Molly Moonlighting Written on October 4, 2012, by Zack.
There’s a lot of benefits to having a career in design. The job mostly entails lounging in Eames chairs while reading Monocle and criticizing serifs. But there are some drawbacks. For instance, even the slightest knowledge of what good design looks like makes you immediately aware of the abysmal design constantly surrounding you, closing in like iron maiden spikes, piercing your horn rims with their disregard for complementary color and kerning. “Really? Papyrus?” you find yourself asking, aloud in the Portland rain, to a hot dog stand sign. “PAPYRUS? Ugh.”
It was in such a state I one day found myself outside my favorite ice cream shop, focused not on my melting treat, but instead on the store’s signage.
That logo. Maybe it was the mix of a realistic dog with an undersized cartoon cone, or maybe I was still reeling from that cheddar cheese ice cream I sampled moments prior, but there was definitely a bad taste in my mouth.
So I decided to tackle redesigning the store logo. For kicks.
Knowing the owner was keen on featuring her Boston Terrier in the original, I included the dog–along with the moon and a scoop of ice cream–amongst the elements of my updated logo. This meant scouring the internet for reference photos. Luckily I found the pooch’s audition tape for The X Factor on Vimeo. After that, it was just a matter of assembling the elements in an attractive fashion. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Though the original logo clearly asserted the ice cream was palatable for dogs, I thought the new one should introduce a slightly more sanitary relationship between cone and canine. And what do dogs do best, besides devour anything they can fit their mouths around? That’s right, TRICKS! Everyone loves a good dog trick, especially the one where delicious forbidden food is balanced torturously on their nose. Cruel, but so amusing! And serves them right for their ceaseless dedication and loyalty.
Having assembled the elements, I scanned the best sketch into Adobe Illustrator and began rendering the final version. In the first version, I offset the dog and ice cream to allow room for the store initials, MM. My thinking was it might be fun to include in the logo the sound one makes when consuming ice cream, “Mm!” To further balance out the composition, I added a moon behind the double MM. THE moon, I mean, not A moon. It’s not Yavin 4 or something.
I also adjusted the colors a bit, making the brown more chocolaty, the white more vanillay, and the blue more night-timey.
After putting together the piece above, I sent it past my friend who works at a design agency. She suggested I move the dog to the center, lose the MM, and that I was wasting my time since the original logo looked fine. To which I responded, “Oh.”
Along with the colored version, I also worked up a monotoned version for letterheads, shirts, branding irons, or any other ancillary item Ms. Moon’s would see fit to sell.
And there you have it. So, any thoughts? Fool’s errand, or do you dig the new logo? Let me know in the comments!