Case Study: Voodoo Hair Lounge Identity

The Voodoo Hair Lounge opened recently in the great city of Boulder, CO. Voodoo contacted me to build a website for them. As we spoke, it became clear that it’d be beneficial to have me create the salon’s visual identity as well. Voodoo’s story up to this point is one I hear all the time, sadly: they’d already hired several designers to do the site & identity, and had horrible experiences. So I was happy to be able to work with them, knowing that at the end of it all we’d have a great brand & website that they’d love!

I’d like to share with you the process I went through in creating this identity with my client, in the hopes that seeing my process might help you in your own work!

Here’s the final logo, and a variation for small applications:

Early Concepts: 1950′s Retro

Early in the conversation, the desire was to create a visual identity with a 1950s look. So I began researching design from that period – typography, graphic design, interior design, industrial design. This post on 1951 industrial design from Weestraw was extremely helpful. I was looking for elements of design that made it look “50s”: lines, colors, patterns, shapes, etc.

Early sketches reflected this very period-specific look.

As I was doing this initial research & sketching, the interior designers were brought in to begin gutting & redesigning the storefront the salon had bought. In the conversations with the designers, the concept changed, and a new direction was brought to me for the identity: 1920-30 Vintage. Alas, these things are all part of the process, and though I regretted the time already spent on the 1950s Retro look, I began again in earnest!

A Few Abandoned 50’s Concepts

I quickly abandoned the “VHL” lettermark once I realized that no one would likely be referring to the salon as “VHL.” They’d probably refer to it as I was already doing, as “Voodoo!” Though lettermarks are easy to work with, they aren’t always the best solution. It’s important to think through how the company will be spoken of as well as how it will look on paper.

The Voodoo Doll: Too Terrifying!

We also toyed around with the idea of using an actual voodoo doll, with scissors sticking out of it like voodoo pins, but the stylists all found it to be way too terrifying! (though I still maintain that these little guys are cute!) There was also a short-lived thought of putting some hair on the doll, but I’ll spare you those drawings, they’re just plain silly.

Simple is Often the Best Approach

Ultimately, we realized that a simple wordmark was probably going to be the best approach. The addition of the two swirl elements to the type helped give it an older, ornamental feel that was just enough to convey the vintage style that they wanted.

Love the Colors

The colors for the identity come from the paint used in the salon itself. I contacted the paint company for a set of paint chips and matched the colors to their pantone equivalents. These colors formed the principle colors used on the website as well.

A shot of the sign outside the salon and some window stickers:

In Conclusion

Business cards & gift cards came later, I’ll post photos of those soon, when I’m able!

All in all, the good folks at Voodoo were supremely happy with the identity. Stay tuned for a case study on the development of their website, boulderhairsalon.com!

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