My client could tell that I was not doing well with my logo illustrations. I certainly in no way mind coming up with drafts, and I value the input the client brings to the design process. What both of us were concerned about was that I seemed to be running out of creative ideas.
Normally, I'll simply sleep on the problem. In my waking hours, I'll train my artist's eye on the world around me to spot some kind of inspiration. Quiet solitude walking through the forest helps. The rustling of tree branches in the wind, the chittering of squirrels and the chirping of birds, the high-pitched beeping of the reverse gear alarm of a diesel-powered dump truck, and the deep bass grinding of a hydraulic claw ripping up asphalt: those are the forest sounds I am accustomed to. The latter are from the construction of a nearby school.
And then it dawned on me: there's a building site a few blocks from my house where I can watch real structural consultants in action! I walked around the worksite, carefully noting the phases of construction, the types of vehicles, and the way the workers swarmed over the girders and concrete. All of those things gave me new ideas for the CEL logo.
This time around, I presented Mr. Charleson with an abstract of a scaffold grid. The idea tested very well, but Mr. Charleson was eager to see some new ideas, and I had quite a few novel concepts to propose.