Really surprised was the response from Helen Cavalli when she was informed that her entry had been voted as the new ABBA logo. Helen’s design was a clear winner from fifteen other submissions that ranged from simple hand drawn images to computer designed graphics.
Over 120 votes were lodged from approximately fifty percent of the eligible voters which is a fantastic result and reflects the high level of engagement of the members of the ABBA family.
Helen has been involved in art since the age of eighteen having originally started in miniature portraits – exhibiting with the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculpters and Gravers.
Helen’s professional life has always been with illustration of one form or another ranging from cartography to architectural illustration. Where is the connection to botanical art? It turns out that the simple way to add highlight colour to the architectural drawings was with water-colour washes.
Liking the medium Helen enrolled in a distance learning course in 2009 with the Society of Botanical Artists and her passion for botanical art grew from there.
In 2017 Helen spotted a call for entries for the World Wide Day of Botanical Art and after a conversation with ABBA members, who had a stand at the July Royal Horticultural Society Show in London, decided to submit an entry. Surprise seems to be a recurring theme with Helen as she was when her entry – the yellow flag iris – was selected for the exhibition in the Ruskin Gallery at the University of Lancaster earlier this year.
One of forty entries selected to represent the British native flora in the World Wide Day of Botanical Art, Helen’s portrayal of this well know British native obviously impressed the judges.
When it came to submitting an entry for the ABBA Logo Helen was really clear about the idea of a strong simple graphic that started out as a few doodles in a notebook, her constant companion. Simple line drawings that formed the beginnings of the final logo.
Helen then transferred the initial ( in Helen’s words “fussy” ) doodles to the computer using a sans serif font like Aerial which was then converted to an outline in Adobe Illustrator. Then it was a matter of subtracting elements to unify the ABBA letters into a strong graphic.
Originally the four letters were tied together with a simple line through the middle until Helen’s son, who obviously has inherited his mothers artistic eye, suggested that the line could be converted to a paintbrush – the new ABBA logo was complete.
In Helen’s words “ the design depicts each element of the letters flowing in to each other so no hard edges on the individual letters conveying a united front – the paintbrush to depict the idea of the artist “.
Helen was recently invited to join the Hampton Court Florilegium a clear indication of her talent and is really interested in the idea of local groups of ABBA members getting together in informal gatherings to exchange ideas and tips, we look forward to having a long and fruitful association.
Congratulations once again Helen, we really appreciate your efforts.
The ABBA Team