Her purpose for her blog is so beautiful, and she explains it more eloquently than I can:
I hate feeling lonely. Separate and isolated, even in the presence of others. I presume in every situation I am unwanted and unloved. It’s often of paralysing intensity. It happens more than you know. I’m detached from reality. I can’t feel or think a way out of it, everything is heavy. If I wait long enough, it will usually pass.
But other times someone acts. They penetrate the encompassing blanket of emotion. They show me love and connection, they count me worthy. It’s that moment, the moment of support and encouragement, the reaching out of someone else into my situation which I seek. The times where we show love, a deep love that connects. I seek to provide that moment of love for others.
It's sometimes eloquent, and sometimes messy, and I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I've enjoyed creating it!
By the time I began sketching out ideas for Loving People Deeply, they had been whirling around in my brain for so long that some of them had already begun developing there. It was so good to get them onto paper and refine them.
From my first meeting with Milika, I knew that I wanted to use a script lettering style in the logo. It's such a versatile style, and since she wanted her logo to say a lot, I knew I could change the lettering in different ways to reflect multiple facets of her blog. Below, I'll show you how I interpreted aspects of her philosophy into the lettering.
For this element I wanted to convey a sense of deliberateness in the lettering. I knew that if I was to vary the size of the letters, they would need to be varied in a predictable, uniform way.
There would also be a huge emphasis on readability at small scales, since it will be displayed at the top of your blog on phones and desktops alike. In order to help create a first impression of thoughtfulness to the blog, people need to be able to read it very easily, without having to zoom in or squint if they're using their phone.
This aspect of her philosophy influenced the lettering in many different ways:
Lettering sloping upwards to the right looks great for most logos - very positive and uplifting. But when I tried it for your logo, it looked wrong. Mocking, almost. Almost as if the goal was to merely point people on an upwards trajectory, instead of acknowledging the depths, and the value of being with people at their lowest.
For the overall layout of the logo,
with the words on top of each other, rather than side by side. This provides greater readability, especially on mobiles. And there's a lot more opportunity for interaction between letters when they're stacked. They look more nestled together, rather than separate. This close layout will help to represent the caring and supportive atmosphere which the blog will have, and the community which Milika will build.
The gravity of the topics which Milika will write about, and the empathy with which she's going to treat them, helped me know that
I wanted the lettering to convey the sense that she takes her content seriously. For example, upright lettering exudes more cheese than slightly angled letterforms. And 'trendy' styles used on café menus, like tall slab serif styles, look as if they're making light of the content. So I knew that I would slightly italicise the letters, and avoid anything which looked trendy.
It helped me decide on another aspect of the letters' style, too.
But when I tried it, the readability was compromised and the words appeared colder and more detached than when the line widths were varied. But I knew that I didn't want the 'thin' parts of the lines to be too thin. I wanted the whole logo to reflect the generous and gracious spirit in which your blog will be written, coming from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. So I would vary the widths of the lines, but have no paper-thin lines!
This also helped to clinch the fact that I would vary the letters' sizes and positions slightly, so that they weren't all perfectly even in a straight line. Because
but about acknowledging that some things in life are really hard, and messy, and imperfect. So I think her logo should say so too.
My initial thought was that every letter should be joined to the next, to imply connection between people. But then I remembered Milika talking about her focus on sustainable care.
so I decided that some letters being separated from others may not be a bad thing. Especially if that separation promoted greater readability.
I made sure that the logo overall looked balanced, by paying careful attention to the kerning (spaces between each letter), maintaining consistency in the letters' shapes, and making tiny adjustments to lines in order to help them flow in the most natural-looking way.
This fact influenced:
That the logo is hand lettered and in a script style automatically ensures that it looks different from psychology practice's websites. Keeping the lettering all lowercase, rather than capitalising the first letter of each word, also helped to contribute to this aspect. I did some research into psychology practice logos, and the ones which incorporated colour had solid blocks of blue. So if any colour was to be introduced into the logo, I knew that it should differ from that in some way.
Looking at the local psychology clinic websites, most of their content is displayed in a thin, sans serif font. In order to help the blog look different from these websites, I knew that a serif font should probably be used for your blog, rather than a sans serif font.
In our meeting, we discussed that Milika have a lot of valuable wisdom to share about mental health issues, but also that she comes from a place of trying to figure them out. Of asking about other people's paths and perspectives, and journeying together through the beautiful mess.
I had a few ideas of how to convey this sense of journeying:
i. Perhaps the lettering could start out quite rough-looking at 'loving', and by 'deeply' be somehow more beautiful and well-rounded-looking.
ii. There could be a branch embellishment, with the leaves looking healthier and fuller towards the end of the branch.
Neither of these ideas seemed quite right, though. Instead, they got me thinking about different graphic elements to include, and I knew that we had discussed possibly incorporating the colour blue. I thought that perhaps I could use this colour to demonstrate the 'journey' aspect.
Since using a block colour would look too professional / clinical, I thought a watercolour wash would work better.
and the journey to be written about is about becoming more whole, so I decided to create a blue, circular watercolour wash behind the logo. It would be imperfectly round, to further suggest both the non-professional nature of the blog, and the messiness of the journey.
All these elements considered, I questioned, sketched, and refined these ideas over and over.
I made good copies of the lettering and watercolour, then digitised them.
I decided to make the lettering white instead of black, because it looked more beautiful on the blue background. Black gave a heavy appearance to the logo. And after the digitising was finished, I was left with this final logo!
(A favicon is the name for that little icon in the corner of a tab, which represents the website.)
Since it is minuscule (12 x 12 pixels), it's normally only readable if there's one, or maximum two, letters. So my initial thought of abbreviating 'Loving People Deeply' to 'LPD' was out.
Instead, I decided to incorporate the watercolour element of Milika's logo - the circle. Her goal isn't to create widespread recognition of the logo, but rather to create a beautiful and valuable experience for each individual reading your content. So it doesn't matter so much that the watercolour circle isn't the most unique or recognisable symbol. Its presence in the tab will add to the overall experience of your blog for your reader.
In our meeting, we discussed that I would find two complementary fonts for the blog, and give you guidelines for how I recommend you use them. However, I decided to recommend one perfect font instead.
As previously mentioned, I thought that a serif font would work well, in order to differentiate your blog's content from the majority sans serif fonts found on professional psychology practice websites. Serif fonts also convey a sense of gravity and beauty and warmth (like the feeling of picking up an old Jane Austen novel), which would lend itself well to your blog.
So through the sea of Google Fonts I swam, and found the perfect one: Crimson Text. It's a serif font which is a good balance of a lot of elements.
It's also a pleasure to read, both in headlines and in block text, and on different sized devices, which will be very beneficial for keeping people engaged with your content.
A few months after I completed the logo, Milika's blog is up and running! I made a logo for her brother's project (coming soon!) at the same time as this one. A couple of weeks ago, Milika got in touch with me to let me know that the blog had launched, and said,
Here's how all the designing has evolved so far into her website:
You can see another logo case study (of Kamina - Milika's friend's - blog!) here, or