Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part II

My logo designs and I received a very good critique with various perspectives that offered food for thought regarding readability concerns, color concerns, and general overall design concerns that I found to be incredibly helpful. Group critiques are one major asset of being in school that I miss so dearly. So thank you all very much for contributing! All of your input helped me to go back and address all of these concerns and come up with a few more logo options that I think work A LOT better than the first options I presented. I'm hoping you will all be able to take another look and let me know what you think about the designs with the same ideas in mind that you had before. Thanks, again!

Mira Sol

Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part I
Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part III

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mira Sol Creative Logo Design

I've been thinking about a logo for my freelance design business, Mira Sol Creative for quite some time now, and have been sketching ideas while nothing has really clicked...until yesterday. So I finally narrowed it down to two logos that I feel represent well the meaning of and concept behind the name "Mira Sol". Before I commit, however, I wanted to gather a few thoughts and opinions from others.

I'll start by providing more information as to the origin of the name,"Mira Sol" so that you will be able to better understand the choices I made in the designs.

One upon a time, my soul sister, Courtney aka Felina Lune Kavi had a dream that I was painting but I didn't know what to paint so she told me, "Mira, Miranda...Mire con sus ojos" or something very close to this (she can correct me if I'm at all off) and when she told me this, it really helped me "see" more clearly. First of all, I had never connected the Spanish, "Mira" in my name with "Sight" so I thought that was just the most awesome and appropriate name for me, and especially for the artist in me, so I coined it and have been using it as my art alias since. Her dream actually inspired me to paint more too, so, naturally, I began painting and drawing eyes and not just bodily eyes but more spiritual paintings with the subject of the third eye (which is a whole other subject I won't go into now). I came to "Sol" because my last name, Sowell is pronounced Soul and being the spiritual person that I am, I've always really loved that about my last name. But instead of using the obvious Soul spelling and simply attach it to Mira so that it became Mira Soul, I decided to play off of light (which obviously is crucial in order to be able to see physically and metaphysically) and continue the Spanish theme, so the Spanish word for Sun really connected well and so it is "Mira Sol".

In order to tie together the intricate concepts of sight, light, art, design, creation & spirituality, I chose to create an eye shape that would work well as a mirrored sun. So I worked the eye/sun design into the over all design and played on the concept of yin/yang, can't have one without the other, can't see without light (literally and on a deeper, more spiritual level). With all of that said, I present to you the contestants thus far (the design could completely change with my ever changing moods and mind):

For the first one, I chose to use a greenish color based on the color of my eyes and then complemented it with an orange color, which just worked out perfectly to represent "Sun" and work as the "O" in "Sol".

I was born on November 22, which is the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius sun signs. So on the second logo I decided to cut the overall eye/sun design in half and mirror them with different colors to convey a sort of ying/yang concept with my Scorpio (Water)/Sagittarius (Fire) elements, where the bottom blue represents water and the top represents fire. This also works on a sort of "as above, so below" level too, etc, etc...

I incorporated the banners into each because I just love banners and other "sign painterly" elements and embellishments like this.

Anyway, any thoughts, input, opinions, etc? Do you favor one over the other and why?
I sort of favor one over the other but am not going to say until I get some feedback. Honestly, I may just use them both; one for business card and other promotional items and the other for my blog heading. Anyway, I'll stop talking now and let you look with your eyes!

Thanks for looking!

Mira Sol

Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part II
Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part III

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

THE BOTTOM LINE An advertisement by Funnel Design Group Written by Mark Moad, illustrated by Sean Ashby

I frequent the blog of James Robert Watson, a previous instructor of one of my favorite classes of all time, The History of Visual Communication. Dr. Watson is not only one of the greatest design instructors I've ever had, he is one of the greatest instructors period. I've never learned so much useful and interesting information in my life AND actually retained it well. I could go on and on about his incredibly awesome teaching style and how he thoroughly and actively engages his students, but the entire point of this post was to re-post a comic from his blog by the Funnel Design Group that I thought communicated very effectively my view and probably every formerly and classically educated designer's view on...well, I am not going to verbally explain anymore because the visuals do it so well themselves, as all effective visual communication should.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Improvement is the Process of Perfection

I am obsessed with improvement and the goal of perfection, even though I realize there is never an end because perfection is unobtainable (because change is a constant and we must adapt and improve based on the constant changes). But I am okay with this because I realize that I am more interested in the process than the end result when it comes to working toward perfection. In fact, one of the main reasons I started this blog was to document my design process/progress. However, I just decided that because my obsessions of tweaking, arranging, and rearranging extend way beyond graphic design and because I spend the majority of time outside of my day job obsessively tweaking things around my house in a continual effort to improve my space and environment, and because I love it so much, I decided that I would post about these processes as well. So, this post marks the beginning of my postings about my home improvement, inside and out. I can't think of a more fitting or appropriate time to start than with the biggest and probably most important home improvement project to date, the foundation. 

Living in Oklahoma, with our crazy and extreme weather conditions and our clay soil, the foundation is probably the most important area to plan around when it comes to home improvements and maintenance. As such, I decided to have some foundation repair experts come take a look to tell me what I would need to do to repair some existing foundation issues and correct some humps in my floors as a result of the foundation sinking. I naively thought that all they would have to do is to lift the house and install some steel piers, but after inspecting under my house, the guys noticed that I would need a lot more than that. Apparently, the original inspector that I hired when buying the house did not catch that I needed more beams to support the structure. Not only would I need new beams installed but since my crawl space was so shallow, they were going to have to remove the original wood flooring (house was built in 1939) and work from the top. I had no choice but to part with my original wood flooring and after the work was done, have someone install all new oak wood flooring.

As I write, the foundation is now repaired, beams installed and all and the wood flooring guys began working today to install new floors. But here is the original damage, before the foundation work began.

While my house was being broken down to build it up, I was busy improving the backyard landscaping. (I couldn't leave the post with pure destruction) My backyard was thoroughly neglected before I purchased the home and for the two years I've lived in the home, I've been focusing on the front yard landscaping because curb appeal seemed like a more important priority as more people see that than the backyard, especially since the backyard belongs mainly to my dog. First of all, my backyard has zero grass, which I believe is due primarily to the amount of shade. So instead of attempting to grow grass, I decided to reduce that headache and go for a cottage feel backyard by primarily installing garden beds and walkways around the beds. Since my dog has formed a natural trail around the yard from obsessively pacing as she guards all sides of the yard, I decided to work with that by building the garden beds around the natural trail. This is the first bed I finished and I am currently working on finishing laying the pea gravel paths. This is just the beginning so stay tuned!