More than any other kind of work that I do, logo and identity design is what feels most like sorcery. Oh sure — there are plenty of well-grounded bits of research to draw from, such as the answers to questions like “If you were a car, what kind would you be and why?” and “Warm or cool?” But at the end of the day, it’s really just me and my brain, working through lots of truly ghastly and clichéd ideas until something interesting shows up. Like magic, to point.
Working patiently to strike that spark of magic is unnerving, at least to me. There’s excitement in the exploration, but also dread in the realization that after a few hours of work I have achieved complete obviousness and mediocrity. It’s a little more unnerving when you’re doing this kind of work for a friend.
Such is the nervousness I felt upon accepting the request of friend and former BrightCornerGeniantEMC compadre Garrett Dimon to produce a logo to crown his brave foray into the world of full-time application development, Next Update. Luckily, Garrett and I have always seemed to share similar design sensibilities and a galvanizing love of the color pink. Once I got through Garrett’s 200-page RFP (lolz jk), I had a pretty good idea as to what the “spirit” of the logo would be, if not the actual mark.
And so The Sketching began. I got to present several colossal duds of ideas before Garrett and I both locked onto a simple but entertaining observation: that rotating a lowercase “n” yielded a lowercase “u.” There were attempts made to connect, interlock and otherwise conjoin the two letterforms, but the spark that interested us both the most was treating the “u” as a shadow cast by the “n.” This Escher-esque treatment still felt fresh after a couple of days, and so the other ideas were left by the side of the road with a knapsack and a cardboard sign that read “Logos down on their luck. Will work on sacks of dog food, lite beer or LogoMaid.com.” Zing!
I’m happy to say that, within a relatively short amount of time, I was able to produce a logo that embodies Garrett’s “summery, fun, and laid-back” vision of his very own company. Most importantly, he likes it. The three-dimensionality of the mark gives it some sense of stability (important in business, no?) and the typeface (Serifa BT for the typographically curious) brings a sort of monospace/coding vibe into the mix, appropriately representing the digital nature of the company’s products.
‘Twas an honor to be able to do this work. Completely non-solicited plug: be sure to subscribe to the Next Update feed to keep up to date on Garrett’s progress.