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Woodlawn Inn Logo Design 01 685×295

Designing a Monogram Logo for Woodlawn Inn

Back when I was still in school at Humber College we were given the task of revamping the identity for an existing Ontario-based hotel. The hotel I chose was the Woodlawn Inn in rural Cobourg Ontario, which features Victorian architecture and high end services.

Here’s a look at the entire process from start to finish:



Like any of my projects, I always start by getting out my sketchbook, and start scribbling away with pencils, markers, or anything else I have lying around. In this case I drew inspiration from the inn’s large Victorian columns and incorporated them into the letterforms.


Digital Roughs

I then selected my top 2 or 3 sketches and created digital versions of them.  When creating monograms I will sometimes use a font as a starting point for the letters and then modify them. In this case I created the letters from scratch, combining shapes with the Pathfinder tool in Illustrator. Once I had a couple of designs that I was liking I isolated them (#3 and 5) and moved on to fine-tuning.



Time for creating variations. I kept colour out of the picture at this point and just used grey to separate the different sections of the mark. Next I showed the options to a few close friends and designers and the overall feedback was that #4 was working best. I agreed with them and proceeded to apply colour to the top monogram.

My goal was to combine the country feel with the elegance of the inn. In the end I decided just to go with black and white as I planned on bringing in colour and texture with the elements I’d pair the logo with.


Type Trials

Since I was fairly happy with the mark, I moved on to add the typography. My initial thought was to use a bold sans serif typeface, but it was competing with the mark so I went with a simple serif typeface (Dutch Medieval) instead.


The Final Design!

This is usually the stage where I spend hours obsessing over the small details of the logo, but it turned out that my original construction of the logo in the earlier steps was pretty sound. A few small tweaks were made, a knockout version was created and started thinking about applications.



As I mentioned before, I wanted to use colour in the materials that would accompany the black and white logo. I needed to find a way to bring in the rustic, country feel of the location without loosing the elegance of the monogram. In order to achieve this, I contrasted the white elements with brown paper, wood and a subtle pattern based off of the logo.




Any tips for designing monograms? Leave a comment.


Grant Burke

Grant is a freelance designer and illustrator, born and raised in the Toronto area. He has worked with clients from around the globe and focuses on building unique brand identities and developing illustrations for product packaging and apparel.

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