This summer, what was suppose to be just a simple logo design for a blog turned into probably my biggest personal project this year. Dr. Keldon is the nickname of my buddy Kelly. The goal for this project was to design a logo for Kelly's nickname, but also a design that embodies her fun and passionate personality. From concept to production it took a total of three months to complete. I've been mostly a production designer, so it's been great learning experience in both doing Conceptual work, and also this is my first time trying out digital publishing.
I didn't want this project to have this "generic" feel to it, so I went with the superhero route. Just like in the comic books, a hero needs a logo to symbolize their belief, their value, but mostly importantly they need a logo to remind themselves what they are fighting for during harsh times. Medical School is tough. By reading Kelly's blog everyday I've witness just how much work and dedication its takes to become a doctor, she has become my inspiration to do my best everyday. So it was not just design a logo but a symbol that Kelly can fall back on during those difficult times. Much like Superman's logo symbolize hope, I wanted the logo to symbolize Faith.
Before we get to the design process, Let first meet the doctor that's behind the logo. Kelly got the nickname Keldon from the TV show The Big Bang Theory, as her work ethic and her attention to details much resemble one of the stars of the show, Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Dr. Keldon is currently in her third year as a medical student who is training to be a future pediatrician. I believe she will be an excellent pediatrician as she has the patient and the endurance when it comes helping other in needs. She is incredibly smart but at the same time she is also humble and graceful. Besides Medical School, Kelly does have a talented creative side. The photo above was at Kelly's Senior Art Thesis title "Breathe". Beside Painting, Kelly is also an active fan fiction writer that you find some of her work on her blog.
I know I wanted the logo to symbolize faith, but I have no clue how to symbolize something so broad. Kelly's is devoted a Christian, I started to write ideas on the shape of the logo, and about half way down the list I got to the concept of water. And out of nowhere, something hit me hard as I realized that water is the symbol of faith. Baptism is the most important step of becoming a Christian, as one is agreed to take complete faith in God. Once I got the concept down everything else just started to fall into place.
We are both huge fans of TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, in the show the element of water, also symbolizes healing. The objective was to have a logo that's elegant but also minimal. There were numerous sketches for the design that at one point it was three circles that stand for H20, but all of them just seem too busy. I keep coming back to the idea of a water drop as I like the shape, but it was the simplicity won me over.
Picking out the shape was easy, but getting the right look and feel was hard. Once I got Kelly to agree on a concept above I started on final logo design process. I spent weeks just trying to get the right balance for the thickness of the line and the angle of the curve. I end up giving the right side a bit more than the left side to give the optical illusion that both side are balanced. Also the weight of the logo is different from top to bottom, as the top feels a bit more heavy than the bottom mainly I want viewer to focus on whats inside the droplet.
As for inside logo design, I initial wanted with something that's meaningful but also geeky to correspond the name Keldon. I took ideas from Last Airbender to Star Trek, but nothing seem to work until when one day Kelly posted her signature on her blog. Her K looks like an EKG reading was perfect for the logo. It fits nicely inside the logo as in term of look and feel. When the K encapsulate inside the water drop, it almost seems like she is signing her name to Faith. With the logo mostly finished, the final touch is the color theme. The color will be a critical factor in designing of a book in later part of the post.
With the combination of the logo and the font, it gives people a sense of calm and sincerity, which are crucial factors from a patient perspective.
I had the concept of building out a book for a while now, originally I tried to do it with my photography, but it failed miserably. But when Kelly started her blog I know I got the golden opportunity. In term of pages, the most I've done was a five pages brochure, so this book was probably my biggest undertaking to date. I wanted the pages to reflect what she wrote, so I treated each page as I was designing a poster.
The difficult part wasn't the designing process, but finding a place to print. I have no idea where to print just one 120pages book, also I wanted to do local so I can see the paper sample. After visiting numerous print shops around the city, there just no place that allows to only to print one book for a reasonable price. But finally I stumble across a site called Blurb on Google in which they specialize in personal Publishing.