Saturday, 20 June 2009 18:13

Designing a Sigil for my Client

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As a profession, I am a web designer and a graphic designer.  (I first was a graphic designer, then grew into being a web designer as well.  My boyfriend is a programmer, so he helps from time to time with some of the more difficult custom web coding.)  Anyhow, I have been hard at work over the last few months, building a MASSIVE financial database, news aggregator, data server, online store, online community and bunches of other stuff for this client.

He wants a one-stop shop for anyone who is into finance of any sort - foreign exchange, stocks, bond, options, commodities, whatever - that they can all come, read all the news, updates, data, and get all the stuff they need to do whatever kind of trading they are into.  It's a really interesting project, and I'm learning so much with it, and doing some really cool stuff.  It's a rather ambitious project!

Anyhow, my task as of late on this site, since I have been coming close to the end of adding the preliminary round of RSS feeds, data, etc, is coming up with a logo, a color scheme, and an overall look/feel for his site.  I just took a pause while considering his logo designs, and it occurred to me:

I am designing a sigil for my client.

A logo, as a general rule, should be a symbol that incorporates everything that the business is - that sums it up in as few strokes as possible.  It needs to be easily reproducible on things like embroidered shirts, cut outs, and so on - so it can't be some big complex image.  One color, only, please, which means that most of my symbolism is going to be in the strokes, the lines.  Then you have to consider that the average person will give your logo a glance, and that is it.  It means that your symbols, your lines, have to take a fast and direct route to their subconscious, embedding the idea of whatever the business is into the heads of those looking at your logo.  You brand up stuff by putting your logo all over it, but the logo itself has to be simple enough that it gets the whole point across into the subconscious with as few strokes and as little complexity as possible.  The logo has to work on the subconscious because the viewer rarely looks at the logo long enough to study it, thus engaging the conscious mind (the rational side) into considering its meaning.  No, only graphics geeks like myself typically consider the logo as anything more than just worthy of glancing and moving on.

And it occurred to me: This is exactly how sigils work.  A few strokes which accurately portray the whole of the idea of the desired goal are simply portrayed in a manner which acts directly upon the subconscious.  Then, we repeat the sigil in as many places as we can, so our subconscious is constantly getting programmed with that message.  Eventually, your brain fully accepts that message and starts to act upon it from the bottom up.

We all know what the Nike "swoosh" logo looks like. Ever consider what it means?  Nike, in the Greek traditions, was the goddess of victory.  On the statue of Athena, (Goddess of War, Strategy, Braininess, and All That) in the Parthenon, winged Nike stands aloft in Athena's raised palm.  It is to say that Athena holds victory in the palm of Her hand.  The Nike "swoosh" is Nike's wing.  And yet, for all of that mythology, you get one simple, yet memorable shape - the famous "swoosh" which, by such ancient channels, means "victory."  When Shaq wears Nike shoes, he cannot lose a basketball game, for he has the power of Athena and Nike on his side.  That's what their sigil tells you every time you look at it.

And so, I am toying around with shapes of bulls and bears - representative of the different speeds of the markets, as the client specifically decided that he wanted worked into his logo if at all possible.  I am trying to consider my client's business and how to pull it all elegantly into a sigil, one that will express to his viewers feelings of knowledge, prosperity, strength, solidity (bears and bulls are both earth-element creatures, and bear is more earth-of-earth, bull is more fire-of-earth).  Something that will put out there that his clients can expect to find what they need to be excellent financial traders all right here.  And so, he's getting a bit of magic which will help him to make a lot of money on his site.  (This is good for me - the more money he makes, the more he will hire me to add more and do more to his site, not to mention all the other leads I could get from this project.)

That's what my client gets for hiring a Witch to do his web design.