A project I’ve wrapped up recently also has the distinction of being the first job I’ve gotten from a blog reader, P.K. I was asked to design a logo for Gear Desk, a (beta) directory for high-end
build-it-yourself audio gear (updated 8/24 – sorry, P.K.!).
P.K. had some specific ideas initially and asked for some sketches involving either a dial/knob or a power button. My first round of sketches stayed within the boundaries he had defined. In our first conversation, he had also mentioned that a bonus would be to have a business card that looked like audio equipment with the logo, so I sketched a few possibilities for how the logo shape might integrate on a business card.
After round 1, the power button idea was thrown out altogether and I was asked to play more with the dial/knob shape.
P.K. tended to like minimalistic, clean shapes. While he liked 6a and 6b, he was afraid that it was too abstract and didn’t really say “gear.” This was true of most of the knob shapes – taken without any context, it could be difficult to figure out what the shape was. P.K. gave me carte blanche to find a new direction for the logo, agreeing to an extra round of sketches.
I went back to the original photos of high-end gear and audio equipment that P.K. had originally provided, doing some sketches of the ones that looked nice and trying to distill elements that would really speak “gear.” Some of the notes I made below: “Rounded corners look more high-class (like ipod)” “Feet really help make it look like ‘gear'” “Dials by themselves do not communicate ‘gear'” I sketched out a few more ideas, basing them on actual pieces of equipment but simplifying the shapes.
After looking at this round of sketches, P.K. felt comfortable letting me run with three options and creating digital versions.
P.K. really liked the simplicity of #1, but thought a “dimple” would make the knob look more like a knob, and less like a projector lens. I did one more round of digital sketches, along with some color samples so that he could see what it looked like with color.
After a few more screenshots with different fonts and colors, we finally ended up with a logo that we were both happy with. The final logo used a “tick” instead of a dimple, which we thought helped to make it look more like a knob (and less like a projector lens highlight), incorporated the rounded corners and feet to make the box look more like equipment, and used a clean serif font for a more “expensive” feel.
P.K. was great to work with. It was a new experience for me as he was the first of my clients to use IM and was able to give me instant feedback. I appreciated that he was very open throughout the whole process, willing to scrap our original ideas and go in a totally different direction — which thankfully worked out!
Now I just need to take the time to update my portfolio…