Archive for the ‘Logo Design’ Category

Process- Retro Poster

July 19, 2016



Hand-lettering to Photoshop

June 21, 2016

Graphic for a visual presentation for elementary students. These are the main stages, although there were myriad intermediaries.

I began with a pencil sketched inked with sharpies. Once scanned I played around with the interaction of the letters. The slant created some dynamic interaction and minimized dead space. I printed the photoshopped sketch out, redrew the design using broad Prismacolor pens (chisel tip),  and rescanned. I realized that the “the” way out on the left forced an incorrect reading of the phrase. I threw the whole thing back into Photoshop and…voila!

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Valentine’s Day Logo – Vector Illustration

January 16, 2016

This was a personal project. Initially I was playing with a tightly spaced script to fill in the silhouette of a pair of lips. The final vector illustration is much more uniform and less calligraphic than the initial sketches. Even though the original silhouette idea was discarded, I like the sanskrit/arabic impression. There are some trapped spaces that bother me, and there are several things I might change on a future iteration to return the impression to a more organic script design, but I think the piece stands well enough.

Technical note: It wasn’t until later that I realized that I had made more work for myself. Since I ended up going with a uniform stroke and spacing arrangment, I could have used single lines, increased the stroke size and given a rounded cap to the strokes. C’est la vie.

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Process: Retro Robot Concert Poster

August 28, 2015

Preparing for another House Concert means creating another poster and flyer. Often I start by kicking around the words “House” and “Concert”. After a few dead ends I started thinking of “Retro Space Theme” as an idea. That didn’t go the way I had hoped, but did get me thinking about robots like the one from “Lost in Space”. Initially I thought I would make a crew of character robots to hold up and interact with the type. Since I’ve done character posters in the past, I recognized their secondary value as stickers/badges/giveaway items.

I tackled the project by research “robot-ish” components. The idea was to use the symbols palette in Illustrator to “frankenstein” a variety of figures from a collection of “bits”. I spent several hours making pieces, some of which I did not end up using, but since they are stored, maybe someday I will use them.


At this point I went back to my sketchbook since the robots I had tried to assemble were uninspired. I came up with an idea to do a “musical” robot, assembled from instruments (my first poster did something like this except with a Victorian house). I had hit on the idea of making the type for the word “house” be out of wire and the word concert out of metal. I hand-built the “concert” font after a quick sketch. Having already created a brush and 1/4″ cable symbol it was just a matter of finessing the script in order to be legible and have a flowy, cable-like personality. I went to work on the concert type and added gears and sprockets, repurposing my symbols to add that industrial touch.

Robo S


typography wireframe

After the type was assembled I jumped into Photoshop and began building and importing vector graphics as needed. I had collected some vintage paper textures and distressed paper folds. I also had researched retro swatches and constructivist motifs…kind of. My first attempt was on target and I was pleased with the robot and the comedic element he played (rather than the brooding overlord I had first envisioned). There was too much wasted space, however. The names of the performers were too small. I stepped back and took a fresh look.

First Try

I was much happier with the second attempt. “House” and :”concert” were grouped more closely and more space was given to the musicians. I added some gradients behind the main text to give it more presence. Additionally, since I was able to drop the text down, more of my background “widget” wallpaper was visible. That had been made by simply selecting a number of my Illustrator symbols and turning them into silhouettes then arranging them in a grid.

Second Attempt

Below are some details. I ended up putting a halftone pattern behind the robot to bring him out better as well as redrawing the curve of his glass dome for the same reason.

detail 1 detail 2

Logo Design – Spectrum

August 18, 2015

These are a few of the sketches and black & white vectors for a proposed logo that ended up not being used.

Spectrum Sketches

spectrum B/W

Homespun Royale-New Logotype sketches

February 23, 2015

Some preliminary work for a new t-shirt design for Homespun Royale.

Process – Action League Poster

January 5, 2015


This is more of a “layer by layer” rather than a “step by step”. The final file was printed at 12″ x 18″. The initial layout was inspired by the classic JLA #1 cover by Kevin Maguire. I wasn’t brave enough to pull off the white background, however.

I sketched in red pencil on tracing paper and initially inked with Micron pens. Ultimately, I decided to scan and re-ink in Manga Studio 4 Debut, mostly as an exercise to get more familiar with the program. I am not happy with my digital inking overtures, but happy with the program itself (see Jonathan Rector’s generous videos for more tips on digital inking in Manga Studio).

Coloring and effects were added in Photoshop. I had an archived tutorial from some design magazine on creating halftone effects. While incorporating that effect with the characters, I stumbled across the “Circle” Halftone pattern (Filter –> Sketch –> Halftone Pattern) which I used to help separate the figures from the background and direct the viewer to the “Action League” Logo which (along with the individual hero logos) was created in Illustrator.

To give the image the “aged comic” look I followed the excellent tutorial by the fine folks at Comicraft.


Hand drawn decorative typography

November 2, 2014

I was inspired after looking through New Ornamental Type by Steven Heller and Gail Anderson.




Uncontained Life Logo Design (process)

September 5, 2014

Uncontained Life is a ” a multi-media travel and lifestyle website devoted to Socially Responsible Local-level Tourism”. Here’s a walk through my process in coming up with a unique combination mark for them.

I started with good old fashion pen and paper. This image is actually a combined scan of several pages of sketching. I was trying to free-associate the name. At this stage I was keeping the self-editing to a minimum. See the “spilled milk” concept? Weird.



Using the hand sketches as reference, I began to “sketch digitally. There is actually an intermediate stage here: I made a list of type faces that I thought lent themselves to the name.


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There are more intermediates, but in the end I presented these 8 images to the client. I thought they ran a gamut of conceptually.


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The clients liked the snail concept. I sent a few color options and landed on this pairing. Voila!

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