Recently I was asked to design a logo for a friend in order to aid his personal branding. The goal was to create something personal that incorporated elements of simplicity and professionalism. I decided to base the design off of his signature in order to create something that is both unique and interesting.
First, I took a sample of his signature in order to get a sense of the letterforms I would be working with.
Next, I sketched out a logo on grid paper to refine the elements I wanted to incorporate. While the units are not a perfect match for the final logo, this was incredibly important for visualizing the final product.
My next step was to bring up Illustrator and create the stylized letters. At this point they were aligned based on their original grids and not the modified grids that are seen in the final logo.
After getting the letterforms approved it was decided that they should be brought closer. I moved the Y towards the M and downward so that their diagonal tops would align along their axis (before that they were aligned at their crests).
The next step was to finalize the logo with a shape element. While the pure cursive forms might be appropriate for a more “classical” situation such as a sweets shop or a craft store, this logo had to fit with a more modern style. In addition, the criteria of fitting in with an existing website (seen here) without modifying the web content was set in place. This meant that I had to take an arguably rounded and somewhat flourished logo and make it fit with a page that could be described as “Windows Metro-like.” Thus, a square was deemed to be the best shape for the final logo. However, simply putting the existing logo into a square didn’t look right. The result had too much white space and felt imbalaced. I decided to scale the square down to hit specific points within the logo and position it to be as neutrally balanced as possible. The result was a much more appropriate logo for the situation.
Finally, I added the pre-defined color choice (Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s 2012 color of the year, was selected way back when the website was under construction) and the logo was ready.