Working with a professional

Learning your strength's and weakness's as early on in life as you can is a tremendous value.  You can always improve on both, no matter what.  Knowing when to hire a professional is very important. I have been slowly working on a personal site rebranding. Trying to indentify both the voice I want to use as I write and the look and feel. Having graduated college with an art degree in photography I assumed (we all know that that means) redesigning the site and my logo would be a piece of cake. Take note here… epic fail. So after hearing Myke Hurley of 70 decibels and Patrick Rhone of minimalmac speak so highly about working with Aaron Mahnke from wetfrogstudios.com I decided it was time to investigate hiring a professional.

I reached out to Aaron via his contact information on the web to see if he would be willing to work with a small blogger like me. He was super nice and explained all the various design packages I could choose from. After an initial deposit, I was sent the form to explain what I was looking for. It was similar to a creative brief. But it was brief! I was not sure I was able to provide Aaron with enough information to guide him in the design process. After submitting I waited for an email that would say something like:

sorry Austin you information is far to vague for me to help you. Please move along.

Instead a couple of days later I received 2 great logos! Both were amazing for different reasons. Two unique takes on what I was trying to convey. Now the tough part deciding. I expected one would resonate with me but both did. I was impressed with what the first pass looked like based on the very limited set of information I provided. I had explained types of imagery I liked, colors and general attributes for how the logo should appear. For the color combinations I detailed blacks and greys. I slept on the designs and offered my comments to Aaron including a few color options that I might like to see for comparison sake. In short order I had the revisions. (Aarons entire process is well laid out from scheduling to how to comment on the scenarios he sends to you).

Original Colored with full "T"My final decision rested with one small detail. All the original designs had the “T” breaking through the “D” just a little bit (see rev 2b with tip of “T”). I like the concept because it gave full recognition to the letter in a way that was truthful to the font.

But when I showed it to others, with no design background, everyone said

what’s that little smudge at the top of the letter?  

I suspected I would be answering that question over and over so I asked Aaron if he could revise it for me. The final version is below now the one current on the site.

Final Logo

I could not be happier with the logo. I am slowly working on the site making tweaks and modifying the CSS. If you recognize you are ready for professional help with branding and identity, or print and web services I highly recommend you contact Aaron Mahnke (@amahnke) from wetfrogstudios.com.