Designing a Logo: PART 1

Posted by Jane Paradis on

Designing a LOGO. This is right in my wheelhouse; I worked on branding at Lilly Pulitzer and loved it. Starting from scratch with no ‘old’ marks or fonts is such a luxury. Really fun stuff. I knew a few things:

  1. I had to write out a full RFP (request for proposal) and that it should encompass:
    • A clear explanation of the brand I want to create using both words and imagery (moodboard).
    • Market and target consumer info.
    • Deliverables: I was looking for a strong logo mark, Jane Winchester written out, JW and the mark together, a color system and font. That’s round 1.
    • Timeline
  2. The logo is SO IMPORTANT. It should stand the test of time. I had to work with someone that ‘got it’ and was invested, and I needed to speak to a few people to help narrow to the right fit.

I wrote an RFP that I would be happy to share (contact me HERE). I asked everyone to sign a letter of confidentiality first (I’ll also send that if you need one!). I met with three options:

OPTION A: Local friend, didn’t really know her work

OPTION B: A previous coworker from my past life who was now working freelance

OPTION C: A local but bigger graphic design/branding company of about 20 employees

“Identities are the beginning of everything. They are how something is recognized and understood. What could be better than that?” -Paula Sher

Sideline: Paula Sher is a design-badass, more on her here

As I will mention throughout my blog, I do try and work with female owned companies first. In this case – women were the ones I knew in the field so it was easy.

How did it go?


She was the first person I met with, and we had an awesome meeting. We had coffee and chatted; it was very comfortable, and she had good questions. She was into the idea – she hadn’t done any fashion branding but seemed excited. She had a lot of work on her plate but would be close, and we could make something great. I might end up pushing her more than she pushed me, which is ok by me.

Proposal came in on time and was right in the middle price wise. It was 1 page with the quote and not a ton on process. It was within budget for what I have planned, but higher than 1 other proposal.


Ahhh so nice to see her again. She knows me well and my working style. She is a warm, personal and had tons of thoughtful questions. We had lunch, and she had clearly read the rfp, done some research on the market and gave me a lot to think about. I was excited after the meeting but knew that working with this person is a real process – she does not do things lightly; she digs in. Did I want that or did I just want to ‘tell someone what I want’.

Proposal came in the next day and was the lowest price wise. Could be because of our standing relationship?  It was at least 4 pages with ‘why I should pick her’, process and quote. On budget and I know the work will be excellent.

OPTION C: BIGGER FIRM (in the grand sense still very small but the biggest I spoke to)
I want to be careful with my words, but this meeting wasn’t great. The principle had not been given the RFP so she had little perspective and was unable to ask a lot of questions that were nuanced to the project. I told the brand story and she told their process. I could tell it was a creative and capable bunch and that she liked the concept, but I was disappointed in the meeting because of the lack of prep.
Proposal came in after it was promised and was the highest price wise. It was a very thorough proposal which looked great and took me through the process clearly. Higher than budget but not crazy.

DRUMROLL: I signed a contract to have Kathleen Cunningham (OPTION B previous coworker) do the logo. Here is a link to her site, she is incredible :).

Stay tuned for PART 2 to understand how we developed the logo together!

Tons of love and xx, Janie


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