Design Study: dmj.design logo

dmj.design logo study

From time to time its health for a designer to really step back and take a look at what their strengths and weakness are. It’s through learning our strengths and weakness we can judge where we could use some improvement or where we excel and can use our skills to their fullest potential.  A good way to really look at your skills is to really examine your artwork.

Today we are going to examine a piece of artwork I designed for my personal logo. When I was assigned the task of creating a logo that represented me as a designer I found myself struggling with it. Like most artist, I had crafted myself a cleave nickname and avatar to represent myself as an artist in the world.  So naturally, I started with that.

Taking my nickname iRPANDA, I began with some sketches to help get the creative juices flowing. Surprisingly I found this to be really difficult. I tried many different ideas but none of them felt like a good representation of me as a designer.

I settled on 3 different designs, which I converted to vector graphics with illustrator. The first was focused to look like a cute charm. My art style is very modern and cute! So I thought I would use a charm to represent me. While I did love the idea and design, the thought of presenting this to a company as my personal logo made me feel childish. The same could be said for design 2 and 3. For those, I drew inspiration from my love of art with a paintbrush I designed to look like bamboo to reference a panda.

This struggle really frustrated me. Why was it so difficult to design a logo to represent me? Who would know me better than myself? The frustrations became too much and I decided to walk away. I spent two days reflecting on who I was as an artist.

What did I create? How did I create it? How do I want to be described by my clients? How would I describe my artwork?

Why do I create?

Question after question until a thought hit me. I wasn’t irpanda. I had been designing for my created self and not my real self. So I made a list of word that describes me.

Playful

Professional

Confident

Colorful

Adventurous

Energetic

Trustworthy

Creative

With my focus words in hand and the goal of showing who I really was, I went back to my sketchbook. Starting with a simple signature and advancing to adding shapes. Quickly a design popped out to me.

I selected a very modern font for my initials in the logo to reference my love of modern and vector artwork. Keeping them lower case to really reference my playful heart. As well as a stylized j dotted with a heart. Placing a period, in the end, to make a bold statement, that I am who I am. Finally, I added the bold circle around the whole thing, to show I am the complete package. For colors, I selected an elegant gray and a vibrant burnt pink. I wanted the colors to feel professional and fun without feeling so overwhelming in either direction. The gray was a perfect choice for professional without using a solid black. while I want to be professional I tend to have more fun and playful designs that really challenge the norm.

The strengths in this design live in being true to who I really am. I love clean cut vector styled designs and I excel at it.  Focusing in on the style that I am true to really helped me design this to who I really am.

Professional with a twist of fun.

Be true to yourself. Always.

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