Jetpack!

Here is an un-solicited logo for the company my brother works for. I know that in the past they toyed around with the tagline “your best friend in marketing” and I always wanted their logo to be a dog with a jetpack. Getting rid of "in marketing" lets the logo work for a broad range business services companies. Maybe this could be a logo for a software developer or a financial consultant.

WARNING: this logo not for use with huskies.

I also designed Jetpack’s REAL logo seen here:

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Osprey Aviation

This is going to get a little nerdy. When I was a kid me and my brother had this game called Star Frontiers. It was like a science fiction version of Dungeons & Dragons. I don’t know if we ever actually played it the way is was supposed to be played, but I used to love reading the modules and looking at the bonkers illustrations. In third grade, coming down off of a Star Wars high, I thought Star Frontiers was the coolest.

So anyway, one module centered around a spaceship called the CMS Osprey; pictured here with its crew:

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So when I decided to do a logo for an imaginary aviation company, of course I called it Osprey.

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The Osprey is a sea hawk, so it is appropriate that the hawk head ‘O’ is reminiscent of a wave. I made the logo shades of blue for sky and water. I like to think that this could be the identity for a sea-plane operator, or a little aviation business that operates out of Carlsbad Airport.

Sub Urban Recording Company

I was playing around with Museo and I had the idea to make a logo where the letters look like suburban streets. I love suburbia, by the way. Haters can take a hike.

I like to think of this as a logo for a recording studio, or a podcast ownership group, but it could be a record label if that floats your boat.

The streets have a little grunge on them. The colored circle pattern can be a vinyl record or sound waves, and can be used a hundred different ways in print, web, and video. Splitting ‘SUBURBAN’ into ‘SUB URBAN’ makes me think of Sub Pop records for some reason. The bright colors make me happy. I am going to call this one a 1-hour success.

Spyathlon

The average household income for a triathlete is over $250k. As a generality, triathletes are a bunch of wealthy type-A drivers. They have cash and they like to win, so let’s help them out. A great way to get an edge in a triathlon is to know the course. Know where the turns are. Know where the climbs and descents are. Know where the headwinds and hazards are.

Spyathlon sends someone out to preview and film the course. On a boat, on the bike, on the run. A first-person view film of the course is edited and annotated and delivered to the triathlete clients along with a PDF overview showing map, profile, landmarks, etc. and coaching tips for managing the course.

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Pluto

I felt like I needed a win after those last two logos so I went a little deeper on this one. I have this little personal project that I swear I will finish before I die. I am drawing all of the planets in the solar system as a cyclops in a sort of cubist-inspired line-art style. I have notes and pencil sketches on all of them but only Mars/Ares and Neptune/Poseidon are finished to my satisfaction.

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I went into my notes and decided to finish Pluto/hades. I have been at this so long Pluto was still a planet when I started, and I feel bad the poor guy got demoted. 2.5 hours later…

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I am happy with my angry little devil. In cyclops style, he has one eye, one horn, one nostril, and one tail. Floating out in space on his elliptical orbit.

Neugent Cycling

Time for another bike logo. I bought a set of wheels from this guy John Neugent a few years back. I recalled that he had a terrible logo, and I was pleased to see he hasn’t improved it. It makes my job easier. He is an interesting guy, and I still enjoy reading the email newsletters he sends out periodically. Here is the old logo:

This is going to be a quick cleanup job. Keep the ‘N’ in the circle. Switch to a geometric sans with roundish shapes. Go thin italic for lightweight speed. Green because I like it. Here it is:

This is a definite improvement, but looking at it now, it feels like a 1-hour failure. Why didn’t I harmonize the slant to the type and the mark? Why did I split the words with the mark when I knew it would look off-center? Why didn’t I do something about the near-collision of the ‘C’ and the ‘y’? I’m not going overtime on this one though. It is what it is. I am going to bed.

Greenwall Plumbing

I had 1-hour logo on my mind today when I was out getting some lunch. I saw a white van with black helvetica on it that said “Greenwall Plumbing” and I knew what today’s logo would be. This company had no design, so I tried to do the minimum to make an identity for this plumber. The obvious thing to do with the Greenwall logo is make it a green wall. So I did. I used Pluto to give it a little bit of a distinctive look without going overboard. From here I could go in a hundred different directions, but I am going to stay my hand. Total time: 20 minutes.

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It is not high art, but it is a perfectly serviceable logo, and honestly, I think it compares favorably against most other plumbing logos. Lets do some quick research… here are the logos from the plumbers closest to my house:

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Cuesta Sol

This is another real estate logo. Once I learned what a cuesta was, the logo pretty much made its self. I think I spent more time reading about geography than I did working on the actual logo. It is super simple, but I am actually pretty proud of this one. It does a great job for its intended use. It is a 1-hour slam-dunk!

Here is the sketch the client sent:

 
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Some work-in-progress:

And the final logo:

Valley Bible Church

The Christian life is about relationships. Your local church should be a community of people in dialogue with one another. This is a simple mark that I think conveys both location and communication. Green for growth and life. I tried to make something that would be authentic, unpretentious, and approachable.

