I started a little project with my brothers that I hope will be home to projects that we will work on together. Between the four of us, we manage to encompass elements of design, illustration/art, photography, video and audio.
With this in mind, I registered a business name and we're calling ourselves the Rainsford Creative Collective. Coincidentally, this meant I could registed rainsford.ie, which is something I've wanted to do for a while.
As the person taking care of the design aspect, I have been thinking long and hard about a logo and by extension, a brand. I came up with some ideas, but they seemed disconnected from who and what we were. This is not a faceless organisation, this is us.
I am a big fan of heraldry and knew we had a pretty great family crest. The main elements were an Argent (silver) shield with a Sable (black) cross, a helment (crusaders) and a deer. I made the decision that our family crest would become the core of our branding.
After the decision was made, the only thing I needed to do was redraw the crest, so that the elements were clean vectors and are able to be separated. This may seem like a simple task, but it's not. Six-odd hours of Illustrator work, screencasting and a lot of editing later, I present the process of redrawing a crest, in two crazy minutes. If you are prone to epileptic seizures, watch with caution.
Of course, an old-school heraldic crest isn't going to scale down to form a neat Favicon or Twitter avatar, but my goal is to create a branding system, rather than a brand consisting of a logo. The brand will consist of the elements of the crest separately, used when appropriate. For the most part, it'll probably be the shield, but maybe at some point, a deer head or a crusaders helmet might be more appropriate (I can't wait for those projects).
I'll post again when I have the brand further along, which will better illustrate my ideas above.