Tammy Lenski LLC is a business that deals with conflict resolution in the workplace, and Dr Lenski approached me to redesign the logo and stationery.
The company was previously called ‘Lenski Strategic LLC’, and the old logo was only available in .jpg and .pdf format which wasn’t ideal for reproduction. EPS (encapsulated postscript) is the ideal file format for scaling to any size without losing detail.
Tammy wanted a design that was simple and clean, inspiring, and inviting.
Purple and green were already set, and Tammy told me of her love for origami cranes. I was referred to the touching tale of Sadako Sasaki. Here’s a brief overview.
The story of Sadako Sasaki
Sadako Sasaki (January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who lived near Misasa Bridge in Hiroshima, Japan. Sadako was a victim of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and was only two years old on August 6, 1945. At the time of the explosion she was at home, about 1 mile from ground zero. Ten years later she was diagnosed with leukemia, which her mother called “an atom bomb disease.”
In November 1954, lumps developed on her neck and behind her ears. In January 1955, purple spots started to form on her legs. On February 18, 1955 she was diagnosed with leukemia. She was hospitalized on February 21, 1955 and given, at the most, a year to live.
Sadako and the paper cranes
On August 3, 1955, Sadako saw a gift of 1,000 origami paper cranes that were donated to the hospital from the people of Nagoya as a “Get Well” gift. Inspired by the cranes, she started folding them herself, spurred on by the Japanese saying that one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish. A popular version of the story is that she fell short of her goal of folding 1,000 cranes, having folded only 644 before her death, and that her friends completed the 1,000 and buried them all with her. This comes from the book Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes. An exhibit which appeared in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum stated that by the end of August, 1995, Sadako had achieved her goal and continued to fold.
She had plenty of free time during her days in the hospital to fold the cranes, but lacked paper. She would use medicine wrappings and whatever else she could scrounge up. This included going to other patients’ rooms to ask to use the paper from their get-well presents.
During her time in hospital her condition progressively worsened. Around mid-October her left leg became swollen and turned purple. After her family urged her to eat something, Sadako requested tea on rice and remarked “It’s good.” Those were her last words. With her family around her, Sadako died on the morning of October 25, 1955.
It was clear that the origami crane would act as an ideal symbol for Tammy’s line of work (conflict resolution), and Tammy mentioned this in one of her emails:
“Of course I’m already imagining all the things I could do with real origami cranes as handouts at workshops, etc, but am trying to rein in my playful mind until I know whether the crane as part of the logo really works!”
So I researched the crane with the aim of adapting the image into flat artwork that would work effectively across a range of media.
A few layout options:
But with these ideas the symbol could all too easily be interpreted as a crown rather than an origami crane, especially with the mark placed above the company name. Having the ‘LLC’ characters on their own line added more complication than was necessary.
I experimented with the tracking between the Futura Thin characters.
Number 5 was the standard tracking, so each previous option was an adjustment in Adobe Illustrator.
In addition to the logo, I created a business card and letterhead.
“I prefer the portrait orientation and like your idea of business name only on one side and contact on the purple reverse.”
Tammy proposed making her card more unique by adding a die-cut, an idea that would allow for the crane symbol to be ‘stamped’ out of the card. This adds expense to the printing, but it’s a great way to set yourself apart, particularly with print which is a tangible promotional tool that once given, cannot be changed (unlike online promotions).
Number 5 was considered the most suitable:
“The card looks perfect! I love it. Go ahead and send me the files and I’ll pursue the die-cut questions with my printer. Thanks so much for your work on this, David. Best business card I’ve ever had…and one I’m finally satisfied with.”
The die-cut questions that needed answering revolved around the following image:
Whether Tammy’s chosen business card printer could work with the segmented die-cut, at the size shown in the card design above, would need clarified. It’s possible that the size is too small. I went ahead and created a mock-up of how the card will look when printed.
“David Airey’s work impressed me on multiple levels. He had an uncanny sense for what I was pondering but hadn’t yet said aloud, really listened effectively to what I was seeking, brought forward beautiful design ideas for my consideration, and did it all in a timely manner and with excellent communication skills. How could so many terrific characteristics and abilities find their way into one graphic designer? I recommend David unequivocally and would hire him again in a heartbeat.”
Dr Tammy Lenski
Tammy Lenski LLC
Thank you, Tammy. It was a pleasure working with you.