This one’s for those of you who like pictures and drawings of dragon fairies.
I commissioned Karen Arnott – a local graphic designer and one of Puffles’ followers (tweeting at @KarenArnott) to come up with the design based on the photographs of Puffles I and others had taken.
I’m still in the process of learning the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator. When coming up with ideas for logos, it became very apparent to me that I had neither the skills or patience to come up with what I had in mind. Hence running off to Karen for help. The format the file has been delivered in means that I can play about with a number of things for future use. The three main ones are:
1) Playing with the background: Most logos don’t have backgrounds in, but I wanted to get a feel for what the logo would look like with a background in order to play with some silhouette ideas. I also wanted to experiment with different colours in the background too.
2) As mentioned in 1), one of the logo ideas that I had was creating a Twitter-bird-style 2D silhouette design. The final design coming through in the Photoshop format allows me to keep the key outlines and components (such as Puffles’ green underbelly)
3) Playing with fonts on the text that’s going to go below it.
It’s a bit of a risk to go out into “professional world” with a logo that’s in the format of a cuddly-looking creature. It’s also a bit of a risk turning up to events carrying Puffles with me. Some people think “Oooh! Cute cuddly toy! Let’s find out more!” Others think “What an idiot!”
This for me reflects the split between people who are comfortable with social media and those who are not. Interestingly, attitudes towards Puffles soon change when people find out the number, the variety, and the calibre of people who follow Puffles on Twitter. The same can be said of the number of hits and the nature of the comments I get on this blog which is directly related. One of the things I’ve noticed over the past couple of months is the significant rise in the number of “non-Twitter referrals” – especially from search engines.
I could have gone with something far more conventional as a logo. Yet within my niche area, Puffles is a very recognisable personality – and is an integral part of much of what I currently do. Therefore it makes commercial sense for me to go with Puffles just as much as it does emotional sense. When you spend over a year diligently building up a profile such as this, you do become attached! I also return to the point I made at the end of Accountability, creativity and going alone:
“When people say “Aren’t you worried about your image?” my response is that Puffles IS my image. When people say that I look a bit silly with Puffles, my take is that if they’re not family, friends or followers of my Twitter account or of this blog, why should I worry about what they think?”
Some may say that the prospect of engaging with someone who has a dragon fairy for a logo is somewhat off-putting. My response is that Puffles has clearly not stopped influential people from Cabinet Office from engaging with me in my main area of interest and expertise, so why should it be for anyone else? If anything, it’s been through Puffles that I have been able to get such issues out to an audience far wider and far more diverse than anything I could have hoped for during my civil service days. In particular getting people to talk about these issues and to respond to the powers that be. What felt like a never-ending problem during those days was how to publicise and engage with audiences who were far beyond “the usual suspects”.
Social media provides a massive opportunity to do this – we’re just not quite sure how yet. Social media is something that lots of us are still learning to get the best out of. Even me.