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A Search for Identity: EDeN™ System Gets a Logo

Posted at July 6th, 2012
Posted by Ebony
Categories: Behind the Scenes, CUTTING, CRAFTING & QUILTING, Die-Cutting, RUNNING THE BIZ
1 Comment »
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Have you heard of the Equivalent Die Notation System?  I call it EDeN™ for short.  The name is pretty catchy, but it was dying (die-ing?) to have an identity of its own.

I know I said I was simplifying LoveBug Studios, and I shut down Quilt Possible only to launch EDeN’s website a couple of days later.  I had a pretty good reason though; I anticipate EDeN™ making its debut in a magazine pretty soon (guess which one!) and whenever people read about something they want to learn more, but for the past 5 months, EDeN’s been under lock & key within my magazine, Blocks to Die For.

If you’re unfamiliar with EDeN™, it’s essentially a way to give common names to quilting dies across the different manufacturers, so that no matter what system or dies you use, you’ll know which dies make what shape.  It’s also a way to help people convert rotary patterns, and vice versa.  It’s a simple idea, really, and partially inspired because I was getting really irritated with maintaining separate charts for the magazine.  It’s extremely slow and tedious to keep writing out the names & die numbers.  At the time, I was only making charts for a couple of systems, and there was no way I would be able to expand further due to the time involved and the space in the magazine it would take up.  EDeN™ takes about 1/4 of the space than my other method of charting dies.

I knew from the beginning that EDeN™ needed to be memorable (though it hadn’t yet been named), and I made a joke to a friend about it being “Ebony’s Die Notation System” – and that’s when EDN popped out.  I added the little “e” later because EDeN™ is more readable, but naming a system after oneself has got to be the ultimate in hubris.  Luckily, there was a perfect substitute word in the English language that happened to start with the letter “E” – and the Equivalent Die Notation System was born.

I spent quite a bit of time working with Marjorie Busby on the inner workings of EDeN™; we bounced ideas off of each other, challenged assumptions and ideas, and eventually came to the point where it was good enough to start doing some larger tests.  I decided to test it on my magazine subscribers (which is pretty tricky, by the way; ordinarily people don’t pay money to be test subjects) and I felt like I needed some sort of way to introduce it.  Like, with a logo or something.

Since EDeN™ was pretty new, and I needed something fast to stick on the cover of my magazine, I opted for a clip art-type of logo.  I came up with it myself, and this was the result:

I didn’t say it was good, I just said it was fast.  :)

After a few months I started thinking it was time for EDeN™ to get a makeover.  I turned to my trusty graphic designer Brian Boehm (who also designs for Gyleen Fitzgerald) for help.  You’re familiar with Brian’s work, surely; if not through Gyleen, you’ve seen his hand in Quiltspirations and in the re-visioning of the LoveBug Studios brand.

I had no idea what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want (nothing green, nothing round, nothing that was unreadable at 1″ in size), and he came back with a few ideas to kick around.  He came up with this concept of a leaf, because “Eden” was a garden, and represented an ideal way to live.  Similarly, EDeN™ is an ideal way to write cutting instructions for die-cutters, and so the whole tie in with the Garden of Eden was perfect.  He then took that idea and refined it to these three very different interpretations:

I turned to the members of the EDeN™ Yahoo Group for help in narrowing the field, and it was kind of humorous to read some of the comments.  You might be surprised at how a logo can evoke strong feelings for people, both positive and negative.

The 1st option was a favorite due to the simplicity of the design and the clean lines. The 2nd option was way too abstract, but a few people liked this one the best.  (To this day, I still don’t know what it is!) The 3rd option was interesting but needed to be much more simplified.

In the end, taking others’ comments into account as well as my own feelings, I narrowed the field to the 1st and 3rd options. Then Brian came back with some revisions, and added some color to the mix:

The 1st logo was still a clear favorite but not quite right.  I personally didn’t like the colors because they were too much like my LoveBug logo. However, when you’re choosing a logo you don’t worry so much about the cosmetics because those can always be changed; just as with paint inside a house, you don’t worry so much about the paint color and focus instead on the structure.

Other people didn’t like the pink text, and still others thought that “EDeN” was unreadable inside the leaf.  For the simplified version of the 3rd logo, people objected to the chunky text but they thought it was the more readable of the two.

Still, for me, I was thinking about how this would look in a magazine, or on the front of a pattern, or in a book, and I just couldn’t see people being willing to give up the wide real estate that this 3rd version offered.  I also didn’t like the font (more window dressing) because the “N” didn’t look like an uppercase letter, which matters a great deal to me.

I also didn’t like the casual feel of this logo.  It’s way too cute to be taken seriously as a cutting equivalency system.

So, I said goodbye to #3 revised, and we focused our efforts at refining #1.

I pointed out the likes & dislikes, which ranged from the color, to the font, to even the placement of the trademark symbol.  I didn’t like the way the “D” got bisected and how informal the font seemed.  However, it only took one more revision to arrive at this perfect & absolutely stunning final version:

It actually cracks me up to see how closely the final color came to the original color from my clip art version.  I’m really not into green (although you wouldn’t know that from my latest quilt!) but I like this two-toned bluish-green.  I like how the little “e” looks like it’s smiling (although in my head it’s actually laughing its little b-u-t-t off).  The “D” is divided in the right place, and the “N” is a strong anchor.  I look at this logo and get the feeling that it represents something formal, and yet still a little fun.  I like how it is uncomplicated, which gives some confidence that the system is simple too, and I like the separation of the logo from the text so that it can be printed with or without it as people gain familiarity with it.

I’m not in love with it like I love my bug, but for what it represents I think it is absolutely perfect.  That sounds like disappointment, but it isn’t really… they serve different purposes, and they need to have a clear separation.  If I were into tattoos, the bug has a designated spot on my right shoulder, but EDeN™ isn’t meant to be lovable or inkable.  It’s meant to be trustworthy and simple and recognizable.  It’s such a far cry from where I started, but I am so glad to have a designer who gets what I am about and what I want before even I know.

What’s your favorite company logo, and how does it make you feel when you see it?

One Response to “A Search for Identity: EDeN™ System Gets a Logo”

  • I like the final version of the new logo. Is it going to be available for designers that designer patterns using the EDen System?

    I guess I am into “bugs” too, my logo is a dragonfly, and I love it. Hope you have a good weekend Ebony!

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