I’m A Logo Designer Too—A Portfolio of Logo Designs

Lush Floral and GardenBeing a logo designer has two main challenges. The first is expressing a company’s essence in one simplistic graphic, the other is getting people to see the value and importance of a quality logo created by a professional graphic designer. The process of doing a logo takes several hours, because much more is involved than what appears on the surface. Logos are put under a microscope by the creator, the client and the public. I really enjoy making logos for my clients. One small disappointment I have faced more than once is being mistaken for being a web designer only, when I’m just as much of a logo designer. Clients sometimes will come to me with a logo from another graphic designer they hired without knowing that I have a longer history of being a logo designer, graphic designer and illustrator than being a web designer.

Here is my process: First, the client and I brainstorm together. Then rough black and white sketches are presented and a couple are chosen out of several options. Next, many variations are created from the first one or two chosen options. At this point, color is only now introduced and integrated in with the design. Along the way several fonts are presented and matched up with the imagery. Sometimes typography is customized. Finally, micro-adjustments are made to logo and several versions are created for the website, print, in house printing, and possibly, merchandise. I’ve spent 30-40 hours on some logos not because it takes me that long to make the image, but the whole process from idea to the public involves a lot of decision making and discussions along the way.

See my rates page for the prices and the kind of logo you may need.

Below is a list of my top 10 logos I’ve designed for clients since starting my business, Schildbach Design, in 2008.

  1. Keith B. Wong, orthodontist (illustration by Keith B. Wong)
  2. Home and Comfort (never used)
  3. Center for Precision Diagnostics, University of Washington
  4. CBT Westport, clinical psychologists
  5. Speaking of Dying, a film about end of life planning
  6. Majdor, clothing and accessories
  7. Miles Lost Miles Gained, Washington rivers project by Zac Corum
  8. Wendy Woldenberg, jeweler
  9. Solstice NYC, psychiatrist
  10. Lush Floral and Garden, floral and garden designer

Reach People With An Email Newsletter

Wondering how to get people to your website? There are many ways, and your tactics should depend on your business or project. If you have interesting information to share, something to teach, or worthwhile offers, an email newsletter is a great way to to reach out to potential clients and attract them to your website.

My recommendation using MailChimp for marketing with email newsletters. For emails lists under 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month, THERE IS NO COST. I seriously don’t know how they do it. Their product is better than most other email newsletter services who charge for any size mailing list, and charge for any number of newsletters.

Don’t be pushy. People get enough junk mail. Have a sign up list on your website and build a mailing list from the people you meet, and the people you are connected to. It is actually illegal (to what degree, depends on the country you live in) to “cold call” or buy lists and send large quantities to random people. And, that is not Schildbach Design’s approach either. Keep your lists small and make each person matter. It is also required that you have an “unsubscribe” button and a business address. I really like the “unsubscribe” feature, because then you know only people who really want your newsletter are getting it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had this feature for physical snail mail junk mail?

MailChimp and other email newsletter services are easy to set up and have design templates for your “campaigns” so you don’t need a designer or web developer. But, if you are particular about your visual branding, the templates are not going to look like your website or the rest of your business identity. If you need to make an email newsletter design that matches your business identity or are simply too busy to send your own e-newsletters, Schildbach Design can cover these services for you.

Schildbach Design Services

MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response (or other account) Set Up
$200 Non-Profit, Creative Project/$300 Business, Institution

Email Newsletter Custom Design
$300 Non-Profit, Creative Project/$450 Business, Institution

Monthly Campaign
$100 Non-Profit, Creative Project/$150 Business, Institution

Testimonials

“Working with Stephen is a pleasure and a great learning experience. He is warm and compassionate, has an amazing memory for detail (at least partly because he is such a good listener), and is truly interested in creating an aesthetically pleasing, highly functional website that reflects the character of the business it represents. Stephen is clearly personally invested in our success, in our feeling great about our website and confident in our ability to manage it on an ongoing basis. He is constantly learning and seems to be a step ahead of industry changes, so he chooses the most effective, cost-effective, and sustainable options for creating and managing our online presence. I feel inspired to keep learning and updating our website, in order to maintain the professional standard that Stephen has set for us.”

Angeline Johnson, owner of Richmond Beach Yoga

“I appreciate all your hard work so much, and think the end result is awesome.  I think the business identity and logo and everything together presents very professionally.   I’m very happy with the result.”

A. Caron, PHD

“My website continues to reap benefits.  While I was on tour in the Marshall Islands, I did several workshops in schools in addition to several concert performances.  Many of the people I met at shows, and kids from the schools, went on my website and even used the contact form to write me emails.  It’s so convenient and satisfying to tell people “check out my website” knowing that it actually embodies my work and is something I can be proud of.”

