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Work in Process: txt.search Logo & Icon Design

One of a few Work in Process graphic design logo projects I'm currently involved with is this one, called txt.search: a web app that helps facilitate the searching of text strings, and other text data, within a mass of data.

To help portray the somewhat 'raw' and 'data driven' aspect of this app, but without making it look boring or meh, I've been playing with a slight retro 8-bit approach with the icon.

I've tried to incorporate the idea of an 8-bit text and/or a text file icon, within the graphic for the customary icon for 'search': the magnifying glass.

 

Work in Process text search logo design by The Logo Smith

The end result, so far, is a hybrid of a text file document icon and said magnifying glass.

I also took the liberty of playing with the brand name, as it was initially Text Search, but thought it would be more relevant to shorthand it to the often used text prefix .txt, hence it now being referenced as 'txt.search'.

There is still a possibility that it will be switch round to read 'search.txt', but this depends on a few things with the client.

Positive progress so far.

And don't forget: you can see other aspects of my Behind-The-Scenes work here: http://imjustcreative.com/behind-the-scenes

Behind-the-Scenes is an ongoing collection of (in no particularly order of arrangement): logo design sketches, napkin doodles, rough ideas & concepts and mock-ups of various logo and brand identity projects and diagrams (blueprints) showing the construction and development of various logo designs etc.



Bing Logo Design Evolution 2009 to 2016

I like to think that most of the time I have my ear to the ground, and not much escapes me in the graphic design work, but now and again, things pop up that I'm amazed I simply missed.

Recent example of 'not' having my ear to the ground: the lovely negative space design in the Blackfish logo, and today I've just seen that Microsoft made a small change to their Bing logo.

microsoft bing logo design evolution.jpg

Need to do more research, as apparently the new 2016 logo hasn't been completely rolled out as yet.

Logo Updates

As far as logo updates go it's a'wight. I did like the yellow version of the logo mark, with the double negative space cut-outs, and the lowercase 'b' was a consistent match for the logo mark.

microsoft bing logo construction

Consistent 1st Initials

Now the 2016 version removes the lower cut-out, and now changes to uppercase 'B' for the wording, but still keeps the lower case 'b' for the logo mark.

This irks me a little, as it's now somewhat inconsistent.

microsoft-logo-designs

The flip side is: that the other Microsoft brands, like: Office, Windows and XBOX are all uppercase initials, so makes sense in that regard.

I personally  like my logo mark initials to match the same upper or lower case of the brand name, but can see why it's been changed in this instance.

But hey, what the hell do I know anyway.

Found via The Verge


Blackfish Logo Design Fin Close up

The Blackfish Logo - The Perfect Art of Subtlety in Negative Space Trickery

I've not seen Blackfish documentary as yet, so this is probably why I'be only just cottoned onto the one small, but beautifully part of the Blackfish logo.

As it stands, the Blackfish logo type is really rather beautiful, with that gentle fading out to black on both sides of the wording.

It instantly conjures up the idea of the deep, dark depths of the ocean without so much of a visual graphic.

Blackfish’: The Documentary That Exposes SeaWorld

That's until you are pointed towards the rather cunning placement of the fin bottom of the 'K'. A super subtle application of Negative Space of logo design if I've ever seen one.

I think it's reasonably safe to say this would have been missed by some people, maybe for a small period of time, and maybe for a long period of time.

I'm only late to the party because, as I said earlier, not yet watched Blackfish (I think it's on Netflix), or really know anything about it. But I'm likely to suspect I would have still missed the 'fin' initially, especially if only seen the smaller version of the logo. Once you see the enlarged versions, then it obviously stands out a little more

Blackfish Logo Design Fin Close up

http://www.seaworldofhurt.com: Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish centers on a captive orca named Tilikum. He was torn away from his family and ocean home when he was 2 years old, and out of frustration caused by nearly 20 years of intense confinement, isolation, and lack of emotional and intellectual stimulation, he has killed three humans.

In her documentary, Cowperthwaite pieces together Tilikum’s story with shocking film footage, expert testimonies, and heartbreaking interviews with the people who know Tilikum better than anyone: his former trainers. Watch the trailer now:

Blackfish Logo Sundance Film Festival



Graphic Design Resource: Logo Design Price List Template

Download Logo Design Price List.zip

(Updated 16th January 2016) - This link will download a ZIP archive of an: Adobe InDesign CC7 file (without embedded fonts), and a PDF (with embedded fonts).

This isn't so much a fixed price menu, in that these are really only price 'guides' to provide context to a client, and to at least give them a starting point from which to come up with their own budget.

