bunnyropedotcom

Banner Design by Will Ringland

I made a banner.  I made 14 banners.  And I thought briefly reviewing the choices I made that got me from point A to Really, Another One? would be interesting.

I made a few major decisions for the banner, aside from the minor visual tweaks you can see.

  1. Style/color 
  2. Logo
  3. Type

Style

When I first began turning Bunny Rope into a business, I decided on an overall style aesthetic for my site which has driven most of the subsequent choices.  I’m not an especially ostentatious individual and wanted my business to reflect that.  It needed to be minimal and reflect the Japanese cultural heritage which accompanies Shibari rope.

Most Kink vendors use black as their background but I think that tends to be a little too heavy handed, even though red and black are a classic power/sex color combination.  I figure that I can elicit the sex appeal in other ways.

Logo

Designing the logo was fun and skips merrily along typeface choice.  The choices here really started with the business name which is an amalgam of thinks - rope bunnies as a phrase for shibari enthusiasts, my old internet pseudonym (AngryBunnyMan [shortened in 2008 to ABMann]), and various conversations with alyska and Lady_fox about raising bunnies and cats for extra fluffy photography. 

I feel like drawing a bunny tied up in a chest harness is both obvious and adorable.  The interesting twist was in the type face choice.

Type

I knew I wanted something rounded and flexible - something that emulated the traits of rope I appreciate - without being illegible or kitschy.  I tried a bunch of free ones from Fonts1001.com but ultimately landed on Sadey Ann, a medium-light weight script that looked good in multiple sizes.

What I especially liked was the bowl on the B and P.  So much so that I took B and used that to define the shape of the bunny in my logo which was a nifty little bit of serendipity and made the logo even cuter.

This choice became one of the harder ones to integrate longer term.  Script fonts look overly busy or immature when the only face used in printed materials. You need to offset the casualness of the script with something much less ornate but not too simple.  Too simple and you overemphasize the casual nature of the script face, too ornate and the material looks gaudy and overwhelming.

I think I tried 7 or eight fonts before landing on the first one I used, Wytherness, which I ultimately abandoned as too spindly.  Mostly.  It made a reappearance briefly later until I tried Tahoma.  Ultimately I went for Seravek which is similar to Tahoma but has a more copacetic weight for Sadey Ann.

Design

The rest of the design proceeded in a relatively logical fashion.  I modeled my banner off of nobori, samurai war flags, which dovetails nicely with the clean, Japanese aesthetic I wanted to start with.  Nobori were extremely minimal and iconic to allow easy identification of military units at distance; now they’re mostly used to identify businesses. Also fitting.

I started really simple but thought the space was poorly used that way.  I added angles and additional color blocking to add interest without detracting from each element.  

Ultimately I used a white field to separate the bunny icon from the text and some simple red bars to add interest and weight to the bottom of the banner.

I do like a few of them but think the last achieves the easy to remember, iconic imagery I want with harmony in the overall impact of the design. </buzzwords>

Progress and Preparation by ABMann

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Marketing Samurai

I am done for Madtown Kinkfest.

Done here defined as “I hit my goal to dye a mile if rope for the show”. Which I thought I wouldn’t get to until two months from now. So,I’m waaaaay ahead if schedule and now get to work on side projects for Bunny Rope.

Which is also good because I have an additional event scheduled next week.

Needless to say I am feeling good.

I’ve started working on booth design and printed materials - banners, flags, colors and similar marketing materials. Meaning I’ve been thinking a great deal on branding.

Branding

verb gerund or present participle: branding - 1. mark (an animal, formerly a criminal or slave) with a branding iron. synonyms: mark, stamp, burn, sear - mark indelibly. “an ointment that branded her with unsightly violet-colored splotches” synonyms: engrave, stamp, etch, imprint - describe (someone or something) as something bad or shameful. “the do-gooders branded us as politically incorrect” synonyms: stigmatize, mark out

Branding is… tricky. I find myself agonizing over color, font, orientation of text on a field of white or red or black. If we accept that the choices we make for this indelibly mark a business, or a person (I think) in my case, it’s so important to get it right. Not only because changing everything is a large investment in time but the way we present a brand affects how people perceive the product.

Do you want your brand to present as stoic, strong? Use sans serif fonts, heavy weights in earth tone colors against blue or green backgrounds. Consider a monochromatic blue scheme.

Do you want your brand to present as modern? Use light or medium fonts with tight ligature in bold colors on white backgrounds.

Passionate? Fierce? Calm? Sexy? Everything needs a different value in the equation.

I spent the afternoon after toying with the booth working on banner displays. I literally spent an hour choosing a second font to use in it. Last year, I bought a script (handwriting) style font for the Bunny Rope logo. That choice was a long time considered but I never really thought what it would mean when introducing additional text next to it. When you he’s a relatively informal styled font, everything you put next to it looks stodgy, uptight, rope strained in a jerky sort if way.

I’ve landed on a modern, sans serif font to accompany it but am as of yet unsold. The letters are too tall. I want them to be a little more squat without fattening the stroke. I want something clean without being cold next to a script.

I will likely have to buy something again to get exactly what I’m looking for.

Fonts aside, this is the sort of stuff I both love and hate because I can’t design things from the ground up myself to get it exactly right.

Also - typeface designing software is stupidly expensive (I looked).

I’m curious what words you would use to describe Bunny Rope as it is currently.

Take a look and send me a message on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or email. I would love your opinions!