miercuri, 9 martie 2011

Just Like Cheerios

You know, the business part of writing never fails to amaze me. There's so much to it, even if you're not insane about it the way I am. My latest insanity, which I have thoughtfully inflicted on Bob, is branding the collaboration so we can sell it just like General Mills sells Cherrios. Or whoever it is that sells Cherrios.

Branding is the new buzzword in publishing. (Well, not that new. I'm never cutting edge.) The idea is to sell an author as someone who produces a certain kind of book, a product if you will. I kind of hate it because it does hem a writer in, but for the collaboration, I think it's necessary. We're trying to sell an idea here, the idea that a book with a man writing all the male points of view and a female writing all the female points of view, each writer coming from a distinctly different tradition, is fun and classy and well worth $24.95 or whatever the sucker is going to sell for. Plus Bob and I really like to teach and we want to do a five-day writing workshop in the spring, so we needed a look to market that, too. And then there's the collab website which will also need a graphic. Basically, what we needed was a logo that summed up the partnership in a clean, not-too-detailed image that we could use anywhere, in one or two colors, and that would work large or small. Not an easy design project.

So we called on the brilliant Mara Lubelle, and said, "He's a little bit violent military thriller, she's a little bit hot romantic comedy, together they solve crime," and Mara came up with four logos. And they were all good, but we're only using one, so this is the only chance to see all of them.

The first one was good, but it didn't capture the off-the-wall quality of the collboration. Nice type face, though:

The second one was better--I particularly like that bullet--but it seemed too busy and it was a little too detailed to reduce down well:

The third one I really liked and so did Bob: very clean and simple. But it was a little more violent than I was comfortable with: after all that's me in the crosshairs, or at least that's my symbol:

Which brings us to the last one, which we both liked because it made us both laugh and because it really does sum up our partnership:

No, you don't get to vote, the last one is it. But isn't it great?

Thank you, Mara Lubelle, genius logo designer.