In the summer of 2016, an Arizona-based artisan decided to form an organization specifically for Arizona makers and artists — Arizona Artisans Collective. When I received an invitation to join the community and help shape the direction of the collective, I jumped at the chance to participate. As it turns out, many of the participants were in the first year or two of their handmade businesses (like me with Oxford Dogma), and the energy and enthusiasm of that stage of entrepreneurship is really cool to be around.
The organizer, Miriam (you can see her work at baldurstudios.com), put out a call after our first meeting for someone to volunteer their time and talents to create a logo. I signed up to help out and after chatting with her about her goals for the identity, I developed three directions.
A. The “Maker’s Mark” concept, based in heritage, an earthy feel, and handcrafted tradition. The concept is inspired by the marks on leather goods, ranches, and spirits. The mark itself is inspired by the mountains of Arizona, and the color palette represents the colors found in our natural surroundings.
This is the concept Miriam selected for the brand direction.
B. This concept has an airy, light, fresh, and trendy vibe to it. The mark is inspired by the mountains of Arizona and suggests growth and unity (two themes Miriam was interested in conveying about the group’s mission). The colors are consistent with those found locally, especially our spectacular sunsets.
C. The final concept is very clean and simple. Since the organization was in its very early stages, it wasn’t quite clear which direction it would take. So we wanted to explore a logo that was very simple, adaptable, and basically an empty vessel for whatever the future holds.