Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: May 9th, 2014 | 1st Posted: January 27, 2009
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Books, Freelance, Graphic Design, helvetica, Inspiration
This is Part 3 of the Logo Design Round-Up series. This ongoing series showcases a collection of logos and brand marks, self submitted by a bunch of freelance designers and creative folk in many creative areas. These designers use the logos to sell, promote, brand and market their various skills.
You can see how I designed my own logo in this post : Bastardizing Helvetica for the ImJustCreative Logo Design
If you want to be part of this logo design series, then details can be found at the bottom of this post.
What this collection is not
This is not a competition, it's not a best of, it's not a who has the best logo, it's not a collection of logos that I have chosen. They are simply logos supplied by those that wanted to be part of this post. And a huge thank you to everyone who has submitted. For those of you that have submitted, but your logo is not here, you will be in the next part.
Logo Roundup - Part 3
Max Guedy - Agency Zebra
"Back in 2005, I was starting to get a lot of gigs from ad agencies covering a wide spectrum of multimedia creations and i was regularly outsourcing things to fellow freelancers. I'd still handle the art direction, but when it was time to invoice, I felt bad invoicing under my personal name, Max Guedy ( www.max-guedy.com ) for work i didn't create.
So i decided it was time to drop my branding as a freelancer and start trading as a company. I had to submit a list of desired names to the South African business registration office and my first contained 5 names that got refused! I'm not sure about the reasons... I didn't have that much time to think about it, so I decided to go with my favorite animals (lion. elephant, zebra...) and got the go-ahead for Zebra Photo and Design Corporation. Hmmm.. only later did i realize how many design studios worldwide are also called "Zebra". And all have similar logo with, well, zebra stripes! I went ahead and purchased the domain zebraphotoanddesign.com - not so great! ditch that!
Then I remembered one of my marketing teachers saying that its good practice to have a business name starting with an "A" to be in the top part of listings. he even said that the name "apple" was chosen to come before "atari" on suppliers's alphabetical directories... I'm not sure if it's true but that suited me... the name AgencyZebra came to mind quickly, the .com was available and i adopted it. Being part-French, it made sense to put the words like that and i thought i could play on the A to Z vibe. But that would be tacky and i couldn't get it right !!!
Now about the logo...
Zebra's are like punk horses and i tried thinking about what punk imagery i had in my head. I remembered the old "diesel" logo with the Apache indian profile. My favorite T-shirt as a teenager sported that logo (back in the early nineties). I believed i was onto something.
A black and white zebra would be very expected and unoriginal. I am into web-design so i wondered how that could be expressed into the Zebra. I took inspiration from the Skype logo in my mac dock to come up with a light blue with a 3D shine.
I used the pen tool over a picture of a Zebra and simplified, simplified, and simplified the stripes some more. the stripes became geometric and un-natural... i liked it! The Zebra's eye was very important to give it attitude and i wished to give it a fierce, conquering look... this is not a Zebra peacefully eating grass in the sun and waiting to be savaged by a lion!
So with such a graphic icon, i needed to have a more discreet typeface and settled on a classy, solid font that didn't look like Helvetica ( Bookman Antiqua ).
The tagline "original, simple & clean" works as is in French and in English, which is great since most of my clients are in Paris !
My newest client ( an exclusive winefarm ) actually hired me to design their website simply because they liked my logo, ( and they love zebras ), so i guess my logo doesn't work too badly.
Arron M Lock - Bright Black - Branding & Identity Design
First let me say thank you for the opportunity to have my logo listed among the other awesome designers on your site.
My motivation for this logo was that I needed to create an identity for my new branding firm, Bright Black. I really wanted to design a logo that was solid and highly versatile. I knew I wanted it to be a rectangle shape as that communicates stability and I decided to keep it in black and white to emphasize the name. After a couple weeks and a lot of feedback from my Twitter friends I tweaked it into what you see here and I am pretty pleased with the result.
For a little more info on how I chose the name Bright Black and to see this in a larger scale visit http://arronlock.com/business/whats-in-a-name
I started my own business years ago. At the time, it was strictly a graphic design firm. Web sites, branding, collateral...you name it. These days, however, business is much different. We still do superfly design, but the larger focus is social media. The other half of my business (my husband & business parter) trains companies both large and small how to leverage the power of social networks to further the reach of their brand. Basically, I build pretty things and he makes sure that the desired eyeballs see those pretty things.
So when it came time to rebrand, I wanted a logo that demonstrated our multi-faceted approach. The idea of the cube appealed to me, as the design is reminiscent of a Rubik's cube with multiple planes and lots of possible combinations. I thought this reflected our project approach and our mindset. But rather than seeing a cube head-on, I liked the idea of it crashing down in the middle of our brand - much like blogging, Twitter & the like have disrupted traditional marketing. (Boy...we really tend to over think these things as designers, don't we?
And while by this time, Apple (and nearly every designer on the planet) had overused the reflection effect, it seemed essential to my point. Social media is a reflection of the brand (or the person) itself. It doesn't replace the brand, it merely reflects and expands upon what already exists.
I chose one of the House Industries typefaces because of the rounded edges, but also because so many characters can be flipped 180 degrees to become other letters (note the "e" and the "a"). We like turning problems and ideas on their head and being unconventional. The typeface, the colors, the crashing cube all support that notion. And that's the story in one (not so small) nutshell.
Jim MacLeod | Pay attention
Too often I see designers that set themselves up as a shop and refer to themselves as "we" to give the illusion of being bigger. To set myself apart, I want to make it clear that it's just me doing the work. A few years back I reserved my name as a domain and I've been building my work based on that.
