I decided to choose Draft 6 and make some final tweaks. First, I lengthened the stem to give it more of a “growing” feel, as Erin suggested in the last round. I added a few subtle tweaks to the leaf and left-side swirl so their bases were a little thicker (it’s a bit more organic). The point of the leaf was adjusted very slightly to point following the line of the inside vein more accurately. Finally, I fixed the spacing between the top and bottom horizontal lines in the leaf shading (there was too much space at the bottom versus the top).
Next up: color! I didn’t spend too much time picking color variations. I decided I liked the brighter, lighter colors (it’s so very Web 2.0), and pretty much went with color swatches close to what is already in the default Illustrator choices. I liked the purple and green one myself, because it reminds me of old Apple II computer color palette, but decided that the “green plant, blue water” felt the liveliest and freshest. The brown was interesting too, but it’s very earthy. Next, picking between the lighter blue or darker blue required some consideration of how much “weight” the logo should have. The dark blue creates more gravity at the bottom of the logo, whereas the light blue does not. Theoretically, I believe this is because the dark blue has more contrast than the green of the plant shape, and the increase of tone from light to dark creates that sense of grounding. The light blue, however, is practically the same contrast (tone-wise) as the green, so an overall sense of balance is created throughout the shape. It would have been interesting to make the green plant darker than the bottom logo to see if it felt unstable.
Finally, it was time to make sure that the logo would work against dark, light, and medium backgrounds. I had to add a variation of the logo that does not have the shading in the leaf, which will be used on backgrounds that are not white.