One of my coworkers is involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through a friend who has the disorder. She does a lot to organize area fundraising events, and she asked me to make a quick design that they could use for their February dinner dance event. It was just a quick request to make something if I had time, so the logo isn’t as polished or “logo-like” as I would usually create, but it addresses their needs for a type and image symbol they can use on their invitations and other collateral materials.
The requirements were pretty simple – design according to the brand standards, using their color palette and foundation name in the specified way, to create a logo that could be used in coming years. Other than that there were no guidelines, in favor of speed and “artistic freedom.” Generally I prefer to gather more information to create something that will last longer and communicate more, but since the brand standards were fairly restrictive all that was really needed was the icon.
With these things in consideration, I chose to simply find a “Valentine’s Day-y” photo and create a line drawing version of it to convey the atmosphere of the event. I’m a big fan of Illustrator’s Stroke Width tool (I was waiting for years for it to be released!), which I used to give the painted effect to the Pencil tool-drawn lines I made over the image. The Stroke Width tool gives the inky look to the lines of the wine glass and rose – I love the way I can make those sort of blobs at the end of a line (top right terminus of the wine glass) which really make it look like a real tool was used to draw the icon. The color palette laid out by the CFF brand manual limited what I could do to communicate the rose, but I think the pair is such a common image that there was some extra leeway in making a more abstract rose.
The brand font used by CFF is Avenir Black, a solid and classic choice. Avenir is a sans-serif geometric typeface, which means that its O’s are circular and other letters are also based on geometric shapes rather than the traditional shapes from nib pens. Unlike the similar well-known typeface Futura, Avenir has humanist influences, which means it has some slight variation in stroke width and letters less geometric, so it comes across as a bit softer and less mathematical. These differences are hard to see even when comparing it side-by-side with Futura, but the subconscious effect is large. Futura comes from the same era as the classic movie Metropolis, and you may recognize some of the same retro futurism of the era in the lettershapes. Avenir draws from the same history, but was made sixty years later, so the sharp edges and fascination with/fear of futurism have been muted slightly. Avenir has a good variety of weights, from Light to Black, which helps its popularity with designers – this allows them to use it in many different moods and circumstances without reaching for another typeface.