For second year in a row, I participated in #The100DayProject with Elle Luna & The Great Discontent. The project simply involves choosing an action you will perform for 100 days and sharing it each day on your Instagram. Last year, I made 100 logos for fictional places in TV, movies, literature, etc. This year, I embarked on the ambitious plan to produce daily Instagram videos (1 minute – once I got the update on my phone) giving insights about my craft and my process. Some videos were logo case studies. Some were tips on social media, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Others focused on my thoughts on the importance of branding, design, and creativity.
From July 14-18, I was in Las Vegas to participate in the Evolution Championship Series (“EVO”), the largest and longest-running fighting video game tournaments in the world. For years, I dreamed of being at this event live and in person. It was an outstanding and, at times, surreal experience. The visual presentation and the atmosphere created added to my overall experience. And that is what an event (and branding, in general) is all about.
I am a lover of the visual medium. As a graphic designer, I enjoy seeing great visuals and designing work that others will enjoy. When you are trying to tell your story, you want to create content that attracts the right eyes and inspires the owners of those eyes to share your content. Video content is the best way to accomplish your goals.
Every logo you’ve ever seen started with a series of questions being answered about its purpose and the entity it represents. Research is highly important to properly design anything. No sense creating before you know why you are creating. For example, a lot of college logos pull from the essential visual cues found on the campus of the institution itself. You have research and observe to know what makes the entity you are designing for unique. What is the main identifier? When I see THIS, I think of THIS! Know the message or image you want to communicate through the logo. Learn the market and the audience that will see the results of this project. Your knowledge of the brand combined with your creative skillset will yield great results if you put in the work ahead of time. Have the conversations and delve deep into the thought process of those who are approaching you to work on this project.
Sitting in a coffee shop with tunes from my favorite “zone out” playlist playing through my headphones, I sketch away in my graph composition book. I am loving life. Sketching is an absolute must. This pencil and paper record of all the ideas is a visual record of the evolution in my design thinking. Concept discovery is such an important stage for your development. You avoid a lot of future frustration by putting in as much work as possible in your sketchbook.
Some of the most powerful logos are the most simplistic in nature. McDonalds, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola are all worldwide brands that are recognized around the world. The execution of the brand message combined with the relative simplicity of the logo makes it easy to inhabit the consumer mind. The amount of people that have your logo memorized is an indication of your brand’s reach. (I touch on this in Episode 49 of my Instagram video series, Touch of Gold. Hehe. I see what I did there.)
I’m a fan of minimalistic logos that manage to convey a concept’s message with no filler. They are also easily reproduced on various products at various sizes. These logos can be more easily memorable and more subtle in communication. It doesn’t demand too much attention (or confusion) and acts as your stamp of authentication.
Have you ever selected a team to support based on the quality of their logo? Well I have.
I’m relatively new to watching hockey. This southern boy has spent most of his sports fan life screaming at various televisions over football and basketball. But after some Kappa Kappa Psi brothers from the cold, cold north introduced and explained hockey to me, I decided to give it a shot. Once I paid attention and starting watching games, I became very interested. However, I can’t give a sport my all until I tether myself to a team. I skipped all the “What team should you support” quizzes and went straight to looking at logos.
Once I saw the Minnesota Wild logo, the decision was made!
With my 32nd birthday coming up, I decided to do something for the occasion. From June 9th through July 10th, I am designing and posting a new logo on my Instagram. I’ve done a few daily projects and have learned that they force me to practice my craft and help build discipline. The more I work, the more I learn.
Succeeding in any crowded market means bringing something unique to the table. Instagram is littered with self-proclaimed fitness and health experts promising to have the solution. You need more than pictures of your perfect abs and muscles to create a new, memorable brand.
When I’m asked what logos are my favorite, I usually mention the Apple logo and the Nike logo. I am a lover of intricate logos as well as minimalistic logos. But I do have a special place in my heart for brands that can convey their personality with simple shapes. However, it is more about how those logos are used and what they are associated with. If those logos were attached to terrible products or services, they wouldn’t be looked upon as fondly as they are. A great logo alone does not a great brand make.