Caroline Belanger is an English to French translator looking to branch out on her own. We first met at a wrap up event for Mad Resilience Films. She was very eager to learn about the work I do. Fast forward a couple of weeks and we’re sitting at Starbucks on King and Yonge discussing her logo.

/ Our first meeting

Mood board, hot pink, forrest greens, sunny yellows

It was a cold, damp Toronto evening. We started to discuss what the tone of her brand was going to be. Logos are more than just an image that you put your name behind. The logo is the face of your brand before anyone else meets you – it represents who you are, what you’re selling and what you do. All visual, no verbal.

With Caroline, she was still trying to figure out who she was as a brand and this is what made it challenging – and fun. We got to working together to develop her tone, and figure out who she’s targeting and how she’ll be targeting them. Now with that being said, not every client is like Caroline where we can fineness her image. There will be some that know exactly what they want, there will be some that know very little what they want. You, as the designer, will need to extract the answers from them.

Your logo visually, not verbally, communicates the essence of you and your brand.

/ First Draft

With most new clients, I will give them a mood board. In this way we can begin discerning the direction the brand is heading in. After reviewing the mood board and the creative brief, I move forward with the first draft of the design.

Hand sketches of Caroline's logo designs, butterflies, punctuations, sketches

Based on her personality I knew the design had to be fun, bubbly, and still professional. Many clients will give you two contrasting themes that appeal to them, such as ‘modern but rustic’. Like Tim Gunn says, “Make it work.”

The approach of the design was made easier by her profession. I wanted to play with the punctuation marks in conjunction with her initials. Following that concept, I used her slogan as a stepping point: “To make change through translating.” This lead me to the concept of transformation. What transforms? I landed on a series of transformative things:  butterflies, roses and gradients. As you can see above, the sketches are super rough but detailed enough to get the feel of what the logo will start to look like.

/ Second Draft

Clean up time. Caroline chose 3 designs that really appealed to her. This is when I expanded on the initial designs. Creating variations allows for further exploration and most of the time, the design really starts to get a footing.

Black and white sketches of logo designs for Caroline Belanger


/ Third Draftdigital rendering of logo designs in black and white and in full colour

Once Caroline chose a design or two, I started to translate them into digital renderings. Between this step and the finalized design everything moves very fast.

After viewing the renderings, I knew something was missing, some small detail that would tie it all together. We just sat and talked for about half an hour, trying to figure it out, moving things left to right, smaller, bigger, changing accents. Small details at times would add to the whole but not enough. Most didn’t add anything at all. Finally, a light bulb goes off. Can you spot it?

The last step was choosing a font, which came very quickly.

And thus, you have the final design.

Final logo design using brackets as the butterfly wings, question mark and exclamation as additional details


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