The Evolution of Logo Design

The Illiana Artists' Logo 2009.

The Illiana Artists' Logo 2009.

The logo is a playful design based on a color wheel of cool and warm hues and gradations of tinted color within an abstract design. The new logo is a radiant color spectrum, reaching outward like a glowing ray of sunshine or the brilliance of a flower in spring. The colorful fan crowning the color wheel may even be described as the spreading of a paintbrush as it whisks across the surface, releasing its hues.

The final design is one out of a series of concepts that began in February of 2009. I began my approach with a simple design and an inspiration to recreate the image of a local art group in need of sprucing up what may be called an “outdated” identity. The nitty gritty of concept building and tie in with typography took shape in October when I began using the symbol of the paintbrush as a letterform and embellishment.

The resulting design was rather pleasant but questions arose between a member of the group in regards to the same height and shape of the letters ‘I’ and ‘L’ found in the font ITC Avant Garde Gothic. I was confident that perception and familiarity of the letter shapes, when scanned by the eye, would correct any misinterpretation of lettering, I knew that altering the font or attempting to overcompensate for the lack of serifs would damage the integrity of the current design. It was time to deconstruct and start from scratch.

The entire design process lasted two months and required member input and voting on a general concept, after which I further refined the selected image based on voter commentary. Emphasis was placed on the use of a color wheel or value scale as a design element. My concerns were printing costs for stationary and business cards and felt that a limit had to be imposed on the number of colors used in the design. The final logo would also become the basis for the new website to follow. The color selection had to be easy on the eye for both print and on screen viewing for varied lengths of time.

Working with various color combinations, I arrived at a generally cool color palette of blue and green with the slight warmth of yellow. The suggestion of yellow and blue pigments, in turn, creates green was purely accidental during the process of color selection. I began working with a full color spectrum in various tints and shades for each color and continued to work the value scale into the design as a whole.

The Illiana Artists' Logo on White Background.

The Illiana Artists' Logo on White Background.

The font used in the design is Linotype Centennial. Adjustments have been made to the vertical scaling of the font to accommodate for the weight of the color spectrum pattern. I feel this font is an excellent choice and compliments the design element, reflected in the curly tails of the letter ‘a’ and ‘t’, and is similar in shape to the curved lines of the outer fans.

Concept Design Series for the Illiana Artists.

Concept Design Series for the Illiana Artists.

A series of letter forms were used as a design pattern for this particular design concept. A script font was chosen for the word ‘Illiana’ to lighten the weight of the font as the top tier of the design. The curves of the script font also reflect the letter forms in the design below.

Concept Design Series for the Illiana Artists.

Concept Design Series for the Illiana Artists.

Here we find the ‘i’ in Illiana popping out of a group of many ‘a’ Artists. In this particular design I entertained the idea of the ‘i’ as exclamation point when set higher up in the design. I also see an abstract pattern of an artist’s ink bottle and dropper cap tilted above.

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