For the next seven weeks I’m working with a client Finlandia Foundation SF Bay Area Chapter. I signed up to design a logo, business card, letterform, Brand Manual and a website for them.
Business/Concept: Finlandia Foundation San Francisco and Bay Area Chapter is an organization that promotes Finnish culture and traditions for anyone interested in Finland or Finnish-American heritage. It’s one of the 50 Chapters working in USA under the umbrella organization, Finlandia Foundation National based in Pasadena, California. It’s among the biggest and most active Chapters in the USA with Finlandia Foundation New York Metropolitan. Finlandia Foundation San Francisco and Bay Area Chapter was founded originally in 1956 as the Palo Alto-Stanford Chapter and was closely associated to the Stanford University and it’s faculty at the time. Afterwards it has expanded to reach the hole Bay Area in California and the name was changed. The organization sets together several cultural programs during each year. Some of the events are yearly Christmas fair, First of May celebration and Finnish heritage Sharks hockey game. Among those there’s cultural lecturers, book authors visits and etc.
Profile and concept: The Chapter works with volunteering effort and is run by Broad of Directors that are selected each time for two years. While the organization offers activities to anyone who’s interested in Finnish culture, it doesn’t at apart or give advices of relocation, housing, moving or visa issues. It’s clearly separated from the Consulate and the bureaucratic issues.
While being one of the biggest and really active Chapter in USA, it was time to update the design concept. Facebook and the newsletter are the biggest channels to contact people and the website is seeking new people to join, showing how active the Chapter is and getting donations for the Chapter.
CUSTOMER RESEARCH and INTERVIEW: Target group, competitors, similar foundations, background information / checking details with the customer.
LOGO research, idea development
LOGO Idea development and sketching
LOGO Finalizing the options to show the customer
LOGO Finalizing the logo
The first day went by reaching information about the client, other Chapters and other Organizations. It seemed that quite a few of the websites are not that well done. They might offer information but are poorly designed. Although I also found couple that I really liked and would like to do something similar. The customer is looking for a modern and clean look.
I was also looking for overall inspiration and feeling for the project. I was looking what works and what doesn’t work in the other logos, websites and ways of present the information.
After that I formed the project and it’s boards to TRELLO and invited my clients to join the group.
Here’s some of the founding. I was inspired by nature of Finland, birch trees, Golden Gate bridge, well organized clean websites. There’s also pics that I need to not necessary follow but take into consideration.
I started concentration to design the logo. I searched more inspiration. The client wanted to have modern and clean look, that would combine Finland / Finnish culture, art and tech to Bay Area and maybe Golden Gate and red color.
After the search I started to sketch. I had my sketchbook with my everywhere and I searched inspiration from web, brochures, when moving from my phone, outside from the nature, posters etc. When ever I saw something interesting, I tried if it would work for my logo.
I changed a bit the order of the schedule and planned the sitemap for the website already. In the brief we had already discussed what the client wanted to include to the website. After exploring other websites, I gathered the information together and made two suggestions. This gave us more time to comment this and more time to start write the texts for the website (when knowing what we needed).
I continued sketching the logo to my notebook.
I traced Golden Gate bridges from the photos and the handsketched logos I thought that would work for the Finlandia Foundation San Francisco Bay Area. I used wax paper, light board and black fine markers.