Strategic Logo Design: Making Something from Nothing

1859 Media artist Brendan Loscar talks us through his creative logo design process in this guest blog post. 

LoscarLogoImage#1Design can be a mysterious phenomenon. In our everyday lives, we interact with design constantly and, most often, on a subconscious level. Restaurant menus, billboards, logos, clothing and even road signs have been created from the imagination of a designer, a person. Although the finished product seems to appear out of thin air, there is usually a strategy behind the creation of such magical (and ordinary) things. Here is a quick peek into my strategy in making something from nothing, and in this case, logo design.

Anything and everything can serve as inspiration when it comes to design. I like to start my approach by collecting photos, colors, information and details that will meet the client’s aspirations. Another key component, is finding adjectives that describe the audience, usage and overall feel. It is important to envelope yourself with the entire universe of those who will interact with this branding, to look at it from where they’re standing. It’s not until this point that I feel ready to go to battle and to begin sketching my ideas.

LoscarLogoImage#2A simple pencil can be the gateway into a unique creation, but you have to work for it. That being said, sketches are not meant to be pretty or clean. They convey a concept, put an idea into a manageable medium. The best approach I know is to draw until exhaustion, and then a little more. I often find the best ideas come from really digging—diamonds aren’t just lying around for the taking. Once I do find that gem of a concept, I refine my sketch and then move to digital.

To transfer my sketches to digital, I scan my finalized ideas and begin crafting my logo. As I start building, I want to make sure that whatever I make can exist successfully in worlds that are black and white, big and small. I think this is the basis for developing logos that will work in a variety of size and color variations. After completing each version, I like to print out and reflect on what I’ve made. When it’s printed, I can find what is working and what isn’t. Through each version, I whittle down closer and closer to what is working best. In this case, I went back to the drawing board mid-process to revisit a sketch that I felt matched the initial direction better. If it is not working, don’t be afraid to reset and revisit.

LoscarLogo#3Once I am satisfied with the new black and white exploration, I then begin experimenting with the color palette I created within the mood board. I love this part of the process!

When the logo has been fully realized in color, I take it for a test spin. This logo was created to elevate an online blog and brand Micro Adventures across Central Oregon. The use of it within a photo gives a sneak peek into the usage and implementation down the road.

LoscarLogoImage#4Though it may seem like chaos that is far removed from everyday life, design is one concise interpretation of the world we live in—making sense from chaos. It has been said that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ when it comes to design. This is true … until you add the human factor. Every person has a unique set of experiences and perspective. Ultimately this leads to creative and original work. I am still coming into my own as a designer, but I find that creating a method for fulfilling the creative process is essential to thriving professionally. This is only one example of how creativity can be dissected into pieces for which there are millions of solutions. What is your favorite way to create?