Friday, 31 January 2014

Signs of Change

David Metcalf : The Change Bridge
You'll have noticed an absence of new posts of late. A period of depression signposted, then brought about, a period of fairly profound change. You'll probably be relieved to hear I'll only blog about that if, and when, I have something succinct and useful to say on the subject. Meanwhile, it is sufficient to say that I'm planning to pick up the reigns of the freelance career I never quite left behind, when I started classroom teaching again a few years ago.

I've tried to signal change with a slightly more professional-looking blog based round my new logo  I'm still fond of the old Digital Glue logo - for me it has double-take humour of Magritte's celebrated pipe, and an attractively hand-made quality



But its linear design means that though it works as a heading it doesn't do the job as a logo very well. Not for nothing are the majority of logos roughly square or circular. They need to work with a design: 
  • top, middle or bottom, left or right; 
  • on headed notepaper, business card, billboard or van. 
  • be recognizable large or small. 
  • black and white or in colour
One of the classic logos is artist Victor Vasarely's redesign of the Renault logo from 1972. By a simple visual trick, still being used by the company today, he added movement and dynamism to their rather staid diamond. It built on their previous logo, is instantly recognisable,  and speaks of the company values. Pretty deft huh?

Unfortunately, not having an acclaimed artist on tap, I had to set about the process myself. Keen to get away from the glue bottle image and think afresh, I began playing with a monogram using the initial letters D and G. Capital letters produced pleasant but dull monograms. But once I  played with lower-case the visual similarities between the two letters were immediately apparent, and I began to explore ways of making the letters symmetrical images of each other. By this time I was working digitally using Paint.net - the curve tool allows subtle refinements of line without re-drawing. Flipping the image allowed me to check it worked as both d and g. Moving the new symmetrical images around in relation to one another I realised that the circular part of the letters could be shared and HEY!...the image had an instant appeal before I fully realised why - the image could be read as:

an ear,



an eye


or a head with two embracing arms (seen from above).


What clearer statement of values did I need? Seeing, hearing and reaching out to embrace ideas.

Next... to the cartouche. Squares and rectangles contradicted the curving nature of the image. A circle left an uncomfortable space to the right, so an ellipse it must be. I love green , but deep greens, so using deep green image probably meant working with paler greens or complimentary red, (less good) elsewhere in a design using logo.  Blue is somehow respectable (think policeman) but can be a little cold, so how about a warm blue? Fiddling about with selected areas and a bevel tool added a pleasingly organic quality to the image. 
Et voila! 
I know myself well enough to know I won't stop fiddling with the image. But that's it for now. Just don't be surprised if you come back next week and my blog is themed pink...