In this unit, we practiced the process and logo design techniques to create a business’s brand identity.
Students were given four design brief options for the project: a yoga studio, a food truck, a DJ, or any self-chosen idea. I found the DJ prompt really interesting as most DJ logos are text-based, with not many illustrations. I thought it would be the easiest choice for me, who’s never designed a logo before. The DJ prompt was also the most artistic and expressive theme out of the three given choices. Through this project, I want to practice my creativity with fonts and text styles and develop a successful logo.
STEP 1: Finding Inspirations
I first created a Padlet to record my design process. The first step of my logo design is looking for inspiration. I decided to go on Pinterest and search for some existing DJ logos. I found a collage of famous DJ logos and realized that many logos are either constructed of lines and simplistic geometric shapes or printed in creative typography.
The client for my logo design brief has kindly provided a short description of his creative background and audience. Through this, I learned that the majority of his audience group are young males. The music genre the client creates is electronic dance, hard house, and trance music. The logo should also communicate an upbeat, energetic, and fun mood to the audience.
To design a logo that can successfully convey the keywords, we must first understand the visual elements that can trigger certain emotions. I found the theme of the DJ’s logo to be similar to the Tik Tok logo. I generally analyzed the design elements utilizes in the Tik Tok logo to help me produce a general idea of where to focus on for my logo.
STEP 2: Generating Ideas
I began drawing ideas on a piece of paper. I first explored text logos by reconstructing the letters in the client’s name and arranging them in different heights and positions. I experimented with a range of fonts and arrangement styles but felt that letters on their own weren’t expressive enough for the keywords. Hence, I began incorporating illustrations into my design. I incorporated icons such as emojis and hand gestures, which are often correlated with “fun,” and music notes and speakers, which are often correlated with “upbeat” themes. After adding graphic elements, I felt more confident about my designs and circled some of my favorites in red.
During one class, our teacher, Mr. Griffin, invited the DJ to class. After showing him my designs, he shared with me some photos of him with his friends. Seeing his photos, I had a better understanding of his outgoing and energetic personality. I realized the importance of the client’s personality/identity in the logo and decided to revise my design ideas. I ended up with the “face design” in the second design idea post, which is also the client’s favorite design.
STEP 3: Refine
I drew the “face design” in procreate and exaggerated the hairstyle of the character to better portray the energetic and fun theme. The circles in the position of the character’s ear symbolize the shape of a headphone as well as the markings on a phonograph record. The jawline protrudes into the circles, symbolizing the record player needle. The waves in the character’s hair spell out the DJ’s name: ITZME.
I then inserted the iPad drawing into adobe illustrator and converted the illustration into a vector using the image trace tool.
I began working on the text portion of the logo design. I revisited my text-based logos from the first page my design idea sketches. During the process, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities of merging the letters in ways to show creativity that I neglected the legibility of my design. At the end, I decided to keep the texts true to their original design and simply attached them together through lines.
STEP 4: Presentation
In the design brief, the DJ specified the use for his logo: Soundcloud account, stickers, and t-shirt. I was unable to find any Soundcloud account mockups, but Mr. Griffin has kindly provided the class with example mockup files for our logo. I created a total of three mockups for my logo using adobe photoshop.
Overall, I’m really happy with my FIRST logo design. I learned a lot about incorporating design elements and principles through this project. Although I was really scared of “failing” this project or creating a logo that I don’t like, I overcame that fear with practice and the encouragement from my teacher as well as the DJ himself. I was able to successfully design a logo that meets my client’s requirement and present the logo through mockup photos. One that I could improve on is the design of the text logo and the legibility of my graphic logo. The texts embedded in the graphics are still challenging to read. With more practice, I believe I could separate the letters into individual “stands of hair” to make the logo more legible. The text logo isn’t the most satisfying design I could have made. But I’m still learning how to use adobe illustrator and doesn’t feel the most comfortable with all of the design tools.