Re-Design: RiverWest Acupuncture

Logo redesign projects don't always require a total revamping of the image in question. At times I am hired to tweak, or slightly alter or update, a business or organization identity. Such was the case with the logo representing RiverWest Acupuncture.

I had always liked the identity and branding or the company owned by my friend and acupuncturist Lisa Francolini, L.Ac. Still, elements of the original RiverWest logo (below top) always bothered me. I liked the circular icon within the design and the interaction between the script and sans serif typefaces. However, I was really bothered by the letter-spaced script treatment of "River." The uppercase "R" within the word also created another visual problem for me. The flourish-like descending element of the letterform seemed to draw the eye to the left, while the reader would be trying to read the name from left to right. Closer inspection revealed that the "River" and "West" text treatments were not exactly on the same horizontal plane, and the word "Acupuncture" was slightly off-center. In addition, I felt the size relationship between "River" and "West" was a bit off.

With the business owner being a close friend, I didn't want to volunteer my observations about the design without being asked. Once, in a social situation, she asked for my opinion about the RiverWest Acupuncture logo - and I relayed my concerns. I was then hired to tweak the logo and begin the process of redesigning many elements of the company's brand (which is still ongoing).

In my alteration of the RiverWest identity (above bottom), the design and size of the circular icon remained constant. I selected Snell Roundhand to address my issues with the "River" type. The uppercase "R" has a visual "stop" where a flourish previously sent the eye off to the left. Proper spacing of the typeface eliminated the other visual pauses between letters within the word. I also made the "West" element more visually proportional to "River" and bumped up the size of "Acupuncture" when centering it under the rest of the logo.

When I showed the revised identity image to my friend and client she said, "Oh, it still looks just like RiverWest Acupuncture and it is so much easier to read."

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

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