Today we’re continuing our series about shop branding in logos, asking vendors about the process behind designing their shop logos (which are so important if you’re attempting to run a small business, right?).
TVB vendor Sarah Polster, who runs cushionchicago and who has boothed it out at every Bazaar since we popped up at Congress in August of 2010 (whoo!), talks to us about the inspiration behind her shop logo and the process of designing it.
Who designed your logo?
Elizabeth Meiers, a good friend and extraordinary graphic designer, of course! But not for free (you get what you pay for!). At the time she was freelancing at Pentagram in New York. (Nice credentials!) Full disclosure: she was actually my second friend on the task. I had worked for a couple months with another graphic designer on the concept, and we just weren’t finding anything that felt right: simple yet strong enough. I tabled the idea until Liz stepped up!
What idea or feel did you want your logo to convey?
As someone who works in marketing, I am sure I wrote a creative brief (!), but I can’t find it. I wanted something that resolves several disparate characteristics: modern yet vintage, clean yet cozy, representative yet abstract. I definitely wanted to associate a color with my brand. A steely gray/blue has always been my go-to shade. I am instantly drawn to anything in this color, like a moth to a flame. So that was an easy choice.
A little background: my last name, Polster, means “cushion” in German. At the time of the logo design (2004), I was starting my interior design business and hand making a lot of soft furnishings, so the name made perfect sense. Now that I am bringing vintage objects to the masses, the brand name and logo segue nicely! Also, I adore vintage textiles — fabrics, upholstered furniture, silk scarves, quilts, pillows (or cushions as Europeans refer to them) — so it all works out.
What’s the font?
Futura, in different weights and tweaked.
Are you pleased with the logo?
What do people say about it?
The logo is not something that’s out in front or splattered everywhere. It hasn’t had much exposure, honestly. When people pick up my cards, every now and then I’ll get a “nice card!”
What sort of inspiration (images, other logos, fonts) did you take with you into the design?
Once we committed to the name, it logically inspired a sewing or upholstery theme, but that concept could not overpower the design. Since the word itself conjures up very soft and plush images, we wanted a streamlined font to balance the “cutesy” factor. Definitely sans serif. The idea of sewing needles, stitches, buttons, pincushions were all thrown around — and tried out!
How much did the logo cost you?
Since it was eight years ago, that invoice is long since destroyed. She put a lot of time into the strategy and design (I am a picky and demanding client) and also managed the initial printing, so I would guess many hundreds of dollars plus a couple nice dinners out in New York. Well worth it.
What advice do you have for other shop owners who are designing their logos?
Be clear in what you want your brand to convey, articulate that as best as possible to the best graphic designer you can find and then TRUST them. Most important, once you have a logo, respect it! Don’t change it or let it be used outside of your own “graphic standards.” It needs to maintain its integrity to remain memorable and do what it’s supposed to — bring in customers!