Categories
Branding Design

7 Types of Logos & Why I Design Them

As a designer, I’ve created a variety of logos over the years. Different projects call for different design solutions. Depending on the brand, the type of logo I end up designing varies. The logo is the brand’s visual cue. That cue will be different than others in design but may also be different in the category of logo utilized. A logo can typically fit in a particular classification of logos. Let’s look at some examples from my own portfolio.

An Iconic Mark

Example(s): Shypsi (pronounced SHY-PSI)

Like the Jordan Jumpman and the Nike swoosh, I like logos that are minimalist but impactful. This type of logo typically works for brands that want something their audience can easily recognize and draw themselves. If your audience can draw your mark from memory, that is a very good sign for your brand. This type of logo is also useful for brands that might need their mark to work in a variety of colors on a variety of products. Shypsi Creative was the first name I came up with for my freelance design side. I wanted something simple but mine, easily attached to various things.

A Wordmark

Example(s): Pawnee (word) 

A wordmark is when you want the name of your brand to take center stage. It can be simply your name written in a particular font or a custom design unique to your brand name. The Pawnee wordmark is a part of a larger brand identity project I came up with in tribute to the TV show Parks & Recreation. I custom made each letter in Adobe Illustrator. 

Monogram

Example(s): Stroll City Strivers, Young Professionals of Stillwater

The monogram is the bringing of letters together in a stylish way to represent your brand. Acronyms, abbreviations, and the initials of an individual or a company flourish in this type of logo. The Stroll City Strives monogram was my attempt to give my fantasy football team a classic mark to complement the more modern main logo. The Young Professionals of Stillwater is often referred to as simply YPS so it made sense to have a mark that represented that. “Young Professionals of Stillwater” has a lot of letters and isn’t as versatile at various sizes as the YPS mark.

Letterform

Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder, Bratcher Sports & Education

Working our way down from full words and abbreviations, we have arrived at the letterform. This is where you distill your brand mark to a single letter. Make sure you make your letter stand out. The letterform is the most scalable of the trilogy. The D for the Dudley High School Band of Thunder actually has a hidden bass clef with the very visible lightning bolt in the middle to represent thunder. The B for Bratcher Sports & Education uses the lines to reference a basketball. My own personal Creative Bobbie logo is a hand drawn lowercase B that I wanted to use as my signature.

Mascot/Portrait

Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder

The mascot logo is much more involved and not minimalist at all but is appropriate at times. Commonly seen in the sports marketing industry, it can also be used for more personal brands where the individual is the brand. That is the case with my design for Knockoutness. The Dudley H.S. mascot is the panther so I drew a custom one in Illustrator, complete with musical references throughout. This type is for when there is a character/person you want your audience to attach to your brand.

An Emblem

Example(s): National Headquarters of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, Beyonce University, Pawnee (seal)

The emblem logo is typically a seal or crest that represents the brand in a more regal, professional, and traditional manner. Many soccer/football clubs use emblems, which you can see in my Fiction City Football League project. I obviously have a lot of experience with crests, working for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma. These examples use many elements similar to those found at universities and government organizations.

Combination

Example(s): Lamik’s Videos

The combo mark is for when you want the best of both worlds. You want an image that represents you but you also want the name of the brand featured. This allows you to walk your audience through the connect between your brand name and the image. Eventually, they may be able to recognize your brand through the image itself. This gives you multiple elements to work with. Lamik’s Videos is an example of that where the VHS band tape is accompanied by the brand name.

When approaching a branding project, analyze your market, your goals, and your brand itself to see which one of these would work best for you. How will your logo best stand the test of time and be recognizable to your target audience? Do you need multiple types underneath a larger visual brand identity system / strategy?

Choose wisely.

~b.

Categories
Branding Content Creation Design

How To Start A Podcast (And Why I Did)

A podcast is an episodic audio programme on a particular topic. The topic of my podcast, RUN THE LAYERS, is simply creativity. On the pod, we are peeling back the layers behind the creativity we see and exhibit while motivating ourselves and others. I want to celebrate and encourage creativity amongst my friends and everyone within my sphere of influence. RUN THE LAYERS with Creative Bobbie (that’s me!) is a platform for me to express myself and, from time-to-time, promote those I know who are using their gifts to deposit a little bit of themselves into the world. Through this project, I also want to continue to learn and grow as a content creator. 

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Branding Content Creation Design

Everyone & Their Brother Podcast’s 100th Episode Logo

The Everyone and Their Brother podcast is where four (give or take) brothers at the family dinner table having a meeting of the minds about everything from pop culture, food, news, & more. This fun and hilarious podcast I’m a part of is celebrating 100 EPISODES! Reaching 100 episodes is an achievement deserving of celebration. Being the graphic designer of the group, I designed a logo for the milestone.

