The ampersand started as the humble “et,” the Latin word for “and.” It seems slightly silly to me that a person would rather write just 2 letters rather than 3 to make the conjunction of ideas, but the “e” and the “t” flow so easily from the pen that they become one letter. In the above graphic, which shows the ampersand in 30 different type styles, we see its evolution from the elision of two letters to something almost musical, like a reversed treble clef.
This is one of the reasons I love typography. When I’m developing a logo or title for a company, I consider everything, including the ampersand. Type defines the character of the product or business, inviting us to feel something about it (e.g., safe and professional, casual and happy, excited and edgy). Clean lines, a bit of a flourish, perhaps a serif — typography is a type of graphical expression that affects us whether or not we’re aware of it.
I was contacted to create a logo for Cedar Park Healthcare. What was terrific was that they gave me two important things: (1) an idea of what they wanted, and (2) a photo of the building which had the color of blue that they were looking for.
In their initial request they asked for a logo that could be used on their web site. Those are the easiest in many ways because they are low-resolution images and require the RGB (Red/Green/Blue) color profile which has a lot more range and options that the CMYK profile used for printing.
But, what if they needed to use the logo later on for printing? What if they eventually wanted a sign or banners created? Questions like that are why you hire a professional. Anyone can whip up a logo with a Microsoft Office® application, but if you try to send it to any other print vendor you will get extra charges for converting it to the format and color profile they require.
I created this logo using Adobe® Illustrator, software that is specifically for creating vector art. The shapes were simple enough to create; the raster effects (i.e., the blurred white circle in the cross, the blue drop-shadow, the white glow from the swooshes) are available in Illustrator and remain part of the vector original. Vector art is desirable because it can be sized up or down without losing resolution. If they need it large for a banner, I can make it the size needed and all effects will remain in sync with the original. Further, it can be exported to either JPG (for web sites), WMF (for MS Office applications on PCs), EPS (vector format used by most print organizations) and PDF.
But here’s the added bonus of hiring someone who has experience in the business: typography. I’ve been working in graphic design for a few decades so I recognized the font immediately (Century Gothic) when I saw the photo of their building. What I also saw was that the relationship between the upper- and lower-case letters was different from what is generally given by the software. It was an easy fix, but it’s one of those things that usually requires a pro who can see it and knows how to adjust it.
So, this is one more reason it’s important to hire a professional: You’re getting more than the work done; you’re getting the work you asked for, experience to notice the details and how to include them, and you get someone who knows how to think ahead to your future needs.