Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

Back To Basics March 25, 2008

Filed under: inspiration,logo design,method — Beth D @ 12:54 am
Tags: ,

Recently, I’ve acquired the task of designing a new logo for a band. The trio has an existing logo, but they’ve never been in love with it, and now I have the grand opportunity to create something totally new — and I’ve been given full “use all your creativity” license on this… a very rare opportunity, as many designers know. I’m totally jazzed about this chance to really shine, but scared to death too.

Confession: I’ve never felt like logo design was my forte’. Even though it’s not the favorite element of my career, I feel like it’s like a lot of things in life: the more I do it, the better I find my skills. “Practice makes perfect”, as the saying goes.

Like a lot of designers, I tend to rely a little too much on technology. It’s hard not to when it’s there, right at my fingertips. However, with my renewed love of drawing and sketching, I’ve gotten back to basics. Beside the sketchbook, another tool in my arsenal is blogs on the subject of logo design, and how the people who really excel at logos work their magic. And it turns out that all those professors I paid a university lots of money to teach me design, preached the same thing: use a sketchbook, don’t design on the computer.

One design blog in particular that I keep referring to is David Airey, a designer from the UK. He’s got a very pure style about him, which I really dig – as Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe said “God is in the details” — and anyone who has ever studied Mr. Mies Van Der Rohe knows, simplicity was key in all of his designs. That’s why the stuff he designed (architecture & furniture) remain timeless classics. (A favorite game of mine while watching TV is “spot the Barcelona Chair in the commercial”)

David did a post not long ago about his logo design process, and linked a few of his own sketches of his personal logo HERE.

His top 10 steps to a great logo design are:

  1. Sketch
  2. Sketch again
  3. And again
  4. Don’t worry about mistakes
  5. Sketch with pencils
  6. Try using pens
  7. Sketch indoors…
  8. …and out
  9. Sketch fast
  10. Keep on sketching

So, here I’ve sat, taking the advice of a designer I admire, a day spent sketching logos. Some are terrible, but some hold promise. As I’ve always believed, there are no bad ideas, because those bad ones can eventually evolve into the best idea. I imagine I’ll spend the remainder of the next few days sketching logos, but that’s cool, because this is what it’s about: good art and good design. Just another method that allows me to chase the high I talked about in the last post.


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