The Logic Behind the Design: Evolution of Malinda Says So Brand
Malinda is a voiceover talent. She came to me looking for a logo and business cards. It was important to her that it not be like the typical voiceover logo; specifically, she did not want microphones, signal, or sound boards. We chatted about her favorite colors. She wanted it to reflect her personality--playful yet serious. Her focus on voiceover work has been online education, narration, and commercial work. Her vocal quality and range allows her to vocally portray a youthful and upbeat personality as well as serious, older and knowledgeable adult.
I knew that to be playful, I wanted a font with more rounded corners. I wanted the letters to be thick so I could play with the alignment, kerning, etc. I was particularly wanting the lowercase 'a' to be a double-story (handwritten a with a fenial on top) because the single-story (traditional handwritten a) would compete too much with the 'bowl' (the complete rounded part of the letter) of the 'd' in Malinda and 'o' in So. There are three As, so that many rounded bowls would create oddly spaced whitespace areas. I also wanted the center strokes of the 'M' to be a sharp contrast and very angular. I was also considering the 'M' for a potential symbol for the logo.
I found the perfect font based on my criteria for the two letters, lowercase 'a' and uppercase 'M'. When I just typed it out, it was too plain. Nothing special. I played with numerous concepts for the 'M', including placing it in the speech bubble. As soon as I deleted the 'M' from the speech bubble, I knew I had to put "so" in there. It was too cute! The over lapping letters happened by accident. I was playing with the kerning (spacing between letters). The spacing was all over the place when I first typed it. I was attempting to space everything evenly when I accidentally entered a negative value. Oh! Interesting! I then started overlapping the letters. The rest is design-speak to explain how I knocked out portions of the letters.
The tagline was simple. I needed to reuse the red/orange color for balance and more emphasis since I intended to use a wider but less bold font for contrast. I also used uppercase letters since the letters in her business name were in title case.
The color scheme was the last element to tackle. Given the colors Malinda mentioned that she liked and their hues, the logo was looking more fast-food than anything. Bright reds, deep greens, and yellows, made me hungry, angry, and frustrated. I needed to tone it down and mix it up a bit. She still got her green in a cooler hue, a mint green. I used purple for visual weight, as well as the 'passion' it can envoke. The red is somewhere between orange and red. I never would have guessed this particular warmer color would work so well with the cool mint-green and deep purple, also a cool color.
With the mint green next to the dark purple, we combined the feeling of trust, whimsy, and passion. The two together convey youthfulness. The red provided a pop of excitement and interest. With the slightly warmer tone of the red, we also achieved a more seasoned age range. So, the three colors work to cover a broad age range that is ideal for Malinda's market.
What an interesting contrast in both style and hue! It was a risk to use these colors in my first presentation to Malinda of the logo concepts, but I went with my gut. Malinda loved it. She too was surprised by the color combination. That's how we both knew it was the right choice.
This is the final version of the logo designed with with the tagline.
This is the symbol, which we are making into a clear, die-cut sticker to seal her thank-you envelopes.
This is the entire paper system (business cards, letterhead and envelop, thank-you card and envelope), as well as some promotional products I mocked up just to show Malinda how fun they are.
I played with the logo and made new artwork, "Because I said so."