Progress Report #1 – Logo Design and Digitisation

Our initial brainstorming session was close to our proposal discussion. My team and I discussed and sketched several ideas on how to approach the concept. We targeted a couple of visual elements and focused on these elements to communicate our brand. These visual elements were picked relative to their psychological impact on the user.
1. Curved contours: Represents smooth and flow. They are informal, friendly and caring.
2. Crescents: Depict community, love and unity. They are also representation of the moon that people associate with peace and beauty.
3. Balance: Our logo has a close proximity to a symmetrical balance which is more appealing to the eyes.

We sketched several samples each with little iterations. We finally settled on one design from almost 20 or so sketches. After selecting one design, I drew the design on a fresh paper with concise lines to be scanned.
logo sketches
My first task in the process of digitising the logo was to scan this standalone final sketch. I scanned the image with a high ppi (at 300) in order to preserve the most amount of detail. After scanning the image, I imported it into Photoshop and made some edits.
I cropped the white part out with the crop tool and also rotated it to be horizontal. I then used the straighten tool to properly straighten the image.
After that I applied “screen” blending mode followed by “multiply” in order to get rid of the background grid lines from the scanned image as well as to create more contrast between the background and the contoured outline. I repeated this until I got a satisfactory result.
Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 5.59.59 PM
Next I imported the image into Illustrator. Since this is a logo it has to be scalable to any size. Big to small. So it is our firm belief that logos should be vectors. I imported the image to illustrator and started a “black and white logo” image trace. This way most of the nodes will be preserved and I would theoretically have to do less work.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.11.12 PM

I tried going about this way for a while, but the tracing produced too much clutter. There were too many unneeded anchor points and it was beginning to feel very tedious to de-clutter the mess.
So I decided that this approach was not working and started something new. I placed the scanned picture at the background and lowered the opacity down to around 30%. I then used the pen tool to draw over the scanned logo making smooth contours.
I traced the upper border to as we call it, the “upper hand” portion first. I refined it until I was satisfied by moving around the anchor points, deleting, adding and adjusting as necessary. Next, I copied this portion and reflected it horizontally and vertically using object>transform.
After that, I drew a perfect circle by holding down the shift key. I removed some anchor points on the left side of the circle to make it look like a crescent and then added some in order to complete the path. After that I duplicated this path and adjusted the size of it in order to make it longer and narrower. This is the outer crescent. After a little messing around with the pen tool and anchor points I was able to get it just the way i wanted it.
The last part was the “thumb” portion of the hand. It is just a stroked line drawn using the pen tool to make the encompassing image represent a hand.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.15.47 PM

After finishing up harder part, I exported the vector to a Photoshop psd file. I opened this file in Photoshop in order to colour the logo preserving all the layers. We had already decided on a colour scheme as well. I had already saved the logo colours into my swatches to this was very easy.
Our green colour is: C:33, M:10, Y:96, K:0 and our blue is C:49, M:15, Y0, K:0.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 5.56.56 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.29.21 PM
We were careful to remember to chose CMYK as everything in the campaign will be going out for printing. So in order to get the most accurate colour match we deemed it necessary to go with CMYK.
I selected each layer and used the paint bucket tool to colour in the segments with their respective colours. Lastly i coloured the “thumb” portion with a white stroke. I kept reimagining the logo in several ways as I was colouring, and thought that I would visualise it. So I came up with different alterations of the logo for broader perspective.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.27.13 PM

After that, I worked on the monochromic version of our logo. This is the one-colour variant to make the logo more versatile for things like mugs, t-shirts and any other form of solid backgrounds. I made three iterations of the monochrome version.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.44.23 PM
In the first one, I replaced all the colour with white, of course the white colour can be replaced with a darker shade of any colour in the spectrum depending on the background colour. In this version everything is filled i.e. positive space and we use negative space to demonstrate the thumb of the cupping hand.
In the second alternative, I used the exact opposite. Outlines depict the positive space and everything is actually demonstrated by negative space. In this version the thumbs are also formed by positive space.
The third version is a bit of mix and math. It is a mixture of both the first and second version.
We discussed on the several iterations and find the first one most pleasing.

This covers almost everything that I have done from the initial sketch to digitise our logo. In total, it has taken me about 7-10 hours to do all this over a 7 days or so. I learned many techniques to work more efficiently, and most importantly I learned to stop and start fresh if the initial approach doesn’t work.

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