore/90’s grunge style, old fashioned botany illustrations, intricate tattoo designs – just to name a few. At the same time I’ve started looking into recently scanned Victorian children books with illustrations and was just filling myself with all the references so they would prepare into a tasty curry in my brain (metaphorically).
On the stage of discussion I made a portrait loosely responding to some of the brief ideas (I’ve also added my own favourite feel of the 30s Disney), but client rejected the idea of having any faces on the logotype. I’ve decided to stop my brain wondering, pick few ideas from the moodboard and stick to them. Since I was already practising in watercolour and was eager to draw more, I’ve picked this technique. I’ve put Nicole Dollanganger on youtube for inspiration and started to draw, and nobody could stop me. I went though several youtube watercolour tutorials and shutterstock images for references.
To draw hands (very top left logo), I took a picture of my own hands to use as a reference image. For the handwritten brand name I’ve used a watercolour brush and wrote it dozen of times until I was happy. Then I’ve traced the result (turned it into vector) and placed my flower arrangements around it.
So this is what Carmi received after giving me the task:
Usually I deliver around 3-4 options for the first sketch, but here I decided to try harder and hit the strike from the first attempt. How naive I was. Carmi had a very clear vision what she wanted, and she wanted different everything. Different colour palette, no roses and a “Times New Roman”-alike font. She did like my second design (ironically I made it rather quick in the very beginning of my watercolour search), asked for a wreath (circular) design, a more intricate bird scull and a butterfly or a moth. I took my drawing tools and ended with something like that (I had around 6 different options for that). I’ve picked best parts from those designs, turned them into vector, reduced the number of colours, changed butterfly into a moth, worked on other details. After very few alterations we came to a final results:
Apart from this official option I’ve also produced one without a circle behind and one with white fill. For me this logotype celebrates the cycle of life and death (skull + moth) in a melancholic manner (moon-like circle, colours of night tristesse). Ok, “celebrates” is not the best word. This logotype is “melancholically observing the cycle of life and death”. You are very welcome to enter the shop following this link.
In any case I hope this logotype will help to bring commercial success to Carmi’s new venture.