Creating Letter Logos

Design Ideas and Design Process

For my Illustrator task, I decided to create three completely different logo concepts. I wanted to showcase one simple design and two more complex ones, this was so I could display a range of existing skills and some newly learnt ones. I went a bit overboard with the number of designs as I wanted to showcase a huge range of skills – they ranged from simplistic to more technical designs.

My first logo design – featuring the font Toonish.

For my first design, I simply used the font Toonish and layered two copies on top of one another. By outlining the font, it meant I was able to position the top layer slightly more to the left and upwards. I then changed the bottom layer to black so it then resembled a drop shadow effect.

For my second design, I used the pen tool to create an m type shape. I then copied this and inverted it to create the fill version – I used the gradient tool to create the rainbow effect.

Creating the outline of my M shape.
Creating the different layers.

For my third design, I started by using a long rectangle with curved corners to create an upside-down V. From here I altered and connected the edges by using the pen tool and repeated the shape to create the overall M outline. For the navy shadow, I used the same outline but altered the edges to give it more depth. I liked the look it of with the white M and blue shadow but felt like it was missing something. I added the pink detailing by laying a pink m on top of the white one and using the shape mode, intersect to cut away the sections that overlapped off the bottom layer m.

For my next design, I had a play with a calligraphy style – I created this by using the Pen tool and changing the brush definition to 5pt flat. This meant the line wasn’t a consistent thickness and therefore looked like it had been drawn with a nib pen.

All of my designs.

For the rest of my designs, I created them by experimenting with lines, fonts and shapes. These designs better represent my style – I enjoy minimal designs and using an earthy palette. The serif font I used across these designs was Neuton, I just used it in various forms (extra light and regular).

My final three designs.


Software Tutorials

The biggest challenge for the Illustrator project was trying to think outside the box on what skills I could learn and use. 

The gradient before creating the compound path.
After creating the compound path.

For my ‘Rainbow M’ logo, a lot of the skills and shortcuts I used, I already had an understanding of. I’d previously experimented with creating my own shapes, using the pen tool but when it came to adding the rainbow gradient I had a little trouble. Every time I tried to add the gradient, it essentially restarted at each of the joints of the shape, rather than covering the whole group of shapes. By watching the tutorial ‘Creating a Gradient Across Multiple Objects Illustrator’, I was able to learn that by selecting all of the shapes and clicking ‘Make Compound Path’, illustrator makes them a group and therefore sees them as one path or shape. This’ll come in handy when adding gradients to outlined text, as they’re also treated as separate shapes.

In the future, I’d like to learn a faster way of doing everything, whether this is learning shortcuts or different tools that do the same thing, just in a faster manner. The ‘Creative Blog’ offers a list of Illustrator shortcuts so I’m going to start trying to learn these to minimise the number of times I need to use my mouse. Also on reflection, maybe I should have created a logo for each of the recommended tutorials – that way I could have shown all of the suggested skills.

Examples of Isometric Illustration.

One specific skill I’d like to develop is how to create an isometric illustration. This is a style of drawing that uses a technique called isometric projection. By using this, any three-dimensional object can be drawn on a flat two-dimensional surface. It’s not an easy skill to learn but the end result is impressive. I really like the idea of being able to improve my work by adding illustrations that offer something different to your standard flat two-dimensional designs.




Resources for Research and Inspiration

I started this task by looking on Pinterest at different letter logos – by creating a board on Pinterest, I was able to highlight my favourite ideas. Being able to refer back to the Pinterest board meant I was able to chop and change features of other logos and incorporate them into my own designs. It helped me to develop my ideas and progress them into something I initially hadn’t thought about. 

My Pinterest Board

On the other hand, you can see from my pins, I tend to gravitate towards minimal, monochrome designs. On reflection, this is and was one of my downfalls when it came to this task. I need to push myself to look at designs that I might not necessarily like but were made by using skills that I don’t possess. Or even, if they look complex and like something I can’t do, then break down what I think they’re made up of and watch tutorials on the skills I don’t occupy. I also need to not limit myself to Black & White – it’s not like any of the logos were going to be used so I should have played around with more colour variations.

I also think it would have been beneficial to look at designs that consisted of two letterforms. This would have given me an insight into how other designers integrate multiple aspects. 

The article ‘What Makes a Good Logo: The Dos and Don’ts’

Since designing my logos, I’ve read the article ‘What Makes a Good Logo: The Dos and Don’ts’ by Wix Blog – this is something I’d have benefit hugely from in my initial planning stages. I was surprised that the article didn’t focus on having an image-led logo but instead spoke about the aspects that often get overlooked. These include; space, readability, background contrast and aligning all your elements. 

In the future, I’d like to explore text effects more. The article ‘The Top 80 Adobe Illustrator Text Effects Tutorials’ offers a huge variety of text effect tutorials. With the selection they offer, I have the ability you can learn how to create blurry, bubbly, retro, or futuristic effects.