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The BIG Move Update: A New Logo to Celebrate Our New Space!

Two weeks ago we announced The BIG Move right here on The Purl Bee.  In case you missed our announcement, we're moving our two Soho shops, Purl and Purl Patchwork to a new, much bigger space in Soho this April. You can read all about it right here.  Since we made our announcement, we've been flooded with emails, phone calls and visits from customers expressing excitement and enthusiasm over our big moving adventure.  We'd like to take this moment to let you know that we truly appreciate the positive thoughts and encouragement you've shown about our BIG move so far, thank you so much!

One question we've been hearing over and over is "what are you going to call the new store?" Since our two shops each have their own name, Purl and Purl Patchwork, and the new store will be combination of the two this is a very good question. Thankfully, this is one decision in the millions of little details we have to deal with that was easy to make.  Our new shop will be called Purl Soho, just like our website (plus so many of you call us that already anyhow!).   We think our new logo is the perfect way to acknowledge our changing name and our new space. Our goal with the new logo design was to visually communicate that while our business is changing and growing, we're still the same Purl you've always known and loved.  We also wanted it to be pretty, fun and welcoming, just like we're hoping the new space on Broome Street will be. 

 

The Story of our New Logo

 

The starting point for the new capital P in our logo came from this amazing and beautiful (and, sadly, out of print) embroidery book from Sweden.  Joelle and Page first saw this book on Fine Little Day, a blog by Elisabeth Dunker that is a source of daily inspiration for us at The Purl Bee (the previous link will take you to Elisabeth's original post about the book, but make sure you check out her entire blog here too, it's simply wonderful).  Since the book is out of print Page went on a bit of a mission to track down a copy of the book.  Her efforts were well worth it though because inside is an amazing world of alphabets, like the one below.

When we started talking about changing the logo, we loved the idea of using a cursive, capitol P in place of the cursive, lowercase P in our original logos.  We felt that this would hint at our business growing up, without being a radical departure.

The "purl" part of our original logos are closely related to the font French Script.  We chose French Script as the foundation of our original logo because we felt that it was pretty without being fussy or overly fancy and because it was round and loopy, kind of like yarn.

 

When we picked this cursive, capital P for the starting point for our new logo we knew we were going to have to do a lot of work with it to make sure it would honor the qualities we love about our original logo and also that it would work with the "url" part of "purl" visually.

For the first step in the process Brooke (our incredibly talented graphic designer and author of the delightful blog Inchmark) drew the new P on her computer and added it to the original logo.  We got really excited when we saw it even though we could see that we have to substantially change it to make it work.  Once we started in earnest we felt that we needed to get a professional type designer involved.  Drawing letters is both an art and an incredibly challenging technical skill, so Brooke called in Natasha Tibbott to help us out. (Natasha Tibbott has been digitally drawing everything from editorial art for The New York Times, to charts, borders, maps, bits of type and other sundry items for publications ranging from Shape to O Magazine for many years).

Here are just a few of Natasha's first versions of our new P (for these you might also notice that she added an extra little curl to the end of the L).  There was something we liked in each one of them, but there wasn't yet one that seemed completely right overall.   Brooke got out her tracing paper and pencils and went to town playing with the different elements of Natasha's P's.  Below you can see some of Brooke's beautiful drawings.

We think the subtle differences between each version are fascinating because you can see so clearly how just a slight shift in angle, line weight or curve makes such a difference in the overall feeling of the letter. 

Brooke's last hand drawn version was hands down our favorite, so we sent it off to Natasha and she completed the letter to perfection!  We truly love our new P, so please be forewarned we're probably going to start putting it everywhere! 

Once we had the P finished up Natasha did a little more tinkering with the "url" part of Purl to make the two elements work together.  You can see here that the U is tilted just the tiniest bit as well as the L. And now the L ends with a soft curve that reflects the bottom curve of the new P. 

But design is a slippery slope.  Once we placed our new Purl logo with the original lower case multi-colored "soho", it all seemed a little busy!  We didn't want to steal the show from our new P so we worked on simplifying the rest of the logo. The first step was to change the multi-colored letters to a simple, modern brown which we liked, but still we felt that it wasn't all the way there.  Luckily, Brooke came forward with the idea of changing the lowercase font (called filosofia) to uppercase (also filosofia) and there it was, our new logo was born! 

 

We hope you like our new logos as much as we do.  It won't happen all at once, but soon you'll be noticing it popping up in our advertisments, on our website, on our blog and in lots of other places too.

Stay tuned to The BIG Move page for more details, coming soon!

