The logo design project was completed as part of a full branding project. Lakeland Mortgage Centre is a long established mortgage company based in Cumbria, United Kingdom. One of the Lakeland Mortgage Centre partners recently retired and the company transferred to the remaining partner. I was asked to create the company a professional and memorable logo, which both fitted in with an already existing brand and suited the age and professionalism of the company.
Lakeland Mortgage Centre had no previous brand, their stationery was produced by a print company and the name was simply typed in blue. I was given free reign to develop something new. With some guidelines and wishes from the client I started the process;
Brainstorming and Sketching
Knowing full well that mortgage companies are usually associated with houses for obvious reasons I wanted to move completed away from that association. I looked in to creating a typographical logo, however this wouldn’t necessarily have changed what Lakeland Mortgage Centre had in the first place. I was asked by the now owner of Lakeland Mortgage Company to not use a locational connection with the company as they now have clients across the entirety of the United Kingdom.
As you can see from the photos above there were a few variations of the logo floating around however I didn’t feel like the initial thoughts were hitting the right spot. I looked in to some research on the company owners surname and found the coat of arms (shield).
The reason that I decided to link the two was down to the emotional connection between the company and the client, the partner who now had full control had been with the company for a considerable amount of years.
Somethings are subtle
Sometimes the most subtle things have a lot of meaning. I went in to this process knowing that it would be very straight forward, however I wanted to add something to it to give it that little bit extra.
As soon as the client noticed the blue icon, it was recognised as part of the family crest. Client signed off. Excellent.
A really good client who left the options open for the design. Sometimes the most subtle of touches go a long way.
David Pache (dache.ch) has always caught my eye as a designer, with a never ending list of inspirational logo design works. At 25 he has established himself in the world as a leading logo designer. Big thanks to David for taking part in this interview. The interview took place in February 2009 on Floobe.
1. Full Name and Age please.
David Pache, 25
2. Favourite Biscuit and Drink.
Butter biscuits (Petit Lu etc.); Coffee
3. Last Book you read and last movie you saw.
Adrian Frutiger – Typefaces: The Complete Works; Slumdog Millionaire
4. Where and When did it all start?
I created the concept of dache when I was finishing design college. I knew that I wanted to be self-employed in order to have full control of my designs therefore decided to focus on logo design with additional services such as business cards, letterheads, website design and consultation. Back in 2005 I took the plunge, after completing some research through online design competitions to gauge how my designs would be received. With many positive reactions, I launched the website and business.
5. Do you have any formal qualifications and do you think these helped in your professional development?
I do have formal qualifications however when it comes to design, I think that it is more your inspirations which develop you as a professional. That said, I would not be where I am today without learning the techniques and history of design and art, in order to have the ability to express my ideas into working concepts.
6. What do you think makes a good designer, a qualification or the lust for the job at hand?
As said before, I do think that qualifications are invaluable however, if a designer does not have the perseverance to put their ideas out there for public opinions, they are just that – a qualification! As with many trades, we are nothing without our clients therefore I think there is always room for more designers but it is a difficult market to get recognised in therefore a lust for the job is essential.
7. What was a key factor in your professional growth and development?
When I initially started dache, I had no prior business knowledge therefore I think a turning point for me was when I had been able to complete a few projects from start to finish and gain an idea of what it was that the clients needed in addition to my design skills. Over the past years, I have been able to hone my customer service which has greatly improved my new business levels and my relationships with existing clients.
8. What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to your success?
Without a doubt, my clients are the biggest contributing factor as, without their continued interest, I would not have a successful business. Also, a great part was websites, such as yourselves, doing feature articles and also I have been fortunate to have been selected to have my work in several publications eg. logolounge and los logos.
9. What is your daily working routine?
I am lucky to work from home. A typical day comprises of administration, invoicing, new business marketing and follow-up. The main part is spent creating design concepts and revisions from the briefs I have been given and consultation with clients to gain feedback. I also maintain my website and have recently launched the ‘dacheboard’, my online blog featuring articles.
10. What made you go freelance, were there any defining factors?
As said previously, I knew from the start that I wanted to work for myself therefore I do not have the comparison however I do not regret my decision due to the success I have received in the past few years.
11. What are the benefits and negatives of being freelance?
This is obviously a question of personal opinion. In my experience the benefits of being freelance include the ability to make your own decisions, freedom of time management and workload and retaining the full benefits from your designs. The negative side of that is that you usually start from scratch therefore progress initially can be slow when you are trying to build a customer base and enter into the general marketplace.
12. Throughout your entire career to date, is there any particular problem you’ve ran in to more than once? Clients, Jobs, Work, Family??
I would not pinpoint it to any person in particular however as a designer, I have styles and techniques which I enjoy creating. In business I have been approached to create a logo for clients who do not appreciate the same style. Whilst this is not a problem to create other styles, it is often more challenging to work on these to fit in line with exactly what they require. Having a variety of applications and techniques within your portfolio is essential though.
13. What is the largest project you have worked on?
Spanning over several months, my largest project was the re-branding of the Grooveshark identity, an international music platform with attached social network, allowing their users to stream full length songs, build playlists, share music and make friends all for free. The creators of Grooveshark employed me to create a new image for their company branding loosely based on their existing logo as they had already gained great success. The project took a lot of time with small tweaks being made throughout and consultation with the client being constant. It was a long but enjoyable experience.
14. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find that my surroundings enable me to create designs that are contemporary, innovative and unique. I take added inspiration from music, sculpture, the suprematism art movement and the works of painters such as Picasso, Kandinsky and Mondriaan which interest me greatly.
15. What are your tools of choice, hardware and software?
iMac and Adobe Creative Suite are my tools of preference and I predominantly utilise these on all projects. In addition to the computer based applications, I am a big user of the Dot Grid Book which I use after my sketching stages to accurately plot my concept designs before transferring them to the computer.
16. Where do you see the future being in the world of logo design?
To be honest, I think it’s difficult to predict how the field will change or develop. But I have noticed a slight trend in reviving styles from the 70s. I suppose therefore it would be expected that the 80s will have a strong influence over the next phase.
Also, in logo design, there is a great influence from the other genres of graphic design. I see a trend towards very illustrative, photographic, even almost what many might think of as ‘arty’ effects. These are being used more and more by designers to fall in line with where the field is going.
In general, I think that the future outlook for design is very positive. With the market in the recent decades developing with the mass production of computer technology, we are now seeing a period where the general public are aware of our market, are more willing to accept the concept of design and are hungry to seek out good work. This is good news for the industry as we are seeing more clients and are being encouraged to produce better quality projects. We are also being given much more freedom to experiment in our approaches.
17. You’re a well known designer, do you class yourself as famous?
Definitely not, I am well known within the design community but logo design is a very small niche of this massive network. I would also question if this is even possible anymore with so many people all completing the same task in differing ways.
18. Are you heading to any conferences over the next year?
Nothing planned as yet but I attended the Future of Web Design last April in London and would love to return this year.
19. If you had one goal to reach (anything) within 3 years, what would it be?
Since finishing my studies and jumping straight into business, I have not had too much time off to concentrate on personal goals. I guess I would like to do some travelling. It is not really a goal as such but something of great importance to me to see many places of interest whilst they are still worth seeing.
20. If you had one piece of advice for anyone wanting to venture into your industry, what would it be?
Good design is not always based on moments of genius, a lot of preparation is key to a successful design business.