Expressing Through Monograms

Design Ideas and Process

Logos are something that helps users identify the brand’s or the individual’s identity, therefore, it is essential for it to be effective and reflective of the brand/individual. Through this task, I was able to create letter logos using my initials and thus, apply perhaps my interests as I took inspirations from my hobbies and interests to express myself through logos.

Firstly, I started off by looking at Behance for inspiration and made a moodboard containing all the designs I liked. Then I took screenshots of the typefaces used in those designs and used the adobe font visual search to find out the possible typefaces that has been used to give myself possible ideas for my own designs. Using these as inspirations, I drew up sketches for how I wanted my logos to look like, nothing down typefaces I would like to use as well as creating a colour palette I thought would best suit for these typefaces.

Inspiration Moodboard
Design 1

01 – typing the text
02 – adding and experimenting with gradient
03 – choosing fill and stroke colour
04- creating outlines
05 – manipulating the outlines of the letters
06 – using the smooth tool
07 – applying the same steps on the other initial
08 – combing typefaces
09 – adding a painted background
10 – using the envelope distort tool
11 – results of using envelope distort
Design 2

For the second design, I combined the typefaces ‘Interstate’ and ‘Rama Gothic C’. Using my colour palette, I added colour to the text using the eyedropper tool. Then, I created the text into outlines (03) and using the direct selection tool, I dragged the bottom of the letters using the anchors in the vectors of the letters (04). Once I was satisfied with it, I used the pencil tool (05) to draw a swirl around the letter logo and increased the stroke and added a contrasting colour to it. I smoothed out the curves using the smooth tool (06). Then, I used the arrange option to keep the swirl behind the letter logo (07,08 & 09).

01 – choosing typefaces
02 – combining typefaces
03 – creating outlines
04 – manipulating with the text using direct selection tool
05 – using the pencil tool
06 – using the smooth tool
07 – arranging the position of the swirl
08 – bringing the swirl forward
09 – fixing the position


Design 3

Software Tutorials

From the tutorials provided, I learnt how to modify letterforms by creating outlines of them. Since I am fairly still very new to Illustrator, these tutorials helped me a lot doing the basic steps of creating monograms. Converting the letters into outlines was helpful as it allowed me to easily and quickly manipulate letters however I wanted, which I believe I would struggle with if I hadn’t known and would resort to using the anchor tool, which would result in me having to figure out the anchor points of the letter and would be difficult to use and also create inaccuracy. I also learnt how to use the envelope distort tool this was a very cool tool to learn about as I got to know another fun way to warp my text using any shapes, which would be helpful in future projects. Watching these tutorials, I further want to develop my overall design skills in Illustrator as it is a software I am interested in.

For my third design, I wanted to have a gradient as the fill colour for my initials and quickly learnt that Illustrator doesn’t allow gradients for that, so I found this tutorial on YouTube on how to achieve this effect and was able to use it in my design. This tutorial was short and straight to the point, which helped me grasp the skills quickly and apply it on my own. Using the appearance tool was the main element in achieving this effect as in order to do this effect, you would have to get rid of the fill and stroke colour of the text, and using the appearance tool, you would be able to add a new fill or stroke colour, and when doing so, choosing the gradient tool, applies the gradient you choose. This helped me give a seamless gradient without any harsh outlines around the edges of the letters.

Another tutorial I watched on YouTube was on manipulating and customising typography. This tutorial introduced me to the width tool and the pencil tool, which helped me add some flair to my design and I also got to learn how to open up the glyph tool to look at other variations of the typeface and use them in my design. I was particularly fascinated with the width tool as I really loved the fact how easy it was to change the width of a single stroke within varying points of the line/stroke.

Design Resources and Articles

Inspiration 1
Inspiration 2
Inspiration 3
Inspiration 4
Inspiration 5

The first two illustrations from Behance were the inspirations for my first design and the colour palette. I really liked the aesthetics of these illustrations as these have a very fun feel to them and therefore, I tried to create something similar to it in my own designs. The third and fourth designs were inspirations for my second design. I replicated the swirl from the third design, which i really liked and wanted to include in my own design. In terms of the typography, I tried to blend both styles and merged them into one in my own design. The fifth typography design was the inspiration for my third and final design. I really liked the manipulation of the typography in that design and was something I have never done before, so i decided to try it out myself. I chose all of these designs as inspirations as each of them used techniques and tools I have never used before and therefore, saw this as a way to move out of my comfort zone and try out and improve my skills. I hope to improve on these new found skills in future projects.

Learning Across the Module

In terms of using  design softwares appropriately, I believe I have improved and learnt which software is suitable to use for a specific task. Through this module, I was able to learn certain facts in terms of printing, which I wasn’t aware of previously and it has helped me in understanding the softwares. I most definitely have grown more confident in using the softwares as compared to at the beginning of the module, when I was new to everything. In terms of design skills, I believe I have improved in using Photoshop and Illustrator specifically. I was able to improve my Illustrator skills through this module and learn new tools within the software. I believe I feel more flexible using Photoshop. Through Illustrator, I was able to improve my typography and drawing skills, in terms of drawing vectors and creating bezier curves.