Vector Logo Process: From Sketch to Final

I’ve been wanting to design another logo for Homespun Royale, something fun, energetic and t-shirt/sticker worthy. Thanks to JM for giving me a prod to get it done. View the slideshow to walk through my steps. All the major steps and design decisions are represented (although there are many more color variations and tweaks).

Page 1: The original sketch scanned. I think I will do a full type-set logo eventually. Maybe a future post.

HR 1

Page 2: Scanned and taken into Photoshop, I tweaked and played around in pixel-land. The ability to quickly copy/paste/warp/erase/fill/etc. make this part of the design process ideal for the digital realm. I could do it on paper, but it wouldn’t be as efficient.


Page 3: Selections and refinements. I had a strong direction now. The “plank” H vertical strokes were an attempt to get across the “Homespun/home-made/family band” aspects of the logo. I abandoned earlier attempts at “weaving” the “R” swoosh through the uprights. By this stage the overall shape of the logo was coming into focus. I let that guide me as exemplified with the crown above the “R”. Initially I thought the crown should flow in the same direction as the “H” strokes. As the logo tightened up, I wanted to balance the diagonal motion on the left side with a matching visual motion on the right. The drop shadow was by now design element that would be in the final design. There was an amusement park/baseball team vibe that I found appealing.


Page 4: I printed out the top two designs from Page 3 and mixed and matches some elements using tracing paper and pencil. I put the ol’ french curves to use and used blue pencil and a ruler to work out some stronger direction and size relationships.


Page 5: With the pencil art scanned into Adobe Illustrator, I got to work building shapes. I also used the precision of the vector tools to check and tweak a few relationships. For example, I wanted the 3 downstrokes to get thinner in an ordered way. Well designed logos take spacing relationships into consideration and the ” distribute object “functions can simplify that process.


Page 6: The finish built logo. I still did some tweaking, notably on the right side swoosh of the “R”.


Page 7: After dummying up the drop shadow, I noticed that the crown drop shadow was making a distracting tangent. I next tried the idea of creating a “3-D” drop shadow effect, something fairly common on sports jerseys. The red arrow shows the addition of an outline to add an additional degree of separation/dimensionality. I still wanted a way to make the logo say “homemade”. The woodgrain pattern (created in Illustrator) was first applied to the foreground shape. I later applied it to the background shape only which seemed to work better since it doesn’t decrease the readability of the logo.


Page 8: I’m still playing around with the colors –looking at carnival, circus and vintage crate art palettes to find colors that are odd but complimentary. The name and logo are all about contrasts, finding a balance between them.



2 Responses to “Vector Logo Process: From Sketch to Final”

  1. eric Says:

    Way to go, Nate! – Eric

    • labsquad Says:

      Thanks Eric. I’m working on a t-shirt application right now–a reversed design in 1 color (which will give me 2 colors with the addition of the shirt color showing through the negative space of the design).

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