Before and after: my new logo!

There's nothing like a deadline to get your butt in gear.

"New logo" has been on my to-do list for months.  Well, okay, years.  The upcoming publication of my home in Mpls St Paul Home and Design magazine (my first glossy!) finally put a new visual identity and a real website in high gear.

My current "identity" was created by a lovely young designer I met through my last job at the Lighthouse Writer's Workshop in Denver, Colorado.  Her work is quite whimsical and vintage-inspired and perfect for the style and vibe of that organization.  I mainly hired her because I liked her and thought she did good work--I didn't think much about whether our styles aligned.  When I approached her about working with me, I remember pretty specifically instructing her that my blog banner and business card should be colorful, approachable, and--get this--not too professional.


Well, at the time I was hanging out my shingle without real experience in the field.  While I had tons of applicable skills from previous career turns, a great "eye," and years of practice from my own decorating habit, I was highly sensitive to feeling like a "fraud."  I didn't want anyone thinking I was setting out bigger shoes than I could fill.

Now, with a portfolio I am pretty proud of, lovely press (some forthcoming, some pending), and some really great projects in the works, I'm feeling pretty legitimate, and it was time to switch to a logo more reflective of my career now.

Enter 99Designs.

My Aunt Missy first told me about them when she created a logo for her photo blog and work as a photographer.  It is a site where hundreds of designers can submit work for consideration in design "contests."  You select your package (I just did logo design, but you can go for identity, website, etc.), your prize level (I chose "gold"), and write a creative brief.  Then the designs start rolling in!  And roll in they did.  It was crazy--I received a total of 433 submissions. (!!!!!!)

This was a good approach for me because I didn't know quite what I wanted, and having a ton of variety to react to was super helpful in fine tuning what I was after.  I knew I wanted it to be sophisticated but approachable, I liked the idea of a "mark" of some kind, and I wanted it to be clean and modern.  But that can translate a zillion ways.

The other thing I knew was that it was time to put myself front and center.  It was time for Heather Peterson Design, not Love Your Space.

Remember my old design?

Yeah.  My actual business name wasn't even on my business card!  This, too, reflects my discomfort with BEING the brand.  When I worked on the initial blog banner and business card, I wanted to hide behind the tagline.  The funny thing is, I'm not just realizing this in hindsight.  I'm pretty painfully self-aware, and I knew my motivations for what they were at the time.  Thanks goodness that my husband and my good friend Sara insisted that I register the business (And buy the URL) Heather Peterson Design!  Of course they were right, and I finally feel like I've grown into it.

When it came to choosing a final design, I turned to Dave and Sara again, and they were, again, in total agreement about the choice.

I was leaning towards some of these guys:

I think these are BEAUTIFUL logos.  But in the end, the first three felt like they were a little backwards leaning, like cleaner takes on what I already had.  The last one felt maybe just a little TOO clean and modern?

In the end, I'm THRILLED with my choice, which feels like it looks forward, towards the career I am building.  It looks beautiful in all the colors the designer specified--a grey, a blue, and a rose--and she gave me a secondary mark as well.  It is beautiful in white on a color or over an image.  It is clean and modern but not TOO simple.  It speaks to my love of pairs.  Plus, if you've been reading for a while you might know I am partial to the parenthetical expression.  :)

Mostly, it just feels amazing to have this professional look that aligns with the work I am doing.

So cheers to good progress!