How Wendy and I Designed our Company Logo / by Chris Foley

FMA logo jpeg.png

Back in 2012 when Wendy and I made the decision to move all our self-employment work to a newly incorporated company, we encountered a pretty steep learning curve. All our revenue and expenses (which up until then had been thrown in a box and dealt with over two hellish weeks in April) needed to be processed on the same day in QuickBooks Online, and accurate bookkeeping became a must in order for our business to run in an orderly manner.

We also needed a logo for our invoices and letterhead. I suggested to Wendy that we budget a few thousand dollars and find an advertising company that could encapsulate our vision as a technology-based arts startup that engages in a variety of business activities*.

Wendy’s reply: “No, you’re going to sit down with Microsoft Word or Pages and figure it out yourself. Then you’re going to show several different versions to me and we’ll agree on something.”

So I sat down with Pages and experimented for a while using different fonts and font sizes, with italics, boldface, and superscript, and came up with several different possibilities. Wendy and I worked through several of the early versions, did some fine tuning with character spacing and baseline shifts in Pages, and eventually agreed on what you see above. (Update: Wendy insists that her role in the creation of the logo is considerably larger than what I suggested above. Perhaps my memory is a little too selective…)

Total cost: $0.

What I learned was that if you arrive at a challenging task with the mindset that you can learn the skills needed to accomplish it yourself, it becomes doable. Of course you could outsource it to the pros for a price and save a lot of time. But what you gain from doing it yourself is the self-knowledge that you can learn a skill, apply it to your career, and have the satisfaction of having built something yourself.

If more of us in the arts have the vision to take that first step and learn how to do things slightly out of our comfort zone, the range of bold and visionary activities we can accomplish becomes considerably wider.

*At present, our business activities include music lessons in Oakville with four teachers, operating two blogs (The Collaborative Piano Blog and this eponymous one), providing described video services, Wendy’s operatic performing, and her growing art business).