This logo is for my imaginary business of teaching piano improvisation. The black keys rising from the piano symbolize an escape from conventional piano playing. The flashy lettering is meant to differentiate my piano school from other, more conservative schools.
During my brainstorming, I read step-by-step guides for designing logos, and I looked at lots of existing logos for piano-based businesses. I wanted a solid understanding of how a logo could catch a pianist’s attention and communicate a business’s unique purpose. I have links right here for the websites I mainly checked out…
- http://www.creativebloq.com/logo-design/get-started-7112864 (A guide for logo creation)
- http://naldzgraphics.net/inspirations/piano-logo-inspirations/ (A collection of logos for piano-based businesses)
- http://hallpiano.com/services/piano-lessons/ (This company’s logo was my chief inspiration)
Looking at piano business logos, I noticed that every single one of them incorporated a piano image in some way. Because of that, I figured mine should too. That’s why my beginning step was to draw a keyboard at the bottom of my rough draft, just like in the logo from the third link above.
For my next step, designing the text, I actually avoided using any direct inspiration. I wanted the text to appear unconventional compared to the other logos’ serious fonts. This is how I got the idea to make my letters emerge from the piano. This way, the text looks uniquely eccentric, and the whole logo looks seamlessly connected.
Though the text looks a bit wild now, I originally wanted it even wilder. My plan was for the letters to vary dramatically in size. However, I changed my mind after reading about balance in design. Making the letters roughly the same size helped me ensure each end of the picture was balanced.
When drawing my design in Illustrator, the Rectangle Tool was my best friend. My first use of it was for making the keyboard. I then resized some of the black rectangles to make the rough shapes of the rising letters. I put in some more black rectangles to complete the A and E’s.
I used an open circle with a thick stroke to make the O. For completing the R and P, I used similar black circles, though I made them half-circles using the Shape Builder Tool to delete their left sides.
I made the F and R more interesting by stretching portions of them. To do that, I added additional anchor points near the tops of those letters. I then stretched the new points leftward.
The only noteworthy challenge I had was that my logo didn’t scale well at first. When scaled down, it became filled in with lots of black. I figured out this was due to stroke sizes, so I fixed the issue by selecting all the objects and clicking “Expand appearance.”
To use “Expand appearance” as much as possible is my advice to other people starting with Illustrator. Not only does it fix scaling, but it also makes it much easier to work with rotated objects. Personally, since I didn’t expand my rotated objects in the beginning, lining them up with each other was difficult. But before you use “Expand appearance” on something, just make sure its shape is exactly how you want it.
I would like to end this post saying my business’s name is not final. Back when I used the name “Freepiano” in my logo sketch, I was pretty opposed to it since it sounded like “pianos free of charge.” However, I now think I’ll keep the word “Freepiano.” After all, nothing grabs a potential customer’s attention more than mentioning free. I think all I will do to finish the name is add “Academy” to the end. If my peer reviewers are reading this, then please let me know what you think about that idea.