Recently I have decided to completely redo my blog theme. Before embarking on this redesign I decided to first reexamine my logo design.
I first launched Akram’s Ideas back in 2007, and since then I’ve had various themes; this new one I plan to work on will be version 8. Despite my theme changes, I’ve only really had one logo that I would consider a true logo and not just title text. This logo debuted in version 4 or 5 back in 2009.
The logo was drawn in Flash, since at the time I really did care for Illustrator, nor had much experience with it. I wanted the logo to be very legible so I decided to go with a sans-serif font, yet still give it a soft look, by having a rounded edge. In the end I went with “Arial Rounded MT Bold”, a rather basic font. Since I was going to use a blue background, I decided the logo color would be yellow, and this also worked with the light bulb I would use as a replacement for the “i” dot. I broke the text apart in order to give it a stroke from inside of flash and I also added the accent of gray at the bottom of the light bulb. I wanted to give the whole logo more depth so I took it into Photoshop where I added a gray drop shadow and a glow to the light bulb making it appear as if it was turned on.
I was happy with this logo, though often thought it was a little too simple. Also, the image size was rather small, due to an unfortunate crash sometime ago on my network hard drive some of the original Flash (vector) files for the logo were lost. I did still have the Photoshop files, but only they were at a small 300 x 100 pixel size, so I was kind of stuck with what I had.
Since I knew I would have to recreate the logo files from scratch I started thinking about what I did and didn’t like about the logo. I did like the colors, and I did still like the use of the light bulb for the “i” dot, but I felt that I needed to make the whole thing more personal, more a brand icon.
Starting with the font, I felt it was boring and I didn’t feel like it really represented my personality. When I sign letters using the computer I often use the font “Black Jack“, because I feel it looks similar to my handwriting. I thought about using this font, but it seemed hard to read.
I also thought it would be nice if I could incorporate the logo font into the CSS for my theme, but this meant using a web safe font, or did it. I’ve been learning about new methods of embedding custom fonts into CSS and one of the easier ways is to use Google Web Fonts. This service offers a library of fonts which you can link to in your CSS, which then basically downloads the font temporarily to the client’s computer in order to view the font properly.
When searching through Google Web Font’s I knew that I wanted to use a handwriting like font, something with a bit of a script feel, but still san-serif enough to be easily read. My first pick was a font named “Delius Swash Caps“, and although I was pleased with how it looked, I felt the letters were a little far apart. Another issue was the capital letter “I” looked like a “J”, not that this mattered for the logo, but if I was going to use this same font on my website for post titles and what not, it would be really irritating.
I continued my search on Google Web Fonts and finally settled on a font named “Sofia“. It had a similar look and feel to “Delius Swash Caps”, yet more script like and girly. Not to mention all the letters were easier to read and identify if I were to use the same font for post titles.
Now that I had the font chosen I could focus on the light bulb itself. The lightbulb just seemed like any other light bulb clip art, there was nothing distinguishing it as part of my site. At one time I had a happy face in the lightbulb, which was cute, but then it didn’t really feel like a lightbulb any more.
I know the original bulb graphic looks all pixellated here, but I wanted to give a closer view of it and remember I only have a raster 300 pixel wide image of the original. As I mentioned it looked to basic, and I wanted the lightbulb to kind of be my trademark. Using Illustrator I decided to create a new lightbulb. I decided to use Illustrator because, I knew I would also be using the logo from some print projects of mine and because I wanted to give the stroke a non-uniform look which is really easy to do in Illustrator. I decided to go with a heart as the inter workings of the lightbulb. I felt that the heart, could still feel like it belongs and yet was whimsical and represented my happy go lucky personality.
I also wanted to keep everything more simple or flat, as the term “Flat Design” is becoming a popular trend. I wanted the logo to contrast with the background on the page, so as I had in the past I exported it into Photoshop to add a drop shadow. This time I went with a darker, almost black shadow so that the logo would stand out. Since I really wanted the lightbulb icon to be a part of my brand i didn’t want to detract from it by adding a glow, so in this new version an outer glow was not added. In the end I really like this new logo and plan to start using it in a couple of different branding campaigns I’m working on. Please feel free to tell me your thoughts on the logo.