I was contacted this past spring about redesigning a logo for St. Francis Children’s Center in Glendale, Wisconsin. I’m always excited to take on a new client project, and this one was no exception. Not too familiar with the center, I was happy to meet with my client in person, and take a tour around.
St. Francis Children’s Center provides services to children with and without special needs, and they are big on play-based learning. It’s a very safe, inclusive, and supportive environment which fosters social, emotional, physical, and academic development for all of the children that attend the center. It is also a very colorful, happy place. The kind of place that would truly be fun to design a logo for.
They were looking for a logo that wasn’t too clunky, and not too cliché. This was going to be a very conceptual logo that hinted at a symbol. These are the most rewarding types of logos to work on, but they are also the most challenging. Lots of thinking time is required at the onset.
Once back at my desk, I gathered all of my notes and my thoughts and began to brainstorm ideas. I wanted to really take that notion of inclusivity and turn that into the perfect logo for St. Francis Children’s Center.
I wrote and I sketched, and then I got onto the computer and started to do some digital renderings. Below are some of the logo concepts I sent to the client for the first round:
I really liked to notion of a nest as a safe and inclusive place. My first three concepts played off that idea—three different colorful, abstract nests. I also wanted to present a more literal idea of a pinwheel with the different colors coming together to form one entity—in the same way that the children all come together each day at the center.
There was some back and forth, and adjusting, but in the end the client was happiest with the top concept. The bright blue, purple, and orange are bright colors that I had seen used in murals throughout the center. They are attractive to both adults and children, and not too childish.
I experimented with some different fonts, different layouts, and different font colors. It was decided that black type would be the most legible. I selected a font with a nice presence, but one that isn't too styled or distracting. I really want the symbol to stand out, but I also don't want the type to be overlooked.
The end result is the strong, conceptual logo that can be seen at the top of this post. It will hopefully serve this wonderful place well for many, many years to come.