Story of Mum has never had a logo. Just words blandly spelling out our name. But as we’ve grown to understand what we are, and what we could be, (with the help of the Oh My! Handmade community) we’ve realised that we need to step into a clearer identity. To help us take that step, five Graphic Design students at Falmouth University have bravely developed ideas for a new logo and brand identity for story of mum, allowing us to share their process here. We would love your thoughts to help us choose.
Mentored by dear Ellen Elwell and supported by Arts Council England, I developed a 2 page brief. This identified our primary audience (short version: mothers of under 10s) and message (short version: Join us!).
Our key visual/style notes were that we’re broadly happy with our current colour palette (you can see this on our website), influenced by contemporary creativity and the DIY/handmade art movement, and need a logo that can sit alongside diverse content and colours in a simple gallery space. Our key descriptors were:
We also found a new way to express our evolving mission:
To harness the power of creative activity and storytelling (written, visual, craft, arts) to help mums of all ages and backgrounds explore and express their evolving identities: fostering greater confidence, self-awareness and appreciation of both the negative and positive aspects of motherhood, while having fun.
I presented the brief in person last week and the students had just four days until I returned to hear their pitches and give feedback, selecting five to explore further. They had another week to make revisions, with regular email contact if they wanted it. We’re very grateful for their hard work and vision.
Each designer gave us a wide range of material (we asked for a logo alone, on the website, and featured as an exhibition flyer), some of which we’ve shared below, along with a short paragraph to explain their intentions.
A. JOHANNA FLOWERS
“Story of Mum provides the strength of community, freedom to be creative and a sense of adventure. The balloon is an uplifting metaphor for the bravery and growth experienced by mums. The process of the balloon filling and creating the firm roundness that lifts it also correlates with pregnancy. I created a handmade logo with a potato print to reflect the creative aspect of Story of Mum. The effect is welcoming and contemporary and far from corporate. Overall the image reflects the journey that mums make and the courage and fun that goes with it.”
B. JOHN PRIMMER
“Story of Mum focuses on the importance of ‘me time’ for mothers. Circling the word ‘Mum’ reflects the emphasis on prioritizing this time, much as you would circle a date in the diary. Using the printed word ‘MUM’ helps anchor the logo, making this very much the ‘story of’ mum, written by mums and shared with other mums creatively online. The ‘circling’ brand mark can also be applied as encouragement to ‘exhibit’ your thoughts and feelings on the website or in a physical space. Mums could be encouraged to print out their own ‘MUM” to doodle on, adding ‘story of’ and the circle to brand their individual profile.”
C. CATHERINE SWAN
“Reassurance was Story of Mum’s strongest message, signified here by the circle. Birds have a feminine shape that also signifies freedom. I chose the stork without the traditional baby in beak to imply a woman on her way to motherhood or blossoming as a mother. Storks have other nurturing attributes, squeezing water from moss to feed their young, grouping together in large numbers to protect one another at night. The Marabou stork also has an enormous wingspan measuring 10.5ft, which made me think of a comforting hug, the best hug of all, our mothers’!”
D. NATHAN SMITH
“Overall, the identity resembles a flower. Within this, the numerous ‘petals’ or ‘people’ are connected by a central bond. This represents a social hub, all mothers and all connected. However, each person has their own identity. They aren’t just a ‘mother’, they are themself. This is represented by each ‘petal’ or ‘female figure’. The idea is that this captures a sense of connection, joy, growth and fulfilment. The rough and uneven edges give a sense of handmade creativity and the use of pattern has also been inspired by patterning styles echoed throughout the handmade community.”
E. LAUREN WAKEFIELD
“Story of Mum has a strong sense of community, allowing mothers to come together to share experiences and to have fun. My logo design represents this, as well as the idea that each mother is a unique individual brought together by Story of Mum. I focused on the word ‘Mum’ as they are after all what makes the brand, with each letter as an individual person connected by their roles as mothers. Joining the letters shows them holding hands – a strong sense of support and comfort within the mothering community.”
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We would love to know your thoughts! Which do you think best capture the spirit of Story of Mum and the ideas within the brief? What might we think about next as we take one of these designs further?
About the Author Pippa Best
I live in Cornwall, UK with my salty-skinned surfing film-making husband, boisterous 4 year old boy who thinks he’s an Octonaut, and nearly 2 year old daughter who inspires me by saying YES as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. Life is a constant plate-spin of intuitive mothering and my work as a feature film script editor and project manager. My passion is www.storyofmum.com, an online community of supportive brave mamas doing uplifting, thought-provoking, downright silly stuff together to celebrate the ups & downs of motherhood. Come join our #somum Mums’ Make Dates (2nd Wed. of every month from 8.30 – 10pm GMT on Twitter).