Being fairly new to logo design but really liking it, I am always excited when a new identity project becomes available. I think I just had the biggest challenge of my career to date.
It sounded simple enough – Vet clinic name, cat, dog, heart shape. The client had a rough sketch done of what she had in mind. Some designers might mind this. My illustration abilities are fairly raw so I like a jumping off point especially when there is drawing or illustration involved. I can draw but am not a natural. Illustrations and lines don’t just flow out of me. I have to pencil sketch, erase, sketch, erase, and grumble, erase again. I also used to really wrestle the pen tool in Illustrator (I don’t think I’ll ever bother with it in Photoshop). I just didn’t get it but, like most things, after using it enough times it finally clicked and while still not my favorite tool, at least I’m not hiding from it anymore.
Once I got the sketch scanned in and got the initial outlines done, the original position of the cat and dog ended up being too awkward to create. The animals just didn’t look… comfortable. I looked at so many images of animals in different positions, blending sketches of my own, until I finally came up with a position that created the heart the client wanted and liked. Hard part number one down. Now to actually fill the little guys out and make them look like pets you’d want, not flat, little rat-looking things. The ears on the dog and both tails were the hardest (they definitely had a rat-looking thing phase).
I created the animals as outlines for more control but when I chose ‘Create Compound Path’ the paths didn’t fill in solidly; you could see the odd twists and turns they took. There was an option in the menu that I had never tried – ‘Join’ – so I took my chances. You can always ctrl+z, right! I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved!) when my outlines joined and then filled the way I wanted to. After some tweaking of the font and placement the Upper East Veterinary Clinic logo emerged. Warm and fuzzies all around!