Magazine Rebranding – the Nameplate & More

Posted by on Mar 1, 2009 in Backstory, Branding, Identity, Journal, Typography | No Comments

Salon City magazine started out as a magazine that was distributed in hair salons. Recently the publication has evolved into more of a fashion and Hollywood gossip mag. Now, they want to own their new emphasis, add to it and go for a wider distribution.


They want to fully embrace the secondary meaning of the word salon. And they came to me asking if I would explore a re-brand on spec.

I was interested. I love working with type. And, while I did work with Sports Illustrated on the nameplate for the short-lived Sports Illustrated Teen, I never created a magazine logo from scratch.

I started by exploring the name as one word with no space and in one font. I separated the two words with color. The image below shows a few of the stronger examples.

one_fontClick image to enlarge

Using initial caps for the nameplate is a trend that you see on the news stands now. Usually, its best to establish your brand before you use just initials for your name, but why not just assume that you have been around for awhile? The initial caps exploration is shown below.

SC_ititialClick image to enlarge

Salon City has been around for awhile but few people know that it is also online. Also, the internet culture generation is a demographic Salon City wants to include. So, I looked at using a character usually associated with the internet to separate the two words below.

font_deviceClick image to enlarge

One of the more obvious solutions was to emphasize the word “salon” and use the negative space in the “o” to nest the word, “city”. A few of the samples I presented are below.

salon_bigClick image to enlarge

The President of Salon City responded well to the above exploration and I had a hunch that using “city” as the dominant word would not work, but I explored it below.

city_bigClick image to enlarge

The Salon City execs all responded well to “salon” as a dominant word and they liked using an Art Deco font because the “O” character really pops. It also suggested a spotlight which they liked because Hollywood gossip would always be a big part of the magazine.

They were also now comparing the new Salon City to Vanity Fair and Los Angeles Confidential, so they liked using an Art Deco font because those magazines do.

But, before I explored the different Art Deco fonts I could use, they wanted to see the entire word in an Art Deco font spelled out with color separating the two words.

And because they responded so strongly to the spotlight reference, I also explored incorporating an even stronger spotlight into the design. Those two ideas are below.

side_by_sideClick image to enlarge

They didn’t like either idea. So, using an Art Deco font where the “O” pops would be the solution. But, there are several Art Deco fonts. I had to explore which one would work best. I could even mix in different fonts to create a unique look. That comparison is shown below.

final_optionsClick image to enlarge

They liked the one in upper left corner. I presented it with a silhouette image to show that it could be flexible with different cover images. And I ran the working tagline up vertically.

sc_cover-1Click image to enlarge

So, we had a nameplate. I liked how I could use the circle shape of the “O” as a design element in the mags interior. I used it on a single page layout below. I also created a quick lock up using the new nameplate logo for a special section of the magazine.

salon_society_low_rezClick image to enlarge

And, I created a two page spread showing how I proposed how the interior could look.

Salon_spread_smClick image to enlarge

Finally, I added the article names to the cover.

SalonCityCover_smClick image to enlarge

Time will tell whether Salon City moves forward with this design direction.

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