One of the recent projects I’ve had the joy of working on is designing a new logo for my friend Knockoutness b.k.a. Janessa Smith. Janessa is a gamer who streams on the platform Twitch. She reached out to me to create a logo she could use to promote herself and showcase on her channels. I was happy to help!
With this being a personal brand that will rely heavily on her personality and image, I decided to go with a portrait type of logo design. Leading with her smiling face allows for the brand to be easily recognizable and linked with the person her audience watches on her stream. To get the relative facial dimensions correct, I use her avatar photo as a guide in Adobe Illustrator. When I design portrait logos in Illustrator, copy and paste the subject’s picture and reduce the opacity. I lock that layer then create a new layer, which will be where the art begins. Using the pen tool, I draw the overall head shape (hair included). Having the base shape solidified allows me to then focus on the facial particulars inside. I am free to take creative liberties once I can confirm I have the relative dimensions correct. I am not trying to recreate the photo but create a vector logo inspired by the photo.
It’s always fun to translate someone’s photo into a logo or icon. I even used the eyedropper to play with the colors. I also went the extra step and applied a little shine, mimicking the shine seen in the actual photo. With the illustrated portrait complete, I wanted to provide her name along with her image. I wrote KNOCKOUT on the first line and NESS larger below. Knockoutness is commonly used as one word but, for the structure of the logo, I separated them with NESS (being short for Janessa) being below. Then, when I saw that the E in NESS could be seen as a game controller, I added buttons on top of the E as a subtle nod to gaming. I’m particularly proud of myself for seeing that design opportunity and taking advantage of it.
Overall, she was very happy with the final result. I’m excited to see what she does with her brand from here and how she builds her audience. I’m here to help in any way possible. Go follow Knockoutness on Twitch and be entertained.
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