Case Study | Hand Lettered Logo - Besta Jewellery

Besta Jewellery is a contemporary, London-based company founded by designer Alexandra Best. I was so excited when she approached me and asked me to create a logo for her brand! The bio on her website describes her ethos better than I can:

"Inspired by the magic of the miniature, Alexandra's designs focus on the tiny details and texture that surround us but are so often overlooked. Alexandra's jewellery explores, recreates and magnifies the beauty of the miniature through an intricate and delicate range of designs."

When Alexandra first approached me, she said that she wanted a logo which would help establish Besta Jewellery as a professional, official brand. A logo which would be synonymous with her designs, represent her and her brand, and be unique & recognisable. Because she hand crafts her jewellery, the logo would have a crafted, dainty feel to it - no hard edges or sharp points. She wanted it to represent the uniqueness and modernity of your designs and methods, and appeal to a young, mostly female audience, while not being overly girly. She also wanted it to convey that her brand endeavours to be trustworthy, personal and authentic.

The logo & submark would be used in many different ways (stamps, wax seals, online, on packaging) so they needed to be versatile enough to accommodate each of these uses. The spaces within letters had to be large enough so that they wouldn't blur together when being stamped or used as a wax seal. The lines needed to be thick enough to stamp. And the logo & submark had to work together well as recognisable, interchangeable elements - different, but with a similar aesthetic, to retain a cohesive look even when used separately. Basically I wanted to create three different versions of the logo that could be used in different scenarios, that would all do a great job of representing the brand - the logo; the logo with the submark; and the submark.

I had a good idea of the direction the logo would take - 'Besta Jewellery' hand lettered in script lettering, 'London' underneath in the font used on your website (Open Sans Condensed Light). For use on your website, I chose a horizontal layout so as to look professional and fit in the space well. Having the words 'Besta' and 'Jewellery' in the same lettering style would also help the logo to look more put together and deliberate. I knew, though, that I would need to refine this concept a ton to really reflect the brand. I tried lots of different styles of script lettering to start off with.

Drafts

I eventually landed on this one for 'Besta Jewellery'.

Inked 'Besta Jewellery' drafts

I was quite happy with this but it was very girly, and in order to represent Alex's designs well it needed to be feminine but not too girly! I knew that it needed to look more sketchy, while still remaining flowy and natural looking. So I decided to break up the words a little more - not have every letter joined with the next, to maintain a slightly rougher look. After tweaking the design in Photoshop to make sure everything was in line, I printed it out to trace with a brush. I decided on using a brush over a pen to achieve a more hand-crafted look - you achieve more imperfect lines with a brush.

Pencil printed Besta Jewellery draft to trace

Inked Second Drafts

When I had digitised the best parts of these designs, I played around some more with layout ideas. I toyed with the idea of having a border around the logo - something to reference both the geometric shapes of the jewellery, and the natural elements which those shapes are inspired by. However, I decided against this, opting to keep the logo more simple and minimal looking, using the submark as a 'decorative' element.

Ideas

For the submark, I loved the idea of having the 'B' inside a circle or another shape. After trying a couple of different configurations, I decided to go with the circle. I loved the more jewel-inspired shapes, but… Alex's jewellery isn't hard or pointy or sharp. It's weather-worn, dainty, soft. So I went with the circle.

Submark ideas

At this point, all of the individual elements needed to come together and be further refined to form the finished product. I made a good copy of the submark, using the 'B' from 'Besta' to keep the two elements as visually connected as possible.

Good copy of Submark

I added a few leaves and twigs to the tails of the 'B' in Besta and the 'y' in Jewellery, to further communicate the natural feel of the brand and again create consistency between the logo and submark, should they be used in isolation.

I set 'London' in Open Sans Condensed Light, the font used on Alex's website. I made the letters a similar height to the lower case letters in 'Besta Jewellery', and spread the word out a lot to ensure that the logo felt balanced, as opposed to top heavy.

Close up of London on screen

From here, the final files came together quite quickly. Here they are!

Preview of Final Files

Here's an example of what the entire logo & submark could look like on jewellery packaging:

Preview of Submark on Packaging

And what the submark could look like as a watermark on product or process photos:

Watermark Preview

You can find more about Alex and her beautiful jewellery on her website, her Instagram page, and her Facebook page.