If you ask almost any designer who their biggest critic is they will likely tell you it is them. I know this is definitely true for myself. I’m hypercritical of my own work and without a client to sign-off or a budget to restrict my hours, where do the revisions end! The second thing that goes hand-in-hand with this is that because I am a designer, I can’t justify hiring a second party for something I could do myself. As a result of this, I have spent 3 years slowly working away on my logo, sometimes walking away from it for months out of frustration. Along the way there have been more iterations than I can count, but I have finally reached a design that I am happy with and wanted to share my personal logo design case study for your inspiration!
Here’s a look at my process, some of the designs along the way and the final product.
The first stage for my personal logo design project was brainstorming and sketching. I’ll write down keywords, draw mind-maps and really just scribble down anything that comes to mind. I was particularly interested in creating a monogram so I spent a large amount of time drawing different styles of my initials and seeing if I could combine them into a unique monogram logo or do something cool with the negative space.
Next I took the standout ideas and went to the computer to convert my chicken scratch into something resembling an actual logo. I don’t get caught up with math or perfect construction at this point as I’m still not sure which direction I like best. Everything is left in black and white so that colour does not distract me from the basic forms. I then isolated my top two designs (#2 and 4) and moved on to the next step.
Quick Tip: Ask other people for feedback including non-designers. When you work on something for a long time you sometimes can’t tell what is good or bad anymore. Ask a dozen people what they think and you’ll probably find the top designs will become pretty obvious.
From the last stage I decided that #1 was the strongest logo and I proceeded to create a ton of variations. Originally I was digging the idea of having the pencil/stylus combo as it was a good representation of the mix between digital and analog processes that I use in my work. In the end I decided to keep things simple and went with the good ol pencil. It’s a timeless tool and is the starting point for all good design. I again isolated the top mark (#3) and started thinking about colours. I explored a range of colours, but in the end the classic pencil yellow just felt right.
Now that I was getting somewhere with the mark, I focused on developing the typography. I tried a wide variety of typefaces ranging from elegant scripts to blocky slab serifs, but in the end decided on going with a simple sans serif (Gotham) typeface that was modern and complimented the mark.
My Final Personal Logo Design
This is where I got down to the nitty gritty of the mark and really fussed with the math. I always try and make sure that the shapes and spacing relate to each other. Logo designs built on solid math are always going to be more natural for the eye to take in than designs that use random sizes. After a back and forth, love-hate relationship of a couple months I finally ended up with a finished design that I was happy with. A reversed version was created and my new personal logo design was ready to use!
My biggest advice after having gone through the entire process is to take a step back every once and a while and give yourself a break. Try and be as objective as possible and get feedback from someone other than yourself.
Any tips for designing your own logo? Please share.