Exploring the options

When I decided I was going to start a business, the biggest challenge wasn't learning how to run the business... no, it was coming up with a name. I have an odd - and lengthy (both in terms of time and explanation) - connection to gnomes and wanted to call the business gnome-something. I searched for other businesses that had gnome-something names and every single one I'd thought of was gone.

So I resorted to using a thesaurus to come up with a name. Imp, elf, troll, imp, pixie, sprite... none of them struck a chord with me. I wasn't going to give up, though.  I googled 'thesaurus gnome' and the name I needed turned up in the results: nisse. Long story, short - a nisse is a household gnome who works at night, keeping the family and farm safe.

Two problems remained, once I settled on the name: 1) how to pronounce it - just like 'niece'; and 2) a logo.

My first attempt at a logo:

Do. Not. Like. 

I liked it when I came up with it. The more I saw it though... yeah, no. It was bland and boring. Safe. It'd be nice for a high-end collection of china, but not for what I plan on doing. 

Almost every logo I've designed up to this point looks like my first logo - straighforward, takes no chances, right to the point. This new one is a bit flashier. I wouldn't call it risky by any means, but it's definitely outside my comfort zone. I like that it's got a tried-and-true (for me, anyway) element to it - white text on black background - but the use of a calligraphic brush in Illustrator to create the 'background' was something I've tried before but was always disapointed with.

And now that I've printed up a whole pile o' business cards, I'm kind of stuck with it. I'm sure that over time, it will change, but for the moment, it says what I want it to. Or, at least, I hope it does... it's all part of this branding thing I keep reading about (or I think it does).

We're going out of town for the next three days to my sister and her husband's in Winnipeg and then up to Keith's parents' in Beausejour. I've already got a pile of paperwork to take with me, most of which is hopefully going to help me make my Etsy store better. I don't know how much time I'll actually get to work on anything, but it's a 2-hour drive to Winnipeg and then another hour to Beausejour, so I might get something done.

I'm also hoping to come back from this mini-vacation rejuvenated a bit. I'm starting to get a little weary of making the same thing over and over again, and it worries me. I don't want to stop being creative but I also don't want to burn out. There's a decent stack of patterns waiting to be experimented with when I get back; only question is am I willing to take a stab at trying them.

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