Jay McLean

For this project, I was commissioned by Melbourne-based adult romance author, Jay McLean, to redesign her logo with custom typography and give the new identity a grungy, urban appearance. I was requested to make the logotype have a red and black colour scheme, as well as to incorporate some illustration into the design; of which Jay had suggested adding a bird to represent her fans who like to be known as 'Jaybirds’.

The logomark was then to be designed in a similar style to the logotype to maintain branding consistency - this design needed to be legible at a small size as the logomark was to be applied to the spines of her books. Additionally, the brief also required me to design a new pull-up exhibition banner for Jay to display at her book-signing events.

I began the project by sketching out a range of different logo concepts, and then presenting them to Jay for her feedback. The one with the thick swirls was her preferred choice - which was also my personal favourite concept too - so I fleshed out the design to make it more refined and as symmetrically balanced as possible.

Once Jay was satisfied with the overall composition of the custom typography, I then commenced working on the logotype in Adobe Illustrator. Using guides to help make sure everything was created to perfection, I fixed up the swirls, adjusted the tracking and ensured the thickness of each letter was all the same width.

Following the completion of the custom typography, I vectorised my bird illustrations and played around with the composition. In the end, I decided to increase the size of the love heart that was originally above the two birds and then placed it so that the birds were standing on it - this then made it perfect for the illustration to sit above the M. Another little touch I made to the illustration was a subtle reference to a writer's pen nib inside the heart symbol, which represents Jay being an author.

Make sure to check out Jay's adult romance books at her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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