Categories
Branding Design

How To Brand Fantasy Football Teams

When fantasy football meets the Everyone & Their Brother podcast, creativity (and hilarity) will ensue. For the unfamiliar, the Everyone & Their Brother (EATB) podcast is where William, Sam, TJ, and myself invite you to our “family dinner table experience”. We discuss a wide variety of topics. On episodes 93 & 94 of the podcast, we participated in a 2 round fantasy football draft where we selected only fictional characters to play on our teams. On episode 96, we pitched our team’s name and brand. I took our visions and designed logos and helmets for each of our teams.

Categories
Branding Design

How To Design The Brand For Pawnee, Indiana of Parks & Recreation

Parks & Recreation is one of the greatest television programs ever made. It stars the bubbly bureaucrat Leslie Knope and her team in the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana. This is the show I watch when I need a laugh, a break from the craziness of the world. The show is a favorite of mine and, as with other favorite pop culture things of mine,…I had an idea. What if I were selected to put together a revamped visual brand identity for the town? How would I represent this vibrant, unique, colorful star within Wamapoke County? Let’s find out.

Moodboard

First, I collected some photos to look at as I sketch some ideas. The photos I collected were the City Hall building, the current seal of Pawnee, the Unity Concert logo, the show logo, and the welcome sign. Moodboards, for me, are less about how the logo will look and more about getting a feel for the city. It wasn’t long before I came up with a concept and an idea of the color scheme, inspired by the board.

Logo Design + Colors

My idea for the brand surrounds an illustration of City Hall. In my research of other municipal brand projects, I found that a lot of them have an iconic image at its center. The city hall icon is housed with a curved shape of the state of Indiana. I could have just used a circle or square but I thought it would be great to have that reference to make the overall mark unique. 

Now with the colors, I took my inspiration from the current seal and flag design. I applied the blue and yellow to the designs after I finalized the shapes. Always focus on the design first and make sure it works before adding color. I utilized Adobe Color to build a complete color scheme. I used the eyedropper tool to pull the blue straight from the current seal and then used the Split Complementary color harmony rule to produce the other complementary colors.

The wordmark is actually custom. Usually, I just try to match a font with whatever I designed. However, this time I took on the challenge of designing each letter within the PAWNEE mark. With my logo being full of curved corners and edges, I wanted the wordmark to have curves. So I started the build of the letters with a single circle, which became the P which became the A. From there, I created the N, which informed the W and the Es.

The Seal

Now, because of my brilliant idea to include the asymmetrical shape of Indiana, I had to figure out how to make a seal surrounding it. I couldn’t make it quite like the city seals I was look at for inspiration. It was a happy accident that I discovered I could use the slant at the bottom as a part of the seal. From the bottom to the top middle, the seal is blue. After discovering how to incorporate the shape, the rest flowed with adding the text. I also incorporated a star between the founding text and the city name as a nod to the stars on the Indiana state flag.

City Applications

With all the designs and colors taken care of, I could go crazy with the applications of the brand. The visual brand identity I’ve built includes an official city flag, a welcome sign, an official van, city office door display, and multiple apparel mockups. I’ve also included mockups for my official city of Pawnee business card. Mocking up various applications of a brand is a fantastic playground experience. Your imagination can run wild now that you can equipped with the complete brand toolkit.


Iconic Icons + Pattern

I was ambitious with this project so I had the idea of including a few icons that represent some elements of the character, history, and landmarks of the city of Pawnee. The icons include the waffle (with syrup making the two Js) for JJ’s Diner, a tribute to Lil’ Sebastian, and an icon for Pawnee Commons, the park finally established on Lot 48. I ended up using these icons and the city hall illustration to create a pattern along with the brand color scheme.

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the full presentation of visual brand identity for the city of Pawnee, Indiana. I took my time with this project and it went some places I did not expect. Passion projects like this feed and teach me as a designer and help me to discover new ways to interpret ideas visually. It’s also just a very cool way to pay tribute to a show that brings me joy.

~b.

Categories
Branding Design

Case Study: Book Cover Art For Author TJ Tooley

In my last blog post, I wrote about how I wanted my friends to tap into their creative reservoir. One of my friends who is doing just that is one TJ Tooley. TJ is the host of For The Love Of Story podcast, which I have designed for in the past. He has recently used the podcast as a vehicle to tell fantastic multi-part stories for your listening pleasure. The Author and Leapers are two such stories. Both stories were in need of artwork that I was happy to provide.

Categories
Content Creation Design

How & Why I Am Highlighting African-American Designers

I’ve created graphics in celebration of Black History Month in the past. However, I wanted to do something different this year. I wanted to give some shine to African-American graphic designers that have made an impact on American culture. This design project also was my chance to learn about these designers I should know.