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Valhalla

I felt like exercising some custom-type muscles today. A friend of mine, Scott Hultgren, has a design studio called “Valhalla” and that seemed like a fun thing to play with. 100-minutes later, and this is what I came up with. This was fun to make, but it is just a sketch. I think the concept could work if I had enough time to put into it, but I already went over my limit.

Activity Lab

We have had a butterfly garden in our front yard for several years. It’s rad, and the kids love it. When my youngest son was 5, he drew this monarch caterpillar and wanted me to make it into a t-shirt for him. I never got around to making the shirt, but now his drawing has found a home as a logo for a kid’s science and exploration space where families and classes on field trips can go to learn.

Glow Skull

I need to post a logo before I go to bed, so here goes… A while back I was doodling and I drew this skull:

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I like it, but I never really found a home for it so it has become one-hour-logo fodder. What kind of company would want to be represented by a mark like this? It would have to be something stupid like Vape Juice. Here you go:

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I actually did some work for a vape juice company. The owner was a rich dude’s slacker son. He asked us to do a bunch of artwork for him, then ghosted us. He missed the review meeting and didn‘t return our emails. We contacted his dad about it and then the son called us back. He said “Sorry, I forgot about that, I’m not doing it anymore.” His dad paid the bill.

Parc La Quinta

A friend of mine had a project to create a logo for a track-home community in the Temecula area. He called me to get some concepts. I had NO TIME but I can’t resist a logo job. One-hour-logo to the rescue. Here is the brief:

  • The heart of the community is a park with a beloved landmark tree in the middle.

  • The mountains nearby are another signature element of the community and should be included in the logo.

  • The logo must include houses.

The client sent this photo of the tree and mountains:

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With only an hour to work, I didn’t have time to argue about including houses. Here is my first comp:

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I actually took the time to measure the angle of the mountain slopes in the photograph to make sure the logo resonated with the locals. As you can see, I was bummed out that Modula got rejected from the Monuments of Cycling logo, and I wanted to give it another chance. (This is how designers work.) I felt like I nailed a “clean & contemporary” look, but I hedged my bet and made a ”clean & classy” version with Hoefler Text and a gold color:

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Feedback from the project manager:

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Monuments of Cycling

Monuments of Cycling is a company started by the brilliant Michael Marckx to produce his cycling events, notably the Belgian Waffle Ride. I was creating a proposal deck for a new event and it occurred to me that MoC didn’t have a logo, so I set aside a little time to put together something appropriate.

I wanted something STRONG and MONUMENTAL so I started with a capital ‘M’ set in Gotham, placed in a block:

 
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I was thinking of the cobblestone trophy awarded to the winner of the Paris Roubaix, and I tried turning it diagonally but it started to look like the Enron logo. I pivoted the award/trophy concept to a badge and brought the bottom of the block to a point:

 
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I should note, at this point, that to keep a connection to MoC’s signature event, I restricted myself to the Belgian Waffle Ride color palette:

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I knew I wanted a narrow typeface to go with the logo, and I tried to bring in some 1990’s flair with Emigré Modula:

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The client didn’t like it. He had me switch to FB Agency. Agency isn’t as idiosyncratic as Modula, but it is also from the mid-1990’s so I feel like we both got what we wanted. I added a crown to make sure the concept of the logo as an award wasn’t lost:

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The logo can be used in a horizontal lock-up as shown above, but my preferred configuration has the type integrated with the mark:

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This logo took a little under an hour of design time, but it was spread out over 2 days and if you add time spent generating JPGs and PNG files for the client, it was closer to 90 minutes.

Alpha Bicycles

I love bicycles, so today’s logo is bicycle themed. There used to be a little bike shop in Vista named Alpha Bicycles. It was owned by a man named Chris, who closed it when he retired. It was a cool little shop that reminded me of the bike shops I would go into as a kid, with old parts hanging all over the walls and a generous selection of used bikes. Chris was great. He would sometimes not charge you full price if he liked you and you were buying some obscure part to fix up an old bike. He also once donated some parts to help a friend of mine fix up a bike for a homeless man.

His logo was pretty terrible though.

I tried to make something that would convey the friendly disarming nature of his shop, and would look good on a t-shirt. I was happy to have the chance to use a script typeface. In this age of geometric sans-serifs, I seldom get to with my paying clients. Here it is:

Here is his actual logo:

Logo-A-Day

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Hi, my name is Kris. Nice to meet you. I am a professional creative person, and I decided to do a little project. Part of my job is creating logos. Logos for companies, logos for products, logos for events, logos for everything. Most of the time designing a logo involves research and meetings and multiple design concepts, and rounds of revisions, and it takes a lot of time. I love making logos, and I even love the process (most of the time), but the actual creation of the logo is sometimes very quick. Sometimes the final logo even comes from the first concept I try. So I asked myself, What can I do if I strip away the process and just give myself 1-hour to create. Time to find out.

Here are the rules:

  1. I will post one new logo every day for 30 days.

  2. The logo can be part of a real project or a redesign of an existing logo or just something I dream up.

  3. I will try to limit myself to 1-hour of design time. If I spend more time I will mention it in my post.

  4. I will post by midnight.

Today, I am kicking off the project with a special logo-a-day bonus logo! The logo-a-day bonus logo is the logo-a-day logo. Usually when I do work for myself it takes 10-times longer than for a client, but I only gave myself one hour. It was my first idea. No comps or sketches. Done.