The Final Project for my Branding & Visual Design graduate course, we were asked to either a) rebrand an existing company or b) create a brand for a fake or real business venture. As an avid lover of all things stationery, I decided to create a brand for a make-believe stationery store.

The entire project was completed using: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Name of Brand

After a naming & tagline brainstorm, I decided upon “Inks & Scribbles.” I wanted to create a stationery store that is fun, bright, and imaginative, so the name had to incorporate those feelings. Plus, I love that it describes what products are sold: anything inky & stuff to scribble with and on!

The tagline, “good stationery, good life” reflects my personal philosophy of stationery. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, a new pencil, notebook, or gel pen usually does the trick. Since collecting stationery items, I feel like my life has improved and I wanted to bring this joy to others (even if it’s for pretend). Below are my brainstorming notes.

Brandmark

The next step in the process is coming up with a logo for the brand! From the get-go, the brand archetype had to be an artist/creator. I wanted the entire vibe of the brand to be: imaginative, creative, DIY, messy, expressive, trial & error, and fun. With these keywords in mind, I sketched over 40 thumbnails for potential logo ideas. I then selected five sketches that caught my eye and further elaborated the idea. My favorite ideas were: 1) squirrel holding a pencil, 2) a mini version of me holding a sketchbook & pencil 3) an ampersand pencil. In the slideshow below, you can see the process from quick doodles, to reworking logo ideas.

After reworking and selecting my favorite sketches, I scanned those illustrations and used Illustrator to create vector forms of the logo. We were required to submit three different ideas in Black & White, color, large, and small. While this was a lot of work, it was definitely worth the time! Originally, I wanted to use the squirrel with the pencil as the brandmark. However, after creating the vector forms in Illustrator, I decided the strongest mark was the Ampersand Pencil. As such, I took that idea and ran with it!

Working with an Ampersand is tough business. I recall from the course that typography is an artistry of illusion, and I experienced that first hand. No matter how balanced the mark seemed, it just wasn’t right. I spent countless hours adjusting anchor points. Below shows the long, yet amazing transformation the logomark went through.

Color Scheme

Simultaneously perfecting the logomark, I selected the color scheme. Using the artist archetype as my backbone, I wanted to have a color scheme that was flexible, bold, and able to transform. Personally, I’m not afraid of bold color choices – or even clashes – so I tried to select colors that were bright and coehsive. I learned this is a difficult process and spent a lot of time selecting the colors. The slideshow below shows the countless color combinations as well as my notes on the color scheme.

Below is the final color scheme and an example of the color combinations I found fun yet readable.

Imagery

To add to the fun and artistic atmosphere, I wanted to create DIY-style illustrations of example objects that will be sold in the store. These illustrations would be used for marketing materials, stickers, and could be expanded upon in the future.

Final Project

The slideshow below is the final branding project.