Logo Design Project: Final Draft

The final draft of my logo design for this website, consisting of a blue shield, a simplified shirt pocket, a pocket protector, with a piece of bacon, mini ruler, fountain pen, and paint brush inside. The p for prodigimedia is on the front flap
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Contents:

Idea and Inspiration

REPRESENTIN’

For this project, I decided to make a logo for this website, prodigimedia. I felt that this work would need to be representative not only of the character or theme of this site but also of my skills as a designer. The requirement for this assignment was to use Illustrator to produce a logo in vector graphics that would effectively brand this blog and represent the main topic covered herein.

TOO MANY FISH

Throughout completion of the readings required for this week’s project, I saw a lot of different people’s creative process and also many examples of logo design work. Then, when it came time to start sketching, I basically just went to Google and searched for images that would communicate the word excellence. Many themes came up in that search, including light bulbs, keys, arrows splitting other arrows while hitting a target, people jumping, etc.

UNLOCKING SUCCESS

After doing two pages or so of sketching, I tried as many of those ideas I found on Google as I could really consider going with and settled at first on a key that had a light bulb as the grip portion, or rather a light bulb with a key coming out of the bottom. Also, the filament was supposed to be sort of making up a heart shape.

KLEE-SHAY?

The problem is that I did some more reading and found out that light bulbs are super cliche and overdone. So, I went back to the sketchbook and made one more sketch. I was surprised to get the idea so quickly, but I thought immediately of doing a pocket protector with creative tools inside it. The reasoning behind this was to communicate the trend in recent years for the lines to be blurred between graphic and web design and development. I feel like it worked well enough 😉

 

Design Process

ILLUSTRATOR VS. INKSCAPE

One thing I want to mention before moving on to the other aspects of the design process for this project is that I had originally intended to do the Illustrator work for this class in an open source tool called Inkscape. When I was playing around with the tool I couldn’t figure out how to nest layers without Googling it. After messing around with Inkscape a little more this weekend, I realized that I kind of regret not using it for this project, as the pen tool is so intuitive and exponentially more usable than the one in Illustrator. Also, I found out that the steps for nesting layers in Inkscape are incredibly simple to do.

JUXT YA POSITION

So, after deciding to stick with Illustrator, I did my research, which I already mentioned briefly above. After looking through the readings, I did my Googling. In the process of looking for iconography that I would like to emulate, I found some images of keys inside different shapes, like a hexagon, a circle, and shields. I like the old-school appeal of a shield, especially with flat elements, because it sort of combines two different paradigms.

OLD, NEW, BORROWED… BLUE?

This leads into part of my process in making the logo above. Ultimately, it can be quite risky to try and mix design paradigms, but sometimes it can also be quite beneficial to a design. What I’ve done is combined an old-school design element found in government seals, national flags, family logos, etc. (the shield) with a nerdy work tool gone pop-culture (the pocket protector) with graphic design tools (ruler, pen, and brush) and of course, another pop-culture reference (the bacon). Two other things were also blended in this work, which is a modern, flat visual design and the use of gradients and fine details to accomplish a 3D effect reminiscent of years past.

 

Technical Details

EDUCATE YO’ SELF!

So, how then does one go about making a professional looking logo? Can anyone do it? Basically, I used Illustrator to make a logo. It involved basic shape drawing at first, with some direct select tool work to move anchor points around. Then I used the pen tool to make the bacon, ruler, pen, and brush. Lastly, I added some text for the letter p. If anyone wants to know how this is generally done, they should probably look around on the internet, because there are so many explanations 🙂

PRECISION REVISION

I would like to briefly mention some steps I took in the revision process based on feedback I received for my rough draft. Basically, the idea seemed to work well, but it needed some tweaking in terms of the color scheme, lettering, and styling/positioning of elements. Some steps are as follows:

  • I originally chose red, white, and blue as a patriotic theme, since it was so close to Independence Day
  • However, upon getting feedback, I decided to go with a single color with different tones
  • Then I reduced it down to monotone light blue with a gray letter p
  • I also changed the color of the paint on the brush to a darker blue to balance out the bacon and yet match the color scheme better
  • The PDM initials didn’t really communicate the brand identity well because it reminded me too much of the IBM logo. So, I reduced the text to the letter p, which is more nuanced than using the PDM initials. I also downloaded the heading font family used in the WordPress Twenty Thirteen theme (Bitter) and applied that to the letter p for a more cohesive look with regard to my blog title
  • I also simplified the pocket based on the advice of my wife, since the faux thread stitching of the pocket stroke seemed to detract from the letter p. Adding another anchor point and angling the bottom of the pocket also helped to further express the shield shape
  • The last thing I changed was to fill up the dead space previously found below the text. I feel like this is the strongest change since it makes the letter p the main focus and also creates sort of a U shape in the interplay between the combined blue portion of the shield and pocket and the front flap of the pocket protector

 

Sources and Materials

AINT NO THANG…

This should be another simple section since I didn’t borrow anything in this project. I used Illustrator to create a totally custom logo for this blog. Again, nothing was borrowed, and it is totally original. I did have to do some Googling to get ideas and see examples, but that is all 😉

 

Conclusion

Once again I am glad to have completed another worthwhile project with plenty of lessons learned.  Creating a professional logo from scratch is challenging but also an awesome start to a good branding strategy. I hope you have enjoyed reading and would encourage you to check out the comment section below to leave some tips, experiences, or questions if you have any to share. Thanks!

Regards,

Benjamin Woodruff

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