Friday, January 22, 2010

"You really wanna know my process?"

"It usually starts with a 'HOLLA!' and ends with a creamsicle. And then if there's time in between, Thundercats... HOOO!" (Five points if you know where that quote is from.)

(UPDATE: I realize that there is a lot of text in this post. I won't be offended if you decide to just look at the pictures.)

Today I had to create a couple of sketches of a logo for myself in my Portfolio class. I had already created a logo for myself so at first I was just going through the motions but I ended up with an idea I liked more than what I already had.

Looking at the sheets of paper I drew on I realized that I could see my thought process through the drawings/sketches I did and thought it'd be a cool idea to post it here on my blog with a small explanation of what I did and thought. That way other people could gain a little insight into my creative process.

(I didn't have a lot of drawing materials with me so I sketched things up with a black pen and used a highlighter to test out/experiment with color.)

I started off my writing my name down hoping to get some sort of idea from the way it looked or from the shapes of the letters.

I decided to stick with my initials since I don't really have an object or animal that I believe represents me as a person or an artist. I tend to write my letters stretched horizontally so I decided I wanted to somehow incorporate that into my logo. I also wanted to take the letters 'C' and 'N' and somehow combine them into one graphic symbol. These are two ways I thought of combining them.

#1. I used the capital letter 'N' along with a 'C.'
#2. I also tried it out with lowercase letters.

Ultimately I thought those two logos were a little too simple and boring.

#3. While I was deciding on how I felt about those first two logos I doodled a few blobs and added a 3D effect to them that I really liked.
#4. I liked the 3D effect and tried it out on one of the initial logos.

Maybe it was the 3D effect or maybe it was because I made block letters instead of the single-strokes but I realized that #4 looked familiar. It took me less than a second to realize that my idea looks a lot like...

It kind of bummed me out that I pretty much replicated TWO logos that are pretty well known. (I guess it's a good thing I'm not going into Graphic Design.) I decided to move on and find new ways to combine the two letters.

#5. Instead of stacking it horizontally like English text I tried stacking them vertical like Japanese or Chinese calligraphy.
#6. Then I toyed around with the idea of making the letters look like part of a cylinder.

#7. Since a cylinder is a three-dimensional object, I decided to take it one step further and apply the 3D effect I had tried out earlier to make the logo seem like a cylinder with pieces cut out of it. I didn't like this design cause it kinda looked like an 'N' with a halo and that's definitely not what I was going for.
#8. This idea was actually created last out of all my designs. I came back to the cylinder idea because I didn't think thought this idea through enough. I tried to add my middle initial 'I.' I didn't like this concept either. To me it looked too tribal. It looks like a tribal drum or stool or even a tribal toilet. As a result, I didn't explore the cylinder idea any further.

I really liked the idea of having a logo that looked like a simple object/shape with pieces cut out to show my initials.

#9. Instead of using a cylinder, I started using a cube. Here I used a lowercase 'C' and a lowercase 'N.'
#10. I once again tried using a capital 'N' instead of a lowercase one. I also added a bar on the bottom left so that if this was a real three-dimensional object, it could plausibly stand the way I drew it.

I really liked the direction I was going in. I like the idea that it was a "three-dimensional" object because I do want to eventually have a career in the CG arena of animation as opposed to the Flash or Traditional 2D side of the industry.

This is where I started toying with the idea of including my middle initial, 'I.'

#11. Here I tried changing the orientation of the letter 'C.' To me, having it rotating a different way from the 'N' made it harder to read. Plus, this attempt to incorporate the letter 'I' looks more like a sideways 'F.'
I went back to the initial orientation of the 'C' and tried to combine #10 with #11 to create a capital 'I.' I can't really explain why I don't like this one, I just don't.

For some reason I was set on incorporating the 'I' in to the logo.

#13. I took #12 and tried extruding the capital 'I' to have it stand out better.
#14. After drawing #13 I noticed I could simply extrude a lowercase 'I' and make the entire logo less visually complicated.
#15. After extruding the 'I' in #14 I tried to extrude the 'N' as well.

I haven't exactly settled on a logo just yet. I'm probably going to go with #10, #14 or #15. I really like the basic shape and idea of those three. #14 & #15 seem a little too over developed. (#15 more than #14.) I'll probably even play around with the thickness of the letters and the angle it's viewed from.

I actually haven't settled on color either. I don't know if I want to just use different colors for different faces of the object, if I want to stick with the hatching/cross hatching I did in these sketches or some combination of the two.

This logo creating process is by no means over and I definitely welcome any opinions or suggestions.

(This post was a lot long than I expected it to be. Hopefully someone found it at least a little bit interesting.)

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