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24 Responses to The BIG Move Update: A New Logo to Celebrate Our New Space!


  1. nicole says:

    very, very cool! love it.

  2. amanda says:

    it’s so fun knowing how the new logo came from!

  3. tag says:

    I have followed you for quite sometime. I have enjoyed making your projects (the Christmas stocking project was perfect for my son’s first Christmas!) And I feel compelled to write you about the sharing of the design, logo typography etc. Something I love thinking about and pondering – and so enjoy it when others take the time to share their process. Many thanks, truly enjoyed the post.

    My best wished to you with the move,

    tag

  4. anie says:

    Lovely post. Wishing you all the best with the move!

  5. Thank you for your stores, online journal, and making all of us feel so much a part of the process. I love your new "P" as well as the complete logo! I also love that you take creating your logo seriously, and that you take your customers seriously enough to know that we would be interested in the designing of it!
    I’ve been grieving the loss of our 13 year old son, the fifth of our eight children, over the past three years. Earlier today I posted an entry about The Purl Bee on my new blog "Making It" Better, which explores the connection between making things and healing loss. I’m happy that reading your latest entry gave me the opportunity to thank you in a more general way (rather than attaching it to one of the projects). All the effort that has gone into making Purl SOHO special has helped me personally during this time, more than you’ll ever know. Again, thank you all!

  6. andreacreates.blogspot.com says:

    Who knew so much work was involved in a few letters-thanks for sharing the process : )

  7. Yeah, love your logo! Thanks for telling the story about it.
    (And I’m also a fan of old of old "mrkbcker", can’t resist them.)

  8. Sara says:

    As another graphic designer, I love seeing the creative process from start to finish. Your new logo is great – and I hope you do put your beautiful new P on everything! Who will be the first to embroider it?? Have fun with it!

  9. jasmne says:

    thanks for sharing! best of luck with the move! i can’t wait to get over there!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Having recently watched "Helvitca" a documentary on how alphabets are designed, I found your posting completely fascinating! I read it with absorption all the way down to the bottom!

  11. Tich says:

    Loved seeing the design process and the final outcome. Really nice. All the best with your move.

  12. suesue says:

    I’m so excited about the new move! I make a point of visiting every time I’ve gone to New York and have always loved all the products in both stores. Can’t wait to visit again!!

  13. Nancy says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I love the new logo and hearing the story behind it as well. I’m so glad you shared it with us.
    Oh, and Elisabeth’s blog is truly amazing!

  14. tiny twig says:

    love reading the process. thanks for sharing and congrats on the move…you guys have had quite a couple of years! :)

  15. nj progressive says:

    Wow! I actually own that book of embroidered letters! It was always one of my absolute favorites! There were so many inspiring books published by Van Nostrand Reinhold!

  16. Patricia says:

    P is hands down my favorite letter, and this one is beautiful!!

  17. nj progressive says:

    Wow! I actually own that book of embroidered letters! It was always one of my absolute favorites! There were so many inspiring books published by Van Nostrand Reinhold!

  18. theresa says:

    hi,

    i just put a bid on that book on tradera.com which is swedens Ebay. if you really want it let me know… i want it but i bet you’d use it more then me. i just recently started embroidery, so no biggie. you could just repay me what i pay plus shipping.

    either way, i love your site. thanks for all the inspiration!

  19. isabelle says:

    What a great post! We loved reading about the evolution of the new logo, and seeing the illustrations and sketches along the way. The final design is so elegant and friendly — perfection!!
    love, isabelle and nick

  20. meg says:

    loved the lesson – thank you for sharing it. i always wonder how people come up with their logos.

  21. Emily Cuffs says:

    This makes me want to go and trace type! Thank you for posting this inspiration!

  22. MJ says:

    Thanks for detailing the design process. As a graphic designer myself I can appreciate the attention to detail, kerning, color, and relationship. So much goes into creating even the simplest things, but they do count!

    Congratulations on the big move! I love your OC store, too. Don’t move that ever! :-)

  23. This book is so great! I actually photocopied the whole thing from a friend’s copy of it. I’ve used it in many different ways as inspiration for typographic projects. Interesting to see that it also has fans outside Sweden!

  24. Ida says:

    Yay! Of to tradera/blocket and similar pages. Im from Sweden and I just KNOW I have seen this book somewhere! I am going to help my mother this spring with going through all her books and stuff in storage to see what to keep/sell/throw/give away. Going to keep an eye outfor this one now;D Lovely letters and fun to see how much work you did to make the new logo.

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