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Entries in Logos (17)


ProBlogger Logo Design

ProBlogger Logo DesignAt the end of May, Darren Rowse contacted me through MakaluMedia, to redesign the ProBlogger logo.

Darren has one of the net's most popular blogs, and is one of the founders of b5media. I was honored to have a chance at designing the new identity, so I agreed to come on board the design team with Darren's site designer, Ben Bleikamp.

Darren's story is interesting, not only because he turned blogging from a hobby into a full-time career and business, but because he freely shares what he's learned from blogging. I quite like Darren's attitude of helping others grow and succeed by sharing his knowledge.

In this post, I'll share details and sketches on the new ProBlogger identity.

Initial Specs and Feedback
Darren answered my standard list of questions, and from his initial feedback I gathered several themes to embrace and portray with the new ProBlogger identity. He wanted ProBlogger to be:

  • A welcoming community where bloggers can learn and grow

  • A source of information on making income from a blog

  • A site promoting professionalism in blogging

  • An extensive blogging reference

  • Keywords: income, professionalism, community, inspiration, credibility, encouraging

Darren wanted a clean, crisp, contemporary, professional logo, without superfical "Web 2.0" stylings. He wanted a logo to represent himself and his blog, in a design that wouldn't go out of style in 6 months.

Sketches v1
problogger-mini-v1.jpgWith all of this information in mind, I began sketching multiple concepts to get the project rolling (click the image to see the v1 sketches).

With all of my logo projects, I like to loosen up with pencil in my Miquelrius notebook, freeing my mind to explore ideas. Note the keywords on the upper right of the page, which help guide me in idea generation during this first sketch phase.

I focused on theProBlogger P, as it portrays the brand well, and would be a consistent element from the original design. I explored one other idea (8) which suggested community as a nucleus with network connections and multiple outer atoms.

In Darren's feedback, I learned that he liked the emphasis on the P. He preferred the squarer P characters, as these leaned away from the "surf" look and feel he saw in ideas 17, 18 and 19. He also liked the community concept he saw in 8, so it was on to v2 sketches to explore those ideas a bit more.

Sketches v2
problogger-mini-v2.jpgI this set, I explored the winning concepts and a few others, bringing in aspects of idea 8 and the community "atomic" ideas merged with the P character.

After review, Darren and his team of trusted advisers focused on two ideas from this v2 set: concepts 19 and 23. Next up was the black & white and color phase.

Black & White and Color Concepts
Because Darren was on a tight timeline, I changed my normal process, including both black & white and color logos on the same mockups. This way Darren could see the B&W ideas and some explorations of initial colors.

Concepts v1:
In the first set you'll see I came up with ideas based on the v2 sketches (2, 3, 4 and 5), along with a new idea (1) which came out I worked with the logos. Sometimes this happens, and I've learned to go with the flow and include these as options:

Concepts v1

Darren's feedback from round 1 aimed us at the P within a nucleus circle with orbiting atoms around this central icon to embed the concept of comminity into the mark. While the more graphical representations of this community were interesting (1, 2 and 3), the clearer P emerged as Darren's top choice.

Concepts v2:
Based on feedback from v1, I narrowed to the single P with orbiting atoms, exploring different ways the atoms could be positioned, the connection between atoms and the outer ring, a font option and variations on the provided color pallette:

Concept v2

Concepts v3:
Darren really liked the color combo in ideas 7 and 8 in this set, leaning toward 7 a bit more. He wanted to keep the "P" and "BLOGGER" in orange and do one final exploration on atom position and separation between the atom and the outer ring. So I did a final v3 to help Darren see the 3 final options:

Concept v3

In the final version, I felt the leading atom suggested forward movement, and the separation of the atoms from the circle provided focus to the 3 atoms. 7.1 was chosen as the final winner:

Problogger Winning Logo

Darren was pleased with the final logo, which was subsequently included in Ben's redesign of the site. It was great fun to see the logo announced on Darren's blog, followed by the release of the new site design.

As one might expect, with a major change on a popular site, there were a few who liked the old design better. However, after reading comments on the site related to the new logo and design, a majority of Darren's readers really loved the new site design and logo. Most importantly, Darren was pleased with the results.

Thanks Darren for choosing to work with me and MakaluMedia on the logo design. It was an honor and a pleasure working with Darren and Ben on this project.

Related Links
A New Look for ProBlogger - Coming Soon (Very Soon) (ProBlogger)
New Design Update (ProBlogger)
We’re Entering New Design Transition Phase (ProBlogger)
ProBlogger Redesign - Bedding Down for the Night (ProBlogger)
Redesign of - Designer Tells All (ProBlogger)
Redesign of (Ben Bleikamp)


Paul Stamatiou's Logo Design Project

paulstamatiou.pngI've just completed a logo design project with tech guru, and fellow 9rules blogger, Paul Stamatiou.

Paul writes commentary and reviews on varied topics with a focus on technology, and has very high visibility on the web. So as you can imagine, I found it a fun challenge to work with Paul.

Below are links to the set of mockups and final art at Paul's Flickr account:

Paul Stamatiou Logo Design Set
Paul Stamatiou Final Logo Design Spec Sheet

It was fun, and different working with Paul, since he put all of the sketches, black and white and color mockups I did for him on Flickr — as they were delivered — and opened them up for public comments. I've not had that kind of in-progress, public critique done with my work before. Paul and the commenters liked the work and through the normal process, Paul selected a final winner.

One advantage to having your client post in-progress to final work posted on Flickr is, prospective clients can see the process, how it works and looks — which hopefully sends them to me and MakaluMedia for their identity design.

