Harborne Press is (currently) primarily a small digital print shop servicing local businesses with their everyday printing requirements (business stationery, leaflets, flyers, etc.). However, we also publish greetings cards and stationery and in future we will also be providing letterpress printing. So we need a logo that communicates all of this activity and doesn't just say "jobbing print shop".
Although our greetings cards are published under a separate brand name, this is mainly for the benefit of end customers buying the cards in stores. For our trade customers who are buying the cards wholesale, their commerical relationship will be with Harborne Press and not the card brand. So, as well as our printing clients, we need a visual identity that will appeal to our greetings customers, who are managers and buyers at card shops, gift shops, galleries & museums, church gift shops, garden centres, etc.
Then we have the third dimension to the business: letterpress. In the long term, letterpress is what we would like the business to be known for. This is why we have chosen a trading name with the word 'press' in it - it's more in keeping with the letterpress community and traditional print shops. However, although letterpress is a very traditional process, we will bring a contemporary, high-end approach - in keeping with most contemporary commercial letterpress printers. Please search for 'letterpress' on Pinterest to see lots of examples of contemporary letterpress printers' branding and work.
In the future we also hope to be producing 'fine press' books and pamphlets. These will be letterpress printed, hand bound, limited editions with a fairly high retail price point. So we would also like designers to consider the tradition and heritage of the 'fine press' or 'private press' movement as this is a heritage we would like our visual identity to communicate somehow.
I have created a Pinterest board showing some examples of press logos or 'printer's devices' to give an indication of how these have been used in the past - https://www.pinterest.com/paulthewl…ine-press/. We would like some kind of visual mark within the logo that can be used independently of the word mark and we envisage this to be similar to printers devices of private presses of the past, brought up to date and fit for a new 21st century business. We would foil emboss it on book spines, print it on book colophon pages, prop. cards, etc. Hopefully, it would also work as an icon for social media accounts. Also, think about the big contemporary book publishers, most of whom have a press mark which they apply to book spines and colophons.
We're not sure what this graphical logo mark will look like, that's obviously up to the designer. It might incorporate the 'HP' initials or it could be purely graphical. A purely graphical device might represent general imagery relating to publishing, books and printing or it might include local references or just be completely abstract. (For local info: Harborne is a suburb of the city of Birmingham and has been recorded as a place name for over 1000 years - over the centuries it has been known for nailmaking and fruit growing, mainly strawberries and gooseberries.)
Another consideration for the whole logo is that it will need to work with the letterpress printing process. So two or three colours maximum (or a version that is monochrome or 3-colour) and well delineated lines that can be transferred to a metal or nylon printing plate.
So, in a nutshell, we need a logo that will appeal to and communicate to the three areas of the business - print shop clients (everyday jobbing work), greetings cards trade buyers and letterpress / fine press customers. We would like a logo mark - something like a printer's device / press mark - that can be used independently of the word mark.