Monday 11 June 2018
The Roving Petaler is a florist and flower-delivery service in the Kensington & Chelsea area of London run by Susan Parkinson. Central to Susan’s business is the vintage Land Rover 110 which she uses as a delivery vehicle. In Susan’s own words – ‘it’s an old one, a little dusty and pale green, just like I like it, with character and not too much fuss’.
With other florists in Kensington & Chelsea as her direct competitors, Susan is keen for The Roving Petaler to become known for being personal, friendly, approachable, and not at all stuffy, scary or pretentious. With lots of great ideas about how she wanted to achieve this, Susan commissioned me to create her logo, along with a custom illustration showing her pale green vintage Land Rover 110 loaded with flowers.
Susan liked the idea of using a script typeface for her logo and also wanted to match the vintage green colour of the Land Rover, so I set about researching both these areas.
Matching the green proved to be tricky. We identified the shade as Grasmere Green, but Land Rovers are no longer manufactured in that colour, so a visit to the local showroom left me none the wiser. Similarly, although paint references for the colour were available on the internet, I was unable to locate the Pantone reference I would need to allow me to recreate the same colour in print. And so I got in touch with Jaguar’s Global Advertising Manager who was able to obtain the information I needed direct from the Land Rover design team.
One of the most important things about a logo is that it is distinctive. So when your logo is simply your name presented in a typeface (a logotype) it is best to avoid using typefaces that other brands have used, or which might be recognisable in themselves. There are thousands of script typefaces out there to choose from, so it ought to have been possible to find something which looked great.
Many typeface websites will allow you to use a word or combination of characters of your own choosing to preview their typefaces, and this is definitely worth doing before making your final selection. This is because a typeface that looks ideal when it’s used for one word, doesn’t always look so good with the particular combination of characters in your business name.
Having tried hundreds of different typefaces and not found anything which looked quite right, I decided that I would draw some custom lettering for Susan in place of a typeface. This has the advantage that it is unique, and can be made exactly as you want it, but the disadvantage that you cannot then easily use the same type style for other branded elements.
In this case, I used a modern calligraphy style with a varied character height and baseline to give the logotype a feeling of energy and fun.
I began by researching the shape of Land Rover 110, and drew out basic illustrations of it from the front, back and side. Susan preferred the flowers to be placed in the open back of the Land Rover, and we decided that a view directly from behind produced the best result.
I dispensed with realistic scale early on in the process, since I wanted the flowers to be the focus of the illustration, rather than the Land Rover. From this point on Susan and I batted versions of the illustration back and forth until we had an arrangement of flower shapes and colours that she liked – she is the florist, after all!
In a glimpse behind the scenes of this process, I’m showing a selection of the iterations Susan and I went through – from the rough ‘sketch’ at the start to the final version at the end.
You will see that I worked with the logo text layered over the top of the image whilst I was developing the illustration. This was to ensure that it would be possible, in certain situations, to present the two elements layered together.
You can take a closer look at the illustration on the dedicated project page of my portfolio.
As with all my branding projects, I provided Susan with a basic set of brand guidelines explaining how to apply her logo and illustration. This includes a recommendation for a typeface and a colour palette with colour breakdowns for various uses.
Briefing a designer
Peppering the page – unnecessary punctuation
Putting a freelance designer at the heart of your project