Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: May 9th, 2014 | 1st Posted: July 18, 2009
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Brand Identity, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Portfolio, Typography
Graphic Skyline Logo Design
Like the 'Progress so far' post for ID Barbers, this is just a run through of an uncompleted logo project. The images you see are not complete or destined to be the final versions. Spacing and other details may need to be addressed.
This is not a traditional client logo project, far from it. Frankly, I'm not sure how I even got to this stage with it. All I know was that this idea initially grew from a previous project, and through various tweaks and ideas, and audio inspiration, it slowly developed into it's own identity.
An identity for a graphic design company or freelancer called Graphic Skyline.
I guess in a way, it was a conceptual project, but I also felt that it could become more than just a 'concept'. Where was that client when I needed them.
The one thing I can say with complete certainty was where the inspiration came from to keep this project on the straight and narrow. I was inspired by a song by Dishwalla, called 'Nashville Skyline'. The mood, the emotion that this song instilled in me from the very first listen is as strong now as it was then.
Inspiration comes from everywhere.
The idea of creating an atmospheric logo with a suitably atmospheric and meaningful name became to strong to ignore. One thing to come up with a logo idea, another to find a name that actually means something, and more importantly, was available as a domain in it's own right.
So Graphic Skyline was born.
The name came after the design in this case. The idea for the logomark came about almost by chance whilst working on another project and listing to the above mentioned Dishwalla. OK, it's not 100% unique, pencils, crayons, pens sized and coloured to mimic a city skyline. But when bolted onto the Graphic Skyline wording, I personally feel it becomes a lot more.
For me the idea works because it is simply executed. Nothing to fancy or intricate. Pretty generic looking symbols for the 'graphic skyline', if you prefer to see crayons then so be it, if you see pencil's then fine. If you don't see the 'graphic' association at first, but just see pointed blocks, then fine as well. I hope that whatever way it is viewed or perceived, it will all come back to the pretty simple idea. A skyline made from graphic consumables.
It starts with Black and white
I started at first with black on white and white on black versions, as I do with most of my logo designs. Trying to find the right balance of size, perspective and form. Once I know it works well in one colour, then I see how I can best add some 'colour' colour to it.
If the black and white logo looks great, even ready to go as is, then I know we are ready for colour. But honestly, I have such a bond with black and white logos, some designs are just ruined by the addition of colour. Maybe that's just my own perception talking.
I had in my mind that this logo would be versatile, that various versions would be created and used for the overall identity. The idea of 'atmosphere' was the driving force for this project.
As well as a multicolored version, subtle monotone versions could be created to reflect night and day skylines. Shades of blue for morning and afternoon, with another version offering up shades of orange and red for an almost sunset vibe. The white on black version working as the 'night' version. It didn't matter if these alternative versions would be used or not. However, it was important to me to know that 'atmosphere & inspiration' was the main inspiration.
That there was a level of emotion and feeling with this logo that far exceeded just a 'nice' looking logo.
I did try a number of fonts, none seemed to fit. Until I re-discovered the cool and very free Miso font (free download available), that I had previously added as a font download on one of my Posterous sites, Font72.com
The moment I set the type with Miso, I know this was the one. Given the architectural/construction nature of Miso, and the iconic use of a city skyline in the logo, Miso was the perfect choice. It just gelled with the graphic skyline, the font is tall but not typically condensed. To me at least, it created the perfect vibe for my graphic skyline. A few small positioning details like the ascenders aligning vertically with the vertical lines in the skyline.
So what now
It's not complete and it's still in 'development'. I have a few other subtle ideas and tweaks to make, I'm in no rush. Right now I'm just sitting with it, and seeing how it works for me over a period of time. Possibly some positional changes in regards to type placement, maybe some tweaks with the actual skyline, maybe a solid version. Subtle changes like differing stroke widths for the 'buildings', thinner buildings at the front, thicker at the back, to try and add some further depth to the skyline.
Then, well, then I don't know. It's possible I will see if anyone is interested in purchasing the idea from me, to take an almost ready made business identity, complete with name and domain name. I'm open to suggestions. But it is interesting to see how ideas can evolve and become far more than you could have ever considered.
From my experience with clients, trying to find that unique and original business name, can be a challenge. Especially one that actually means something in terms of having a decent and available domain name.
Graphic Skyline is really a combination of working to a visual idea with a heavy source of inspiration from one of my favorite songs. The feeling I get when I listen to Nashville Skyline kept me true to this logo project, and ensured I didn't stray to far from the original path.
Looking to Hire a Freelance Logo Designer?
If you like the design work I've done in my Portfolio (some examples above), and Monomarks, and are looking to hire yourself a highly talented, and very experienced (25 Years), Logo and Brand Identity Designer, then look no further.
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