I'm ultimately VERY flexible when it comes to negotiations and haggling, not to mention that each and every job has to be priced on it's own merits, and there really isn't a way to provide a fixed one-size-fits-all price list.

I'm aware that my logo design price list is not the best way, or even a way that some other graphic designers might agree with, but my way does seems to work for me. Maybe if I tried another way I'd get more business, maybe not. 

Logo Design Price List

Evolution of my Logo Design Price List

My logo design price list has seen a number of relatively major changes of late. Most of these changes based on adding more descriptive details about the various price-points.

Trying to find a group of price-points that represent the quality and value of my world, but also price-points that are wide-ranging, and fair for 'most' budgets is what I have found the hardest: offering a diverse enough budget range to cover a simple blog head logo design, to a full-on multi-national conglomerates rebranding project.

I'm pretty happy with how it looks now, and I feel it's the closest I have come to feeling that all the price-points have enough flexibility and value in them, without alienating either end of the client spectrum.

Too cheap: and people may wonder if you do high-end quality work; too expensive: then you miss out on the fun little logo design projects that pop-up from time-to-time.

More of a Price Guide

This isn't so much a fixed price menu, in that these are really only price 'guides' to provide context to a client, and to at least give them a starting point from which to come up with their own budget.

I'm ultimately VERY flexible when it comes to negotiations and haggling, not to mention that each and every job has to be priced on it's own merits, and there really isn't a way to provide a fixed one-size-fits-all price list.

Transfer of Logo Design Ownership (design copyright)

Another addition to the 'what is included', for every price-point, is the simple statement, Transfer of Ownership.

You should not charge extra, or make it difficult, for your client to become the rightful owner of the work they paid you to do. You need to be as transparent and upfront about this as you can.

It's just the right thing to do.

It's Justified

Another first is putting in a little 'justification', as I do feel that it's worth pointing out that a lot of the hours spent on clients logo design is done during the least sociable of work hours, mostly because many clients do leave it just so late.

I'm used to this last minute turnaround, but there has to be some kind of premium included if it means getting the job done at all costs.

This isn't about me whining, "no one understands what I have to go through!".

It's simply pointing out the often overlooked truth that working evenings, late nights into the early hours of the morning, weekends and public holidays. This ought to be an important factor, otherwise who is it exactly that is undervaluing the work? Not the client in this case, but you.

So I've decided just to put a little 'reminder' for the client, that their logo design job isn't result of pressing a button one Wednesday, at 2pm. That more often than not, that even though yes, I'm choosing to take the job on, I'll be needing to work all the unsociable hours available to get it done on time.

No harm in reminding people of that, from time-to-time.

Download Logo Design Price List.zip 


A while back I posted about the Fender logo: The Fender Logo Design Evolution, and it's various design updates and tweaks over the decades.

Although quite a few of the iterations have been accredited to certain individuals, the current incarnation of the Fender logo was, up and till now, designed by someone unknown.

I ended that particular post with a question: Who designed the current Fender logo?

Fender Old and New Comparison Logos

I Googled and Bing'd, but couldn't find a damn thing about the artist responsible for this most recent update. I sent out a general tweet asking for help in tracking down the person responsible, and I even tweeted Fender direct, but sadly no reply from them.

Things like this erk me a little, as the logo is clearly gorgeous, and fronts one of the most well-know musical brands ever.

Almost tragic that this update of the Fender logo should be uncredited. Until now…

Today I received an email from Chris Kiehm, who went on to tell me the following:

Hi Graham:

I am a marketing guy and my great uncle Jim Cruikshank is the man responsible for the swoosh "F" in the logo... He was a commercial artist for them for many years!

I was doing some research the other day and stumbled upon an interview with my uncle!

So there we have it: One less unknown classic and historic brand logo design, now properly credited to Jim Cruikshank.

Jim Cruickshank designer of recent Fender Logo

Jim Cruickshank: Graphic Designer of Current Fender Logo

Namm.org: Jim Cruickshank has an eye for design! While a proud member of the Fender guitar team, Jim designed many of the most memorable trade show displays for the company, including the 14-foot neck and headstock.

Jim also worked on many of the company’s best known marketing graphics, and even redesigned the company logo.

When he was approached to add a bit of a splash to the logo, which was really just the name of the company in silver letters, Jim took on the task.

He worked on several ideas but liked the simple flare he added to the first letter, a “fish tail” on the letter “F,” which was embraced by Leo Fender. The logo was then changed.