The logo is based on my every day handwriting. After using a flat black and white version for a few years, I wanted to give it a stronger look, so I added a metallic shine. Red is a color that has always grabbed my eye, so I found a deep, powerful red to anchor my logo. Also, the thin, white font on "pay attention" really pops off of the red gradient.
The logo came about after at least fifty different designs. Some of them range from pictures of cats as an iconic item to stand along rendering front choice un-important, to logo examples based soley on a font to convey the "mega" and "long" feeling of the name.
I tried a series of fonts in trying to give the entire logo the feeling of the name Megalongcat, but in the end I decided that I only needed to make a slight emphasis on the word "long" to get the point across. The character "l" of the font I chose was ideal for turning into a 'tail' and I outlined the font in Illustrator and created the rest of the logo by hand.
Meroko Senpai - "We create cool stuff"
I liked the vision of cats to represent creativity and independence. I was inspired by my own black cats, and studying the Japanese language. So the name I chose for my design business, Kuroneko Design, was born. Kuroneko in Japanese means black cat.
I thought my logo needed to have an artistic and cat-like feel. I wrote down all the words that came to my mind when I think about a cat. Words like: curious, playful, flexible, agile, intelligent, independent, mysterious, friendly and warm.
I wanted my logo to convey a lot of those feelings. I chose an illustrative (artistic) design of a cat, with the whiskers and tail drawn very thin and curly to convey playfulness, agility and flexibility. The fact that the cat is alone on a background shows the independent streak, as well as the fact that the background is not a perfect square. His eyes are half moons to convey friendliness.
I also added the Japanese Kanji characters for "kuro neko" to help tie in the fact that my company name comes from the Japanese language. It still makes me smile when I look at it, so it seems to be working for me.
David Perel - Obox-Design
Your timing of this post request is almost spot on to the release of our new logo for Obox Design.
It all started a year ago and has ended with a spanking new logo. To promote it I did the following: Created a blog post and then submitted it to CSS Globe, Created a video post about the design process and posted it on From the Couch, Floated it on Designfloat, Tweeted like crazy about the above posts.
Please find attached the final product. The process was a bit more complicated than what I have mentioned here and would be honored if your watched our video and read the blog post about the new Obox Design logo.
I have a really old friend who likes to call me Rex instead of Alex... I'm also one of the (few) lucky people out there who actually likes their handwriting.
So, when I set about re-inventing my personal brand upon arrival in Barcelona. I used my newly bought wacom to scrawl my name into Illustrator and through a series of iterations, I ended up with this.
Cristhian Serur - Symbiotics
It is kind of an abstract concept, the term symbiotics comes from the symbiotic relation where one gives something and receives something in return, in a beneficial way, and I also like the concept of balance, and ying-yang, from then I started the idea to make an abstract representation of my relation with design, to give my time and effort to master it and receive the rewards and benefits that comes with the job.
The final shape of the logo came very quick, and in some ways resemble separation and unification of elements, keeping some sort of balance between each other.
Tom Leadbetter Web Design
At first I wanted a little graphic in the logo, something that I could use on its own without text but after a lot of time spent messing about, nothing suited – I find it particularly difficult designing for myself. But I know when something just “isnb’t me”.
Then I incorporated the ‘web design’ into the logo. Because I have a long surname, it looked a bit funny on its own but now (I hope) the logo is balanced. I’ve used different colour so it gives me options for web branding, business cards, etc.
As for the font, I spent hours looking at fonts online and in books. In the end went for MgOpen Modata, a fun sans-serif which looks a lot better in bold. I stumbled across this font whilst looking for fonts that could be used with font-face. I’m not actually sure if you can Modata, but I’m glad I found it.
Colin Wright - Verdant Collective
Here's a logo I designed for a new studio I just started, Verdant Collective.
My focus is on sustainable design businesses and practices, so I wanted this logo to imply that without having to fall back on the cliche vines and flowers and leaves and such that are resplendent of most logos in the green sphere.
I actually designed this while fiddling around on my laptop on a train between LA and central Missouri, while trying to think of an interesting visual to represent the word 'dynamic,' which is what Verdant Collective is (essentially competing with full-blown design and production studios for business, while keeping overhead low by doing all work virtually, with a team that is constantly changing based on the project).
What I came up with was this idea of using these crisp, eggshell-like, white half-circles in the shape of the word 'verdant.' The visual cues seem to indicate that these half-circles can roll and fold and unfold and scuttle into just about any shape you'd need them to, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Christian Messer - Whiplash Design
I chose the name Whiplash Design, because I wanted to portray movement in the name. The word Whiplash has so many cliche images that come to mind, and I have worked for years to try and design a proper logo for it. Until that comes, I decided to do a typographic mark and use 6 images married with it to convey my message of “fresh, succulent and organic branding solutions”.
Naturally fruit and vegetables are associated with these terms today, so I searched for the right images. The flying-through-water aspect of them to me, totally conveys Whiplash, and the fruit/water mix instantly says fresh and juicy. Instead of one photo, I found six and have used all of them on a set of six business cards and my web site.
I consistently get positive feedback, especially on the six different “pick your fruit” business cards, clients and colleagues love them - I will never get tired of the “Wow, how cool” reaction they get. The web site has won Whiplash Design several clients, because of its clean simplicity and yet vibrant, fluid nature. The branding as a whole works well together and people really get what I do.
End of Part 3
Thanks again to all those that have submitted logos, its been really cool checking them all out and reading the reasons behind them.
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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