Behind the Scenes

The 203 Logo Recap

Sunshine + cocktails + hanging out with friends on the water without having to actually get sand stuck in my sandals = my kind of Sunday. Throw in some hand lettered love and I’ve basically died and gone to heaven.

This past Sunday I joined one of my fave Connecticut businesses, The Two Oh Three, for their summer kickoff with Pearl of Westport and it was the bomb dot com. My favorite part? Seeing the hand lettered logo I created for their summer collection on All The Things (oh and my friends, if you’re reading this, you’re cool too!).

This is the third logo I’ve created for The Two Oh Three, the first and second being for their holiday collection in December 2016, so I thought I’d pull back the curtain and give you an inside look at what actually goes on in commercial logo design.

First step – a phone call.

Tory and Roscoe are both a dream to work with, and usually know not only what they want the logo to say, but also have a general idea of the overall look. Granted, “general idea” in this case means things like “summery and ocean-inspired” (or “holiday whimsical” as was the case with their holiday logos).

They’re also big fans of one of my favorite sentences – “We totally trust your design, so just run with it.”

Dream. Boats.

After that, it’s time to put pencil to paper. I always start with thumbnail sketches to get the wheels turning and play around with designs that I might like to flesh out and present as possible options.

My thumbnails for this logo looked like this:

While they might look like a hot mess express, they DO allow me to play around and get a feel for layout and lettering styles. Sometimes I’ll start a project with a specific design in mind, but as I work through filling in my thumbnails, come up with options I like much better.

Next up, I pick 3-6 designs I think work best and start drawing. Though larger and more refined (because hello, hot mess express), these are still generally rough copies. Normally I can narrow it down to about 3 or 4, but since they weren’t entirely sure of a direction I gave them a number of options to choose from.

From there, I sent the rough draft options for them to look through. They almost immediately picked my favorite (woohoo!) but asked that it be put in an outline of the state of Connecticut to add an extra branded touch.

Done and done!

Or rather, several drafts, two different inked versions, and some computer fiddling later, a new logo was born. Getting the placement within Connecticut took the most time – probably about 2 hours (or more accurately, 2 episodes of NCIS since that’s what was streaming the whole time).

After the drawn version was complete, I uploaded it to the computer and vectorized it in Adobe Illustrator to save as a variety of files for Tory and Roscoe to use (that’s fancy talk for turning my drawing into a digital version that they can resize or change the color on their own computers before putting it on products and merchandise).
And there you have it – a new hand lettered design from start to finish!


What do you think? Which option was your favorite?! Share in the comments below!