When I made the decision to self-publish my masterwork of non-fiction, otherwise known as “Dad@Home: Fully Domesticated”, I desperately needed something catchy on my book cover.
I needed some serious inspiration.
I needed something recognizable. I needed a logo. I needed a brand.
I needed something that screamed STAY-AT-HOME DAD!
Oddly, my muse came in the form of a seldom worn, wrinkled, grey T-shirt that sat on the bottom of my dresser drawer for almost five years. On said T-shirt was a kind of “stick figure” changing a diaper, along with the name of the pretty terrible 2011 Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman comedy “The Change Up.”
The movie was about two best buds… one a ladies man, the other a family man… who somehow SWITCH bodies, just like the classic film Freaky Friday. If you’re old enough to remember the Jodie Foster version of this movie, congratulations… you’re old. If you’ve seen the Lindsay Lohan version… then I just feel sorry for you. But I digress.
When Reynolds and Bateman change up their respective bodies, “hilarity” ensues, but the plot of this sub-par movie is neither here nor there. Actually, don’t even give it a moment’s thought. All that really matters is the dumb promotional T-shirt. Let’s stay focused people!
You know, I’m not even sure how I got the dumb T-shirt in the first place, but one day I actually wore it and the stick man changing a diaper somehow struck a chord with me.
Could I incorporate this diaper-changing image in a book cover? Maybe? But was a picture of a stick man hovering over a stick baby enough? I wasn’t sure.
Then, something hit me like a bolt of lightning!
The previous year, I received a Father’s Day card from my kids that featured an actual sewn patch stuck to the front of the card. It read: “Dad in Chief, Head of Household”, and it looked like the Presidential seal. I yanked the patch right off the card and stuffed it into a desk drawer.
I liked it. I kept it. I’m glad that I did.
Despite me loving this patch, the majestic bald eagle in the centre wasn’t really working for me. First of all, it is a very AMERICAN image, and I’m a proud CANADIAN dammit! Secondly, the eagle is holding a hammer and a BBQ burger flipper. Those certainly are tools of a dad, but not necessarily a stay-at-home dad!
I showed the Father’s Day card patch and the image from the dumb T-shirt to my graphic designer friend Melina, who was creating my book jacket and laying out the interior pages. She liked the idea of incorporating them and asked me to search for other images that I would like to see in the centre to replace the overly patriotic eagle.
I already had the diaper-changing dude locked down, but I needed MORE!
I needed the tools of MY trade.
I needed pictures that would strike a chord with all of the men who have dedicated their lives to primary caregiving.
I needed images that screamed STAY-AT-HOME DAD!
So, I went online and looked through hundreds, if not thousands of images for sale. It turns out, the ones I needed FOUND ME. They almost jumped off the screen and into my lap when I saw them:
SHOPPING CART! Done.
BABY CARRIAGE! Double Done.
BABY BOTTLE with SOOTHER! Done. Done and Done.
I purchased them for a tidy sum of $25, printed them up and decided to lay them out on a piece of paper. I made a very rough design of the logo I had in mind and sent it off to Melina, thinking she would tell me it was terrible.
To my surprise, she didn’t think it was dumb… at all! Rather, she stayed faithful to my very rough “vision”, and made it look spectacular. An early version featured a slightly skinnier font:
In the end, we settled on a fatter version of the font, and the “classic” Dad@Home logo was BORN… now known around the globe as a proud symbol for all men who are Fully Domesticated!
Now, if any of you blog readers found this story of how my book cover logo was conceived even marginally entertaining, then you might want to try reading my actual BOOK! Trust me, it’s more entertaining than this blog… marginally.
You can purchase Dad@Home: Fully Domesticated by clicking HERE!
And remember… this logo evolution all started with a dumb, seldom worn, wrinkled, grey T-shirt that sat on the bottom of my dresser drawer for almost five years.