Jeremy Jones, Drummer and Composer

Using WordPress As A Web Designer, Web Developer & Content Manager

There are so many ways to use WordPress, I don’t know where to begin. WordPress, as you may know, began as a blogging tool. But, for more reasons than I can explain, WordPress took off to become the primary Content Management System of our time. Almost any review you read rates it as the number one cms. For all of these reasons, I have primarily become a WordPress web designer.

When you are deciding on how to build your site, I will not say WordPress is the only solution. I have to admit that I started out working in a lesser known CMS called Concrete5 which appears in reviews as a great alternative to WordPress. Although less known and a smaller project, C5 has some things WordPress does not. It has a front end visual editor, which WordPress does not have. And, dropping in chunks code for the developer is more intuitive than WordPress. At first, this is what attracted me to Concrete5. But, like anything in life, the more you learn the less you know, and the more you get to learn about the endless opportunities for WordPress, the more you realize you can do so much more with it than any other CMS.

It is important to distinguish the different perspectives and uses people are going to have on WordPress. For example, you are going to have both clients without much technical knowledge and high end developers using WordPress. And, here is what makes WP so amazing, is it works for both of those people, and most everyone in between. Because I don’t want to write a book, basically there are two primary ways to use WordPress (I know I said many ways, but like I said, I don’t want to write a book). But for both kinds of users, most everything you use in WordPress is free.

1. The small business owner or person with a project who does not mind taking things in to their own hands and is on a budget

This is the person who can make with they need with what they are given. You search for a theme (visual design) and then you download it. You search for plugins and download a plugin every time you want a new features (slideshow, contact form, etc..). This process is great for non-coders, and people who just want to get an online presence up and aren’t too particular about the details. For these people, there are other options other than WP, such as Square Space, Wix, Weebly, etc… Even though they cost money, they are fantastic for brochure websites and simple shopping carts. In the end, you are going to spend a lot less money using these services than you are hiring a web designer, so use them if you are on a budget and willing to spend a little time figuring out the framework. WordPress takes a little more time to figure out, but the advantages are how expansive the system can be, if you are ambitious enough to learn it. Although WP has a very clean UX, these other options I mention, have fancier frameworks that are for the most part easier to learn.

So, if WordPress is harder to use than these commercial products that aren’t too expensive, why is WordPress so big and used by so many people?

There are too many reasons to list. WordPress is also a global community, and it is not only nice to connect with others, it is important for our happiness to connect with others. And, why not connect with others while you are building a website? It is amazing to me how generous people are online, not only with WordPress information, but all online information. You can ask almost any question in your search engine about WP and get an answer. You are not alone. Also, the themes and plugins have extended WP to do almost anything. If you can’t find a way with WP to accomplish your idea, you might want to reconsider your idea, and just how good it is.

2. The client and web developer who have custom projects and particular needs that don’t fit in to commercial products, or are too difficult for the web developer to do without a little help from WordPress.

This is where Schildbach Design predominantly works. I don’t want to spent my time downloading themes and plugins for someone. You can do that. I have learned the coding behind WordPress extensively, and am a designer. You are not going to find many people who can both code and design without hiring an expensive design firm. This is a great combination for accomplishing all kinds of projects, business identities, and online marketing for my clients. And, a reminder that I am connected with other great developers and creatives who can help me when the project is too large for me to do on my own. Here are just some items I have built custom for my clients:

  • Slideshows
  • Portfolios
  • Designs you don’t see anywhere else
  • Customizing content display with tabs, accordions, and popups
  • Displaying large quantities of data
  • Customizing search results
  • Events calendars
  • Membership websites
  • Parallax Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Inserting instructions in the dashboard for my clients
  • Shopping Carts

Being A WordPress Web Designer

To be honest with you, I would not be able to build these items without some help from WordPress. Another advantage is the client can update most items I build. WordPress has an amazing core that can get you started, then at the same time you are both building complex projects and making it editable for the client. Once you get to know WP well as a web developer, then modifying and customizing and building new items is the next level. I would recommend any web developer to learn the core of this CMS and then build with it. And, I would recommend any client with a project that has unique components to get a developer who codes in WordPress to make your ideas come to life. If you are a potential client, the important thing is to make sure the web developer knows the coding behind WordPress, not just raw coding languages (PHP, Javascript, etc…), and make sure the web designer who knows WordPress can code in PHP, jQuery, Javascript, etc… (they don’t even need to know it very well). Otherwise you are hiring someone who may not be able to get too much farther beyond the above mentioned way to use WordPress #1.

2015 Clients

I want to thank all of my 20 plus, 2015 clients help make Schildbach Design have it’s best year to date. My repeat clients and new clients cover a dynamic range of professions (therapists, scientists, orthodontists, musicians, yoga teachers, etc…). Work that spans web maintenance to business identities. This year’s client list: