Logo for granite countertop contractor

cfig's picture

Hi all, I'm working on a mark for a contractor that installs high quality custom kitchen and bathroom counters, Stone & Wood Concepts. They lean towards a look that incorporates a monogram so I've been playing with these ideas based loosely on the "counter" idea with S & W, I like the concept but none of these seem to be quite working. Any thoughts/ideas to possibly tweak these or take it a different direction? Thanks.

Lex Kominek's picture

To me, these are a little too modular- and techno-looking to represent "high quality". I'd go in a different direction.

If I were creating a brand for a company with such a generic name, I'd have some fun with a (non-typographic) mark, and use very simple typography. But if they requested a monogram, then...

Try playing with type that defies expectations. Granite is heavy and rigid, so maybe go with a thin, rounded sans. I don't know... just a suggestion. Let's hear what the others have to say.

- Lex

cfig's picture

Thanks Lex. They haven't specifically requested a monogram, but several examples they liked were marks incorporating monograms. I like the idea of a a mark with type, just a matter of finding a way to represent granite/counters.

Agreed that it does come off as a bit too modular, this is one of those that looked much better as a napkin sketch than drawn mark :)

apankrat's picture

Ahem .. this may sound odd, but the Ws look quite a bit anatomical to me. Especially the bottom right one. As in "a view from within a toilet bowl" kind of anatomical.

aluminum's picture

When I think stone and wood I think craftsmanship, fine details, etc. This mark doesn't seem to hit that.

cfig's picture

epsilicon, I hadn't thought that at all...and now I can't not see it :) back to the drawing board.

Good point aluminum, thanks. Sketching and brainstorming more now.

cfig's picture

Playing with a bit of a dimensional concept...thoughts?

cfig's picture

and a quick rough of the concept with both the S and W.

Lex Kominek's picture

I like the 3D 'S' on its own. The 'SW' looks a little too crammed in.

See if you can make the 'S' look like an 'S' when viewed from the southeast, and a 'W' when viewed from the southwest.

Also, make sure you have a version that works in one colour.

- Lex

penn's picture

See if you can make the ’S’ look like an ’S’ when viewed from the southeast, and a ’W’ when viewed from the southwest.

My thoughts as well.

penn

cfig's picture

Thanks guys. I'd actually starting working with a similar idea but couldn't figure out how to get it to read...think I might be onto something now.

cfig's picture

Ok, I'm not entirely sure it reads as the S and W on first look, but then again I don't know that it has to. Getting it to work without graytones may be difficult unless I want to introduce a hairline between the different planes.

Any ideas on another way to possibly approach this, thoughts on if the concept is working, etc?

cfig's picture

Another version with just the strokes that the two letter share.

penn's picture

It is a bit abstract, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Optically, it looks like the part that's separated (the island) is closer to the middle section.

Also, to help with it reading as a 'w', you might consider cutting the left corner at a 45 degree angle. Could be a bad suggestion, but might be worth a shot.

penn

apankrat's picture

The 2D version of the second mark (i.e. squished C with an underline forming an E) is in use by some designer as a personal mark. I think it was even discussed here several months ago.

Concept-wise I don't think this approach's working. This logo seems to be about etching, or at the very least precise metal work. Certainly not the granite countertops.

Have you considered abstracting a (round) lip of a countertop into a mark somehow ?

cfig's picture

Yeah, I don't know that it's working either. And thanks for the heads up on the identity, didn't know that. I'm just having a hard time with this one, just can't seem to get a lot of variety in the directions I've been trying to come at it from.

I've actually been sketching a variety of attempts on that (counter lip) for a while now. A few rough ideas, any of them grab you?

cfig's picture

And, giving a bit more of the cabinet idea...now I think this might be getting somewhere.

cfig's picture

Umm...anyone?

Marco's picture

Hi chris,
I think this is a really nice form, but I don't think it matches this client/brand.
I still keep thinking about combining a S and W.

just my 2c

cfig's picture

Thanks for the thoughts Marco. can you elaborate a bit on what you're thinking?

Marco's picture

Do you mind if I post a sketch? It's a little difficult explaining?

cfig's picture

Not at all, the more input the better :)

RAWTYPE's picture

as for las Sw the S stroke is too thick

Alaskan's picture

I agree with cirulis. I also think it's your best yet and with some refinements, it could be really great.

IMO, it needs more breathing room overall. Those white slivers won't hold up, and currently it feels more crowded than it feels fitted together like cabinets. Have you thought about making the bottom of the s and the w feel more "cabinet-like" somehow? Perhaps subtle faceted corners? Or off-black inlaid panels? I might surf around on Home Depot and look at cabinetry a bit.

cfig's picture

I actually went walking around Home Depot this weekend for that very purpose :)

I'm playing with some more more space, but I don't want the negative white lines to start reading as letters of their own. Still working with it, seeing what might work.

cfig's picture

And a different direction...brainstorming and sketching, looking at the countertop form as ampersand. Type is just a placeholder at this point.

cfig's picture

Developing the ampersand and type a bit more.

Marco's picture

Hi Chris,

This is what I meant. It's just a quick sketch, but its an idea...

aluminum's picture

Your last one, sans the mark in the middle is likely a more appropriate solution for the problem.

Going back to my earlier comment, I think the mark's aesthetic should hint at craftsmanship.

I like a lot of the SW monograms you created, but I don't think that approach makes as much sense as a nicely typeset mark.

I'm not sure you need to literally represent countertops, either. Could a tagline along the lines of 'fine cabinetry and kitchen surfaces' work?

cfig's picture

I agree on the aesthetic, I feel like the client really wants some sort of a mark go to with a typographic treatment, however. I do like the general feel of the type on these later ones, however, you think there's a way to integrate a mark into that? I think the craftsmenship/quality idea is on the right track, but I'm having a hard time visually representing that.

When talking with the client, they were key to emphasize that they weren't the cheapest option out there, but they were quality and did things right the first time (as the contractor business here in Houston, post-hurricane, is filled with a lot of fly-by-night operations). A tagline might work, but their business is primarily in the countertop part of the job and not the cabinets/carpentry aspect.

Marco, understand your thought there, thanks. Think I'm kind of looking away from that direction now though.

Marco's picture

Good thoughts Chris,

Looking forward to the update!

cfig's picture

Working more with a type only solution, as well as a simple icon to go with (that I don't think goes with too well yet).

apankrat's picture

Nudge "Concepts" in the top one to the left a bit and it will be excellent.

Special-K's picture

Liking it, but I think the ampersand looks a little frail/weak.
Maybe?:

cfig's picture

epsilicon : I seem to have a knack for finding clients whose names don't like to center nicely :) I've nudged "concepts" back and forth trying to find the balance between the optical and actual centers, but I'll try nudging left. and thanks, glad you like.

Special-K: I'm definitely not opposed to trying a different ampersand with a bit more visual mass, but that one is a bit too decorative for the overall identity I think.

Sounds like no one is big on the icon, which is at least good to know. I'd like to offer them a choice with a mark as well as just the type, however, we'll see what turns up with some more sketching.

cfig's picture

Final option as sent to the client, with a bit of kerning and alignment adjustments, along with my explanation of why a typographic option seemed to be the best choice:

apankrat's picture

I think it's excellent. The & really captures the craftsmanship aspect and the type relates well to the heaviness and general feel of the stone.

The only nitpick would be the E-&-W being too tight, but I'm not sure if it'd be any better wider.

cfig's picture

Thanks, and I may tweak the spacing there just a bit.

Client response was that they think they liked it (?) but wanted to see other options for the font, which is probably something I'll need to follow up on to get a bit more detail. That being said, any other type suggestions for this?

penn's picture

If you're still open to the idea of a mark, what about an axe and chisel arranged like a crossbones? Just small and simple.

penn

Ed_Aranda's picture

I would play with the kerning on “concepts”. To my eye, the “EPT” seems tighter than the “CONC”. Other than that I think its really nice. Love the ampersand.

Also, I want the word “concepts” to be centered with the ampersand, but “stone” appears a bit wider than “wood” making it somewhat impossible to optically center.

cfig's picture

penn, I think I'm at the point where (due to budget and since the client is more or less on board) I'm going to stick with the typographic approach and move on. Interesting thought though, thanks.

Ed, good observation, I'm still playing with the kerning a bit and will definitely tweak the final and get some feedback before moving on the business card and site design. And I've been back and forth on the optical center as well, I think it may be as close as I can get it there unless you've got ideas?

The client liked the ampersand and "concepts" but wanted to see a few more type options so I gave him a few, these do still have some kerning issues that I'll work on once we've chosen a final direction. Here's hoping he stays with the original.

aluminum's picture

I hate to toss out an idea like this so late in the process but...

What if the ampersand was set inside a slice of log or carved into a stone (perhaps used interchangeably).

That might bring back the literal icon a bit.

But I do like where you ended up. I think it very much fits with their line of business and the type of clientele they'd likely want to target. Nice work!

apankrat's picture

Have a look at Hightower type if you are considering serifs.

bemerx25's picture

Trajan may actually work here, stone and all that...but then there's the Hollywood baggage to deal with...

cfig's picture

Actually, the ampersand on the original is Trajan :) I had the thought but refrained due to the Hollywood cliche, it's at least worth trying though, good thought.

epsilicon, I do like the typeface but I'm not sure this project is worth the font price, but I'm going to try it and see if I can talk myself into the purchase. I do have another project this might work for too actually, thanks for the suggestion.

Ed_Aranda's picture

I hope they go with the top one. Is that Gotham? I think it works very well for this. It has a feeling of permanence, that when paired with the sharpness of the ampersand, makes it appealing in the same way a granite counter is appealing.

Hmm, I think I just sold the idea to myself.

cfig's picture

Correct in Gotham, good eye Ed. and you just convinced me too... I may borrow that for the logo pitch if needed :)

cfig's picture

The client hasn't committed to any of the options yet so I wanted to show him the mark applied on something with a bit of color. Thoughts? I like the idea but I think the type needs some tweaking.

penn's picture

I was picturing more slate greys and dark browns. Perhaps something with texture?

penn

apankrat's picture

^ great idea. White on dark gray, something like this for example.

cfig's picture

I love that idea, problem is I'm pretty sure he wants to keep a light colored card so as to be able to write info/quotes/etc. on the back. I guess I could always just reverse out the type on the font and print it on white stock. And I'd love to letterpress it but i KNOW that isn't in the budget :) Good ideas, thanks.

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