The evolution of a logo

So, you need a logo? Sure why not. Logos can be great. A memorable logo increases ‘brand awareness’ which is fancy marketeer speak for ‘a logo help people remember you’.

Where to start you may ask? May I suggest we begin with that most magical of instruments, a notebook and pen. Scribble ideas down. Don’t start by going to a logo maker website. At the beginning let the ideas be your own. You can use more complex tools later. For now a biro will do. Any old scrap of paper is fine. In fact I like to use the margins of pages that have already been written on. A clean blank page can be a bit daunting, but a junky old notebook allows me not to worry about whether I am creating something good. The truth is it doesn’t matter at this stage whether I am doing ‘good’ work. my aim is simply to dump ideas on a page.

ideas

You can just play for a bit. Ttreat it as meditative relaxation. Just let the pen travel where it wants to go. Eventually, something may stand out, our you may find yourself repeating an idea over and over again.

symmetry

That is probably a good one to work up in a bit more detail, but while we are still in the scribbling phase, just keep on moving that pen around the paper.

Don’t worry if you don’t get an instant ‘yes’ moment. Just keep scribbling and it will come eventually. Here you can see photos of various scribbled ideas between notes about a website I was building.

Play with you logo ideas

For a while I played with a short letter ‘I’. I thought this might be an interesting direction to take the logo in, but when nothing concrete came from it I was happyto dump it and just to continue scribbling.

Eventually I noticed that the lowercase d and p seemed to be a recurring theme that I couldn’t get away from. I drew boxes around one idea I had repeated across a few pages of my notebook.

Great, lets go with that. Now was the time to work up a version of the logo on the computer (gulp).

Creating a logo on your computer

There are plenty of tools for building a logo out there. Much depends on how comfortable you are with each one. Choose the software or online tool that you are familiar with and happy to use.

I worked up my design in Paint Shop Pro from Corel, which is similar to Adobe Photoshop. The downside is that if I ever want the logo on the side of a van or something I will need to recreate it in a proper vector editing tool like Inkscape. Why didn’t I start with the proper tool? Well I am horribly slow on Inkscape but dead quick on Paint Shop Pro. So, about 15 minutes later I had this.

basic

Sleep on it

I have learned that time is really helpful for stopping us from making bad decisions. So although I was pretty happy with the logo above I pressed save, closed the program and went off to do something else

The next day I still liked it in principle, but knew it definitely needed to be improved. In particular I felt the spacing was wrong and the slight sharpness of the curves was a bit off. So again, it was time to play around until I was happy.

It didn’t take too long. I wanted to keep the slight 1930’s vibe provided by the longer letters but wanted to soften it a little. I did this by making the two curves a bit deeper so they lined up in the middle of the logo.

Finally I added an outer circle, the same width as the letters, and rotated the whole thing to a jaunty angle. Why? Because I wanted to. There is a lot of theory in design, but there is also a point at which you can just go with your gut instinct.

At the angle I initially chose the extenders (bottom of the p and top of the d were the furthest left and right elements of the three letters. I rotated the logo back a bit so that the curves and the bottom corners of the p and d were vertically aligned with each other. I was now happy with my logo.

Then I had a moment of fear that this might turn out to be an accidental copy of someone else’s logo. You will be surprised how often this happens. I googled ‘dip logo’ and held my breath. Thankfully although there were plenty of similar logos, none were close enough to cause me any concern, so I added the logo to the top of the website. Hope you like it.

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About the author

Loves to learn new things and make stuff...properly. Born and living in the Thames Valley west of London, England. I have an office job during the day, but evenings and weekends are all about making.