the birth of our logos

When designing a logo, sometimes the decisions are clear cut. Other times they take a bunch of routes. This post will take you on a trip thru Parisian Phoenix Publishing (or PPP) logo designs. People are curious. They are starting to ask why. As the designer, the simple answer is I don’t remember.

It was 2014.

I had already designed the logos for d’Amille Paris, logo marks for handbags, garment bags, hangers, the whole nine yards. We even did a signature plaid. Angel was shopping the books to agents and waiting for rejection letters. We left ourselves dream that this manuscript would launch us into fame and we needed to be prepared. Dreams are what keep writers and other creative people motivated. Right?

Then, we thought phooey with traditional routes we would be our own publishing company. We’d be independent and pick the titles that we wanted. But we needed a logo first.

Angel is a real Francophile, so we knew that it had to have a French flair. But nothing too stereotypical. That means no berets or Eiffel Towers. And we wanted it modern, with clean simple lines. I was in my Charlie Harper phase then so I probably pushed us into a discussion on mid-century style.

I don’t remember why we settled on a cat. Angel did have a couple personal cats, but she wasn’t in cat rescue then. One of her personal cats appears in Manipulations. But for some reason I do remember Angel’s instruction—It needed to look like a mid-century, stylized French cat. The very skinny cats with the long necks and almost triangular heads. Being mid-century vintage myself, I had a pink one in my room when I was 13 so that’s what I based it on. (I made the cat in in ceramics class. Wonder what happened to it?) Why is ours pink? I’d like to think that it’s solely based on pink and black are hot colors for that style of mid-century cat art. But I think it might also be a nod to girl power.

As often happens in the mist of all the dreaming and planning life happens. The tween turns into a teen. You have to pay the bills. Or maybe your heart just isn’t into it anymore. By 2015, the project was shelved.

When Parisian Phoenix rose from the ashes of digital storage in spring, I dug out the logos for PPP. I sent a PDF to Angel and she replied, “I still really like the logo.” And I do too. That says a lot because I rarely like what I do. Now it has more meaning with Angel and the grown child fostering cats.

So we kept it. The cat logo has turned out to be very flexible and has evolved into a pride of logos for different imprints. Non-fiction is wearing her cats-eye glasses. Kink is ready for a naughty night out and represents our erotic fiction line. And the kitten is smaller, more round and less fancy for the children. The orange is gender neutral, and it’s a little homage to another of Angel’s late cats, Patrick. The almost grown child used to drag that cat around like it was a sack of potatoes. They were probably about the same size. It was hysterical.

At about this time—2014—I needed “art” work for the faculty art exhibit at my college. I’m a graphic designer so coming up with something to put in an fine art show is tough. I suggested to Angel that I do all the book covers for the Fashion and Fiends series. I even did a box for a box set. If you know me, you know that when I’m designing a book cover it will be very simple. I’m not big on over Photoshopped collagés. As you’ve seen with Manipulations and Courting Apparitions, they are both minimalist. And we both still like them. So yes, we we know what everyone looks like. You’ll just have to wait for the revels.

Published by gfhendricks

Designer, educator, seeker of hidden typography

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