All in all, it was a blast working with Paul. I think we've found a clean, crisp and memorable mark for Paul to use as personal branding, on the blog and for other things, which makes me very happy.

Thanks for choosing to work with me Paul! :-)

Related Links
Paul Stamatiou: New Logo, New Design
Paul Stamatiou Logo Design Set
Paul Stamatiou Final Logo Design Spec Sheet


Panoramio (and logo) are acquired by Google

logo-panoramio.gifCongratulations to my friends Eduardo, Joaquín and José of Panoramio, in the recent Google acquisition of their startup!

From the Panoramio blog post on May 31st:

The integration of photos from Panoramio in Google Earth has been so successful since John Hanke suggested it that we see the acquisition of Panoramio as a natural consequence. We have tightened our relationship with Google Earth more and more in recent months, and at the end we decided to walk one step further. After so much work together, honestly, we couldn’t imagine a better scenario than selling Panoramio to Google.

I was honored to work with "the boyz" back in October 2005, when we created the Panoramio identity (along with two other identities after it, including Cursoo).

I'm very excited for the Panoramio team, and just as excited that the identity work for the project had a small part in helping the team get to the next level.

Congratulations guys! :-)


Design Portfolio Sets on Flickr

logo-design-set.pngBusy, busy busy!

It's a busy spring here, working on all sorts of design goodies for clients at MakaluMedia. Because of this, I've had limited time to write up detailed logo design articles, like the ones I've done for Red 66, BOWN and cgi Interactive.

In March, I finally bought a Flickr Pro account. Why did I wait so long? I'm loving the ability to create and manage sets of images — It's been well worth the $24.95/year.

I've wasted no time, creating several sets of design work. Sets are a great way to gather similar works in one location on Flickr. Here are links to the sets:

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.

Logo Design — A sampling of logos created over the past several years.

Icon Design — Several samples of Mac OS X and other icon design projects.

Web Design — Screenshots from mockups and final pages of web design work.

Print Design — A sampling of print design projects I've worked on.

T-Shirt Design — T-Shirt design samples, including the Espresso Powered line.

Sketchtoons — A comprehensive sampling of scanned sketchtoons.

Hopefully this little public service announcement will make it easier for readers and visitors to check out the work I love doing every single day. :-)


Red 66 Logo Design

red66-logo.gifIn mid-2006, Carlos Granier-Phelps contacted me at MakaluMedia, about designing a new logo for Red 66, his consulting business focusing on Web 2.0, usability, Internet video technologies, digital security, ratings analysis software for TV stations, and web/tech consulting for movies & TV.

I worked with Carlos to gather my standard information package his company structure and outward image goals, his likes, dislikes in color and design and other tidbits that would give me insight in the sketch stage of the project.

Carlos wanted the logo to embody many different aspects of his personality and his business, including: hip, clean, dynamic, safe, fun, global, innovative, and high-tech. Quite a challenge, but I felt confident that by working with Carlos through the normal sketch to final process, we would find the right solution.

First, I brought out the trusty Miquelrius sketchbook and pencil, and began capturing ideas as they came to mind, after reading Carlos' notes. Below I've posted thumbnails of complete sketches and artwork: click each image to see a full version:

Red 66 Sketches v1

Here you can see I explored a wide variety of ideas, playing with the interesting shapes created by dual 6s. I felt drawn to circular shapes enclosing or working with "66", as 6s are organic and round.

Carlos quite liked idea 27, since it seemed to capture Route 66, which was a positive thing in his mind, yet had a clean, simple look he was aiming for. He also liked 16 and 18, and oddly enough, liked the 2 Route 66-style ideas below 5 and 6, which I hadn't even highlighted on the page!

Red 66 Sketches v2So, after some discussion, I prepared a second set of sketches, focusing on the narrowed field of ideas.

Here you can see the Route 66 approach expanded greatly, along with square idea 18 and the circular idea 27 from the first round of sketches.

After review of the second set, and my suggestions to lean toward 9, 10 and 7, Carlos settled on these ideas to prepare black and white concepts to narrow to a finalized design.

Black & White Concepts
B&W detail v1This is a very critical phase, where my rough concept sketches are turned into production quality art. It is here, where a mark is proven to work, or not work in the simplest form possible — black and white. Often, this is the moment where an idea tends to shine and separate itself as the right solution, or fade as an also-ran. The Red 66 logo project was no exception, as the circular concept 9a immediately and clearly step out front as the winning black and white mark.

Color: Round 1
Color detail v1Outside of coming up with ideas, color can often be a tough stage. Colors are often emotional, which is why I like to have a solid black and white logo selected before moving to the color application phase. On set 1, I explored a variety of color combinations, taking into account Carlos' location in Miami as one aspect of color influence.

Color: Round 2
Based on this round we wanted to refine the color selections a bit more, to include brighter colors and explore reds and burgundy colors with similar tones and contrasting choices, like blue-green, orange and teal.

Color detail v2At this point, both Carlos and I honed in on idea 8.3 as our color winner. It had the nice light/dark red tones to reinforce the "red" theme, with a secondary Miami-influenced, cool retro blue-green outer ring for contrast. It had a muted, yet strong overall feel that we both liked.

Since creating the new mark, Carlos has applied it to his blog, and other materials. I'm very pleased with the simplicity and cleanliness of the Red 66 logo — it's organic and smooth, yet has a hint of hip retro Miami.

Thanks Carlos for working with MakaluMedia and I on your new Red 66 logo!