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Jane R. Snyder, a transplanted writer from New York City, currently freelances from her base in Nashville, Tennessee. Looking to introduce her extensive skill set to a wider audience, she commissioned Ventress Design Works to redesign her entire identity program—logo, business card, letterhead, envelope, notecards, and website—as she planned to launch an aggressive marketing push. We’ve collaborated with Jane over the years and she has long admired VDW’s design solutions. Jane wanted her logo to be something unusual, easily recognizable, and one that would bring a smile to her prospective clients.
Jane gave us complete freedom and asked to see several different concepts. We presented her with a range of ideas that reflected both her professional work ethic and her easy-going personality.
Jane is of diminutive physical stature, so as we explored possible solutions, the correlation of “short and to the point” came to mind; that applied to both Jane and her copy concepts, as well as to a well-used pencil. With that, the solution presented itself. She liked all the directions we presented, but this concept really resonated with her, the yellow pencil evoking warm memories.
A major part of our process on any identity is typographic exploration—we rule out totally unsuitable approaches at the onset and hone in on fonts that may work well for the client and their target audience. Though Jane is a professional writer, she is quite appreciative of typography, having earned a BFA in visual communications from Parsons and an MFA in advertising from Syracuse. Given her education, she understood the design vocabulary of type, both its historical significance as well as the subtle nuance of letterforms, without any added explanation.
We showed Jane the pared down typographic approaches and she agreed that a traditional book face like Garamond (in this case, Adobe Garamond) was a very good fit for her as a writer. She concurred that there is a certain softness and grace that Garamond offers that deemed it a better choice for her identity program over other traditional book faces that we tried.
Jane asked to see the pencil at different angles from this design—she hoped the pencil could point upward. Once she saw how important the relationship of the pencil is to the letters, she accepted the original placement—sometimes a client just has to see options before they are ready to sign off. For the initial presentation, we simply scanned a pencil on a desktop scanner. Once we had Jane’s approval of the concept, we carefully photographed a sharpened pencil in-house, shortening it to the exact length the logo needed in Photoshop and gave it it an absolutely pointed point.
Jane loves the trompe-l’oeil effect of the logo and she finds people are consistently delighted when they look at her business cards. She reports that the program has far surpassed her expectations and, more importantly, it has brought her more work and much greater visibility.