Tell 'em where you're from

I got the idea from a Slack discussion. Local entrepreneurs and operators from the Boston community were discussing ways to brand their work as originating from Boston. There’s “Made in New York.” The back of every Apple device says, “Designed by Apple in California.” What could we do in Boston to bring attention to our community?

I was taken with the idea. I love this town and what so many people in the tech community are doing. So I started sketching. I tried a couple versions. I knew that I wanted to play up the “MA” at the beginning of “made.”

 
 

They were clearly typography-based. I made several variations and shared them back with the Slack community to get their feedback. People liked the idea. But they voiced concerns about some of the treatments. There were accessibility issues to think about.

Something more than basic text manipulation was necessary. I reached out to a great designer friend of mine for help. “Would you like to help me design a badge for Boston?”

 

Get Sketching

She thought it was a great idea. But also she was really busy. It would be a little while before she could devote any time to it. I had shown her what I had put together. She gave some great constructive criticism. Suggested a badge would be more appropriate than simple text.

I got to work sketching. I doodled on it during my morning commute, at lunch, in the evening. I came up with a few more treatments.

 
 

My designer friend was concerned that the strokes of the circles were were too fine, that they would not hold up to different sizing and contrasting backgrounds. So I went back to work.

After some more experimentation, I settled on a couple treatments, circular and square. I shared these back with the community. I provided both black and white versions, knowing that would be important with the range of backgrounds they might be placed upon.

The feedback was positive, and I felt I was on the right path. The square outline seemed the most positive. I continued to refine, eventually I settled on this:

 
 

Launch it

I shared it back with the Slack group. I got very positive responses. So I set up a website - BostonMade.org. and wrote a quick Medium post explaining the what and why of Boston Made.

I shared out what I had created on LinkedIn and Twitter. Others shared my work.

I heard from a number of people who thought it was interesting. A few companies added the logo to their company footer.

 

What I learned

This was a fun side project for me. The act of creating it is in and of itself fulfilling. I also learned a bit about promotion and marketing. The creative outlet was refreshing, and something I’m still learning more about.

I recently refreshed the logo. Thinking more about design and spacing, I played around with the logo to make it more friendly for different screens, and look more visually appealing (more sharp).

Here are the two logos side by side:

 
old version

old version

new version

new version

 
 
 

I worked with the spacing of the various elements to make things more consistent, giving it better symmetry. I think the updated version looks better. Here's a visual explanation of why:

I think the updated version looks better. Hopefully you do too. They're available in both positive (black) and negative (white). You're free to grab them at Bostonmade.org.

 
 
 

 

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