It's a lonely life...that of the necromancer, er freelancer

A blog by a designer and illustrator, for designers and illustrators which may contain musings on art, movies and random weirdness.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Neil Plumbing Logo

I recently developed a logo for local plumber and friend Jonathan Neil. He is a Christian and was looking for a logo that would not only speak to his new plumbing business, but would also reflect his values and belief that his excellence as a plumber not only serve the customers needs, but honor God.
With plumbing we knew that there would be water imagery, but we wanted to avoid the usual images of pipe wrenches,  drains, sinks, toilets or bathtubs. Jon and I discussed Bible stories and images that involved water vessels and service. I looked at water-related images ranging from Aquarius symbols to images of ancient middle-eastern water vessels. One image that caught my attention was a painting illustrating the Biblical story of Rebekah at the well.

I liked the feeling of the image, but realized it was too complex to make an effective logo, however after seeing this album cover for Come to the Living Water.

I decided that focusing on the hands would be the key. The client liked the idea and I produced a sketch in pencil and marker.

The client liked the sketch of the hands pouring water from a simple wooden bowl. It was a simple strong image which represented plumbing in a masculine, un-clich├ęd way but also referenced a biblical tradition of service. I proceeded with redrawing it in Illustrator, trying some different styles and colors, however when I refined the sketch in Illustrator it lost some of it's energy.

After reviewing these Jon and I decided that the original sketch, although it had a less refined line, had a rugged quality that we actually liked better. I went back to the original sketch and I re-did the drawing careful to keep the rougher, wood-cutty look of the original sketch.
I produced what ended up being very close to the final version of the logomark.

Then it was on to incorporating the logomark with text and laying out the actual business card. There was some discussion of what to call the company, at first it was Jonathan Neil Plumbing, but we decided his first name seemed unnecessary. So then it was just Neil Plumbing. I developed this simple lock-up with the type, a clean, strong, bold, sans-serif face.

Then he decided it should say plumbing and heating. Then there was the finalizing the exact color blue for the final card. Blue was a given from the client from the start, but what shade? We went with a Pantone 285, a kind of softer, pastel blue.  After some minor tweaks, this is the design I came up with for the final card. It was printed on uncoated stock with rounded corners. So far the reaction from the client and his customers has been positive.

Front of card
Back of card


  1. As usual,well done

  2. Looks great! Enjoyed seeing the image and how it came together after hearing description from Jon.

  3. Looks great! Enjoyed seeing image and hearing how it came about after hearing description from Jon.

  4. Really nice work, George. Client-focused and applied with your creative vision, beautifully articulated and executed. Brilliant!