Monday, June 28, 2010

LuLu's Redux

"The bagel, an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis." - Beatrice & Ira Freeman 

One of the more popular and better logos I'm known for in this town would be the created one for LuLu's Bread & Bagels - one of the two top coffee joints and by far the best bread. The owners recently contacted me about a remixed variation on the theme which will accompany a new line of gear and various accoutrements and ephemera. Once establishing how much of the elements from the "old" version they wanted to carry over, it became a matter of figuring out what form would work best - circle or oval. The core of the design is the juxtaposition of image + text: the original funky doodle was sketched out as an idle aside back when first developing the logo. Since the owners are both big fans of bikes and dogs, and the name of the business was after their one of their pets, it made for a whimsical graphic that portrays the image that the business wants to convey to the public. Plus its fun, very simple, easy to read and eye-catching.
Then it was another couple rounds of editing and tweaking, until a final set dimension arrived and everything gets redone all over again. Sometimes juggling the whims and incorporating last-minute wishes of the client can turn into the freelance Jacob's Ladder - which is a bit more potentially infinite as opposed to the usual domino analogy, but I've been fortunate to work mostly with folks who know what they want and like what I do. 
Ensuring the legibility of the text (especially after reduction to 4" across) was crucial, along with maintaining the "brand-name" feel for the design while dealing with such limited real-estate. It always fascinates me how the balance of individual elements are so interrelated: a relatively minor shift in one part in turn affects the entire layout. When at last the final variation cut is settled on, multiple formats are burned so as to accommodate every conceivable usage in the future. The logo is now ready for reincarnation  on all sorts of things from stickers to tshirts. 

KRAMER: Alright! Toss me an apron, let's bagel! What are those?
MANAGER: Those are raisin bagels.
KRAMER: (Picks one up, he's mesmerized) I never thought I'd live to see that..


  1. Speaking of logos, I picked up a Tok T-shirt the other day and was wondering how much creativity you get with that kind of thing. Did they ask you to just draw a bunch of Alaska stereotypes, or did they say, 'we want this, this, this and a giant mosquito'?

    Also, I sure as heck hope you got a piece of the price tag, because $20 is a bit steep for a T-shirt.

  2. Thanks for question, and this might not be much in the way of an answer, but it really does entirely depend on the client in question: some basically want clip-art, or have a specific concept in mind. In that case one is all the way to the illustration end of the art spectrum - just executing someone else's idea.

    The other end would be when they want one of *your* ideas, characters or concepts, and give much more leeway as far as artistic expression.

    Most of the time it's a balance between the two, and takes some mutual give + take to arrive at something both parties are happy with.

    In the specific case as this logo, and with most designs for a company, it'll be a one-time only fee that turns over all rights to the business (basic work-for-hire), as opposed to any percentage of sales.
    And ideally the resultant price reflects not only straight hourly investment of initial time spent creating the work, but to varying degrees the intended usage.

    And yeah, the base-line cost of materials has been getting rather pricey, but unless one is doing one's own line of stuff it isn't a factor in pricing the art on the creator's end: it's a commodified product/service you are charging for.
    Speaking of which I've been setting up a line of tshirts + mugs with a print-on-demand company that'll sport some of the more popular panels, soon to debut here on the blog as part of a monetizing phase.

    I'll have a massive post coming up sooner than later that is a better, more detailed description of the process and commercial considerations when doing this sort of work.