Just as the old website didn’t represent me anymore, the same thing happened with the old logo. I decided that the first thing to do was to have a better logo, so I sat down and started with the creation process just as if I were a new client. And here is the story.
Step 1: the concept
Defining the concept was not simple, because I think of myself as a mix of personalities and interests: designer, coder, musician, composer, freelance professional. These are the most “generally available” traits to represent. I wanted something which could look both professional and fresh and easy.
Then I wanted my new logo to include a symbol, icon, glyph or something I could use on his own. And finally, to be a real logo, it had to look good in both the “black & white” and the “full fx optional” style.
Step 2: symbol research
Maybe it’s the influence of my D&D past as a Dungeon Master, or maybe the passion for fantasy and mystery, but I like runes. So I started searching for a basic runic symbol that I could use as starting point. I found a runic symbol named Jera, taken in it’s original form as represented in the ancient alphabet called Elder Futhark.
Some of Jera’s many meanings are: harvest, good action, community and energy. In the ancient art of runic divination Jera spoke of change and harmony and, curiously enough, I was experiencing a lot of changes in my life during that period. In addition, Jera’s color is blue, which is also my favorite.
I did some experiments with pencil and paper and Adobe Illustrator, but in the end I chose to use the plain old rune and I found it beautifully represented in the Junicode open source font.
Step 3: finding the right font
Before looking at classic font producers like Adobe or Linotype I always step into dafont.com for the initial inspiration. There I found some 20-30 font faces and started playing with Illustrator.
Then I reduced the candidates to four or five possible letterings and asked some friends and colleagues for feedback, and the winner was… Baar Sophia by Lutz Baar and Petita by Manfred Klein. The two fonts are free for personal use and for other uses the authors require a donation to be made to a non-profit organization such as Doctors Without Borders, so I did it.
Step 4: designing the logo – only one will survive
I then began some cycle of design-pause-review and came out with four or five logo proposals. I showed the finalists to the same friends to have different opinions and surprisingly we all liked the same, so… let it be!
Step 5: colors
I was already oriented with a shade of blue as main color, but I didn’t want a “corporate” blue. I took a picture I did some years ago and started taking some color samples to play with. Using the myPantone application and the Pantone Goe™ library I found “the good one”, and then what?
In the same period I was reading Mark Boulton’s Designing for the Web book and there I found a suggested combination of blue and lime… why not? I searched for a suitable shade of lime into the same color library and added the blue-lime version to the list of candidates. That came out to be my favorite, so I had found it!