To me, the word “affinity” means the almost mystical pull you feel towards something or someone, but the true dictionary definition is somewhat more prosaic. The origin of the word comes from the Latin: affinitas meaning “bordering on” and that can only conjure up images of stolid Roman farmers conjugating verbs as they discuss their neighbours. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: “attraction“, “relationship”, “structural resemblance”, “family likeness”, “liking”, “bordering on” and “the tendency of certain substances to combine with others”.
So when my sister (family likeness) asked me to design a logo for her new venture, Affinity Yarns, I was attracted to the idea, liking the name very much. This is not the first logo, I have designed for my sister, and the strange thing is, we very seldom sit down and have a thorough discussion of what she envisages. We discuss how the business is going to function, what it will do, how she will manage juggling another venture on top of the zillion other things she does… She will vaguely point me in a direction or send me to a website and more likely than not, I will not even need to go there. To anyone who has gone through the logo designing process, this approach is bordering on insane.
One would think that a yarn company would have a twee little logo involving knitting needles and a ball of yarn, but what I saw was the creativity behind the action of knitting, the beauty in the different textures, the satisfaction of the metamorphosis from yarn to object. I then saw the structural resemblance of the long sweeping “f” to a butterfly antenna. And in my mind, all the relationships worked…. Affinity.
While some logos take days to reach fruition, this one incubated in my brain in a matter of minutes, developed fully over a day and was given birth to rather quickly, in less than an hour. There are probably twiddles and tweaks that could happen and maybe in a couple of years we can add to the basic design that is there.
That last bit of definition…how does that fit in? Probably in my relationship to my sister. “The tendency of certain substances to combine with others” probably defines a huge part of our relationship. We were like oil and water as children, but as we have grown up and learned to appreciate each other, we are more like yarn, dye and a pair of knitting needles. We take turns at being the strong (slightly twisted) thread, we add colour to each others lives and working as a pair, we are pretty darn good. Who knows what more we will create together? How long is a ball of yarn?