Amy Bridgeforth

Logo Designer Interview 09: Amy Bridgeforth

Amy Bridgeforth

Amy Bridgeforth is a Canadian designer who gravitates towards clean, minimalistic design. She resides in Winnipeg while she runs Clover & Crow, her design studio. When she’s not designing you can find her taking walks or eating copious amounts of Sushi!


What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer?
Funny enough, it was desperation. I had been forced quit my career as a hairstylist because of crippling migraines and needed a source of income that I could do from home and navigate the hours based on what I could handle physically. I had been doing graphic design on the side for years, so it was an easy decision to make, especially being something creative. But it definitely wasn’t planned in the conventional way!

Where are you from? And what can you tell us about the place?
I’m from Winnipeg. Basically, it’s cold! I lived in Connecticut for a while and every time I would tell people that our winters last about 6 months and can get as cold as -50 and that you need block heaters in your car or they won’t start (most people don’t know what block heaters are!) no one would believe me. And funny enough, we’re only an hour away from the American border! But, being such a cold city – actually the second coldest habitable city on the planet – Winnipeg is full of an immense amount of talented and artistic people.

 

 

What does your day consist of?
First is always coffee. Coffee is life. Then I go over my schedule for the day, this is something I usually create on Sundays for the week. I may have a day of meetings, or working on contracts. Every day is different and I love it that way. I actually work 3 days a week as a hairstylist again and it’s great because it gets me out of the house. So Sunday – Wednesday is dedicated to C+C and to be honest most evenings (we never really stop working).

What gave birth to Clover & Crow and how did you choose the name?
Clover is a homage to my Irish roots and Crow is simply because I love crows. I’ve always found them to be beautiful, majestic animals. And they’re so smart, check them out on YouTube, they’re crazy smart!

What makes you gravitate towards minimalism?
Less is more. I live this belief in my ever day life; I’m not a nick-nack person, I don’t like clutter or messy spaces, heck we don’t even have “nice china” lol. We use all the dishes! I work best when my space is clean and organized, and I feel the most balance in a design when I can actually see the design, when it’s not cluttered with elements distracting me from the message it’s trying to portray.

 

 

What was the first logo you ever designed?
Oh gosh, it was years ago, I believe it was for a bike messenger actually. It was terrible! But whether your work is absolutely awful or the best thing you’ve ever done to date every thing you do makes you a better designer. You learn what works and what doesn’t and over time you establish a better eye for good design.

Are you a Mac or a PC?
Lol, well. I have been Mac for over a decade and just now considering moving to PC. I’ve been working on a MacBook Pro and it’s getting bogged down (as I don’t have enough Ram to be working on 4 programs at once-surprise!) so recently I’ve been thinking of moving to PC simply because my husband can build me a 4TB beast with a skin on Windows 10 that makes it look like Mac OSX, for a fraction of the cost. But in my heart of hearts, I will always be Mac.

Which software do you use frequently?
Illustrator is probably the one I use the most, with InDesign and Photoshop pulling in the ranks.

Three important logo design tips?
Do your market research. Anyone can create a logo, where you differ is knowing how to design something that will last while also reducing your clients level of risk.

If your client doesn’t like something about your design, get them to explain why. Yes, you are working for them but in the end you are tying to create something that will appeal to their target market, not them personally.

Finally make sure you have a very thorough consultation. This is where most miscommunications and mistakes can be eliminated.

 

 

What is your process in designing a logo?
After the consultation, a contract is signed and a deposit is made, I send them a questionnaire and ask that they submit a Pinterest board. This helps me to understand their design style. Then I do market research on their business type; I’m looking for various things that will help me create a design that will last them a long time and be attractive to their niche market. Next is the first draft, this is my sounding board to see if I’m on the right track and if I’ve put in the right groundwork with the consultation, questionnaire and Pinterest board, I’m usually pretty close to the final design on the first try.

What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Instagram, Pinterest and Behance are usually my go-to’s.

What are your top 5 favourite logos? (from all the logos ever created by mankind).
I don’t know that I have favourite logos, I do have favourite branding. Anima by Hochburg, Royal Stationary by Onogrit, Salt & Ember’s own branding, Concretestem by Kati Forner, Jay Fletcher does some absolutely amazing work that’s constantly got me feeling either completely inspired or totally inadequate.

Who is your favourite designer?
I don’t know that I have a favourite! I have an attraction to smaller boutique shops than agencies, I just find they’re doing things that are more inspiring to me. People like Salt & Ember Design Co., Refinery 43 and Jay Fletcher. I love seeing the new work coming from their studios. Instagram somehow establishes this camaraderie amongst us artists and that’s invaluable.

 

 

Do you believe that a designer should curate a blog on his/her website?
This is tough because as a web designer I know that having a blog is great for SEO and helps to generate more traffic to your site, but writing is not my strong suit so I have difficulty being inspired on a continual basis to create compelling content. Now I feel Instagram is kinda taking over in a way that you can get more content and more connection with your clients and followers that way. But ultimately, if you love writing, go for it!

What’s the best part of what you do?
100% being creative. I can’t even describe the feeling I get when I’m inspired to work on a logo or create a web site. It’s like a drug, a total addiction.

One thing you always carry with you?
My iPhone. I’m glued to it most of the day!

For designers who are looking to start their own businesses, what advice would you give them on attaining clientele?
Be transparent. Be honest, if something is going to take you a long time and you need to charge accordingly and be up front about it. Never let yourself get roped into doing cheap or free work because someone doesn’t want to pay, learn to wean those people out. Yes, you want to build a clientele and a portfolio, but those people are looking for a $100 haircut and only want to pay $10 and you will never be able to convince them to pay $100.

 

 

What lies ahead for Amy Bridgeforth?
I’m not entirely sure! I know whatever I’m doing it will be a creative outlet. I know myself well enough to know that that’s a non-negotiable. I’m not afraid of change, in fact I embrace it. I love embarking on new adventures so wherever the world takes me as long as I can keep creating I’ll be happy.

Who is the most inspiring person to you?
My husband. He is my best friend and brings out the best parts of me.

What is your message of inspiration for budding logo designers?
Know your worth, don’t undersell yourself because you’re afraid of talking about money. Whether you are a self contractor, a freelancer or working for an agency, you have to let go of the feeling of being uncomfortable about money. That feeling stems from deep down not believing that you’re worth it and being afraid of loosing the sale. Confidence will win you the sale, not the price tag. And if someone is nickel and diming you during the consultation you don’t want them as a client because this person doesn’t value you and what you’re offering. Most of all stand your ground – you are worth it!

In conclusion, you can checkout Amy Bridgeforth’s portfolio at www.cloverandcrow.com and also follow her on Instagram @cloverandcrow

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