Daily Archives: September 21st, 2014

Prototype Logo Works-in-Progress

For practice and enhancing my portfolio, I have many works-in-progress that are unsolicited, non-commissioned projects that I do just to keep the creative juices flowing. Of course if the parties involved like what I am doing and want to contact me for commissioned work based upon my prototype designs, they are more than welcome to do so!

With Duke University college football back to prominence the last couple of years, I started playing around with a concept to tweak their official logo with a little football flair:

Duke Football Logo Prototype
I’ve had an idea in my head that I wanted to get a preliminary design done for an Avengers logo (based on the Marvel Comics title). It’s a variation on their traditional design where I wanted to see how it looks if you essentially merge the first two letters together:

Avengers Logo Prototype
The Avengers concept spawned a design idea for the Marvel Comics logo itself. Traditionally they go with fairly clean lettering so it is easy to read, but I wanted to see what some merging of boundaries between letters would do to the design. Here are a few color variations on this idea:

Marvel Logo Prototypes

My Comic Strip and Blog Logos

I stumbled across an old 45rpm record adapter last year and really liked the look of it, so I drew a clean vector version of it to use as a social network site avatar. When I launched this blog, I decided to use it as my WordPress avatar as well.

45 RPM Adaptor
For my “From Where I Sit” comic strip I wanted something very simple as a logo design. The comic strip itself is based on a concept of always being drawn from the perspective of where the primary character is sitting. The story is told more via the text than the illustrations, with the art being there most of the time just to establish the setting. It’s a very subtle logo design composed entirely of text but with the letters in the word sit arranged to form a chair. I think it works well and suits the tone of this comic strip.

From Where I Sit Logo
My “Fringe Kisses” comic strip is a different concept entirely. It’s a single panel comic strip intended to be as strange as the idea that hits me in any given moment, and it is imminently more visual in how it communicates the story. The name of the strip originates from the concept of being right at and barely touching the edge (kissing the fringe), and I liked the play on words of using fringe instead of french. For this comic strip I wanted a more striking logo design that jumps out at you a bit, hence the design of a pursed-lips kiss with the comic strip title in stylized lettering embedded within.

Fringe Kisses Logo

Comic Book Company Logos and Insignias

Some of the designs in this post (DC Bullet logo, Valiant logo, Batman insignia, Spider-Man Head) were used by me years ago for a business card design while selling collectibles at comic book conventions. All of these have been used at one time or another as social network site avatars.

The DC Bullet logos are variations on an older logo for DC Comics, and the Valiant logo is based upon the original Valiant Comics company logo from the 1990s.

Older DC Bullet Logos Original Valiant Logo Batman Insignia Captain America Shield Flash Reverse Flash Insignias Legionnaires Insignia Spider-Man Head

Early Logo Design Work

When I was a Technical Writer/Illustrator at ON Technology, I needed a clean vector version of the corporate logo for various print and online projects, so I drew one:

ON Technology Logo
I had a friend there who obtained certification as a Certified Novell Engineer, and he wanted an official version of the logo to include on his resume and business card so I dew him a clean vector version of the official logo:

Novell CNE Logo
Working as a Technical Writer at ABB, Power T&D I needed a clean resizable version of the ABB corporate logo but could not find one. Since I was redesigning the documentation templates to meet corporate standards, I also researched the corporate logo and created a vector version of it to corporate specifications:

ABB Logo
My work at ABB caught the attention of the marketing department, and they called upon me to create a CD artwork design for a new product:

ABB CD Design
They liked the simple, but striking, CD design so much that they asked me to create a corresponding note pad design to hand out to prospective customers:

ABB Pad Design

Logos, Emblems, Avatars, and Insignias

In the strictest sense, these are all pretty much the same thing. There are some subtleties as to when you should use one word or the other, but for the purposes of my blog I will probably use them mostly interchangeably, except that I usually try to refer to corporate logos, social network site avatars, and clothing/uniform insignias. Feel free to critique if you think I use the terms too liberally.

In various places of employment I have been called upon to create, or recreate, corporate logos for use in technical documentation and marketing materials. I have also created social network site avatars for use by myself and others. Recently I have created logos for my blog and my original comic strips, and have been experimenting with unofficial prototype designs for other logos.

Logos, emblems, avatars, and insignias generally serve the same purpose, which is to be a simple eye-catching image that is immediately and universally identifiable as to the person, property, corporation, or ideology that it represents. Some logos catch on immediately, and others take time to become universally recognized. A logo can be anything from simple or stylized text to an image or a combination of both.

Over the course of the next series of blog posts I am going to discuss samples of past and present work from my portfolio, offer helpful information on what you should expect when approaching someone for professional logo design, and perhaps persuade you to consider contacting me for your logo design needs.

Be sure to also check out the Professional Logo Design FAQ post for some common questions answered.

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