Nothing But SharePoint is a joint venture between Jeremy Thake’s SharePoint Dev Wiki, Mark Miller’s End User SharePoint, and Joel Oleson’s SharePoint Land, combining the resources from these three popular SharePoint resource sites into one location. Originally, Marcy Keller was handling their design and SharePoint branding needs, but when she had to step out for personal reasons, they approached Heather Waterman of Synteractive, who I like to refer to as “SharePoint Queen,” for some help with getting the sites finished. Heather decided it would be a good training opportunity for me to get familiar with SharePoint branding, so we took on the task of creating additional design comps and building out the SharePoint sites. (You can read more about the full development process at Jeremy’s intro article – talk about a team effort!)
And along the way, I got to design the logo for Nothing But SharePoint, which is what this post is really about.
I was given full creative license. So I pulled out my sketchbook and started sketching.
This was one of the rare occasions where I barely did anything before an idea that was intriguing popped out to me. I could have spent more time sketching, but I had limited time for producing this logo so I decided to run with it. I liked the repeated shapes between the curvy “N” and “S” and “b” and “p,” so I moved into Illustrator to try to create those shapes. I drew paths with the pen tool and circle/rounded rectangle tool, then stroked them with a thick stroke, playing with the size and widths of the letter shapes:
I wasn’t really loving the curvy “N” shape, though. I gave up my attachment to having mirrored shapes and went with a curvy lowercase “n” shape instead. Much better! I liked the stacked arrangement of the letters – it would be nicer as a compact icon for the site, and I liked the reflection between the “b” and “p.”
Now to find fonts. I tried several approaches with mixing different types of fonts, but I kept coming back to Quicksand (used in all the “NOTHING BUT” text and also in #3, #5 and #6) because of its inherent curvy shapes. To match it, I changed the stroke on the logo paths to have a rounded cap instead of a straight cap.
The others agreed that they liked the Quicksand font, too, so my next step was to tweak the letter shapes slightly to match the logo. I replaced the “s,” “p,” and “n” with my logo shapes (I had to play with the stroke weight to match the font weight), then made a custom “a” shape by flipping and modifying the “p.”
Mark thought the new “a” looked kind of weird, though, so I tried another version that everyone liked better. For the final logo, I also widened the “h” just slightly so that the “s” didn’t look so wide. (In the overlapping version in the screenshot below, #9 is cyan and #10 is magenta.)
The next step was to pick colors. I presented a few options:
The general consensus was c6, and with that, our logo design was complete!
This was a fun logo to work on – not just because it seemed to come together with hardly any work, but because I enjoy the detail work of tweaking letter shapes. There were several people providing input which usually can lead to a “design by committee” situation, but in this case everyone came together to agree on the final version. I’m pleased with the final result and glad I was able to contribute!