Somebody once asked me about the thinking behind my (not so new) blog banner and logo …soo… here it is! I know, I know but don’t blame me, you’ve got the somebody that asked to thank for this.
The first thing to say is that is not my own work – I tried and completely failed to do it myself so last year I decided to buy myself a birthday present of a logo and banner. I worked with a small company, Littlebigbox, and April was my designer. I’ve worked with lots of designers for work and this was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had. April was responsive to my thoughts, efficient and the designs were very affordable. I love the way my blog looks now and I love having a logo to hide behind (sod the personal)…in fact it’s been one of the nicest things I’ve bought for myself for a long time.
Blog name in a nutshell:
My blog name stems from an irritation when filling out forms as a mother. I no longer had a box to tick under ‘occupation/profession’ that was relevant to my identity. In trying to work out my new place in society I was frustrated by the dismissive and reductive labels applied to mothers who chose to temporarily leave paid employment in order to be the full time carer for a child. Not just on forms, but in general….the forms just distilled the stereotypes into an irritation point that, for me, spawned a blog. I didn’t want to tick housewife, nor homemaker. I felt ‘other’ but also that ‘other’ wasn’t good enough. My well-placed brackets (regardless of what Facebook thinks) also refer to the wider me – I’m a mother but I’m also lots of other things too.
I wanted a logo that made reference to the form idea but in a more vintagey fashion. The idea of a stamp seemed to fit with this. We toyed with a square but the circle definitely works better. I chose a few different typewriter fonts for the text and April landed on the final one from my options.
The heart is a bit of a surprise. I’m not into heart motifs in general BUT the logo just didn’t look right with a big empty space. My husband suggested a heart and I agreed, as his reasons were compelling: I breastfed my son for 17 months and I was rubbish at remembering which side to offer first each time. I’m not a bracelet person so I started out in the first few weeks swapping a tatty hairband from one wrist to another but then I moved on to a cheap beaded bracelet that was stalwart for the next 11 months. I was amazed to get to 12 months of breastfeeding and to celebrate what, for me, was a huge achievement my, by now faded beads, were upgraded by my husband and I to this grown up number:
I suppose I am a ‘bracelet person’ now! Anyway I sent this photo to April and, voila, the space was filled and the logo was finished. Originally the whole logo was a rather lovely grey as the heart looks quite bold in black, but unfortunately the grey just didn’t work when put with other things. I still slightly hanker for the grey, the heart sometimes just stands out a bit too much for me!
Initially I toyed with the idea of an illustration but, despite having lots of ideas, nothing really felt quite right. I knew I wanted a colour incorporated somehow to reference my deep-rooted belief in equality. I researched a few different colour options, but really there’s nothing that says equality like a rainbow. I also knew I wanted it to be muted, not an actual rainbow and personal to me. So I sent April this photo:
This is a top that I used to own and wear a lot, including when pregnant actually. One warm evening when my son was 9 months old and at the peak of separation anxiety, I found myself nearly out of options to encourage him to sleep. Desperately, I took this top off and snuggled him into it and…he fell asleep. He has been the new owner of it ever since. He started cuddling it then as he got older he would drape it over his neck, like a boxer with a cool towel. Now he spreads it out on his pillow and sleeps on it, or, if his teeth hurt, he’ll insist it covers both ears (which requires an assistant to get him into position).
The end result is quite different to the actual top as you’d expect, but I love the way April has managed to so wonderfully reference it in the digitalised bobbly texture as well as the linear design and muted colours.
April also persuaded me that I need a tagline for the logo on the banner – something that sums up what the blog is so when people arrive they know what to expect. Tricky really, it’s just my blog. I don’t know exactly what it is yet. Is it a parenting blog? It’s definitely not a lifestyle (ha I wish!) blog and so, with very little thought, I hastily landed on ‘a parenting and life-thoughts blog’.
Are you still with me!? If so, thank you for humouring me in my moment of self-indulgence. I actually really enjoy reading about other people’s ideas for their blog design, so do please share yours with me!