An attempt to add some detail

Evolution of My Logo

I see real designers do stuff like this all the time, so I thought, “What the heck. I’ll do it, too!”


In coming up with a logo for my site, I first had to really pin down the purpose of this website. What am I trying to sell and to whom am I trying to sell it?

I decided that my primary purpose was threefold:

  1. Present my CV to potential employers or current colleagues
  2. Present my book project to potential investors or publishers
  3. Present my blog posts to my friends

I’ll admit that these targets are pretty far apart, but in the interest of keeping my life simple, I am going to meld them together.

Choosing an Image

I tried using very purposeful images, such as a shirt and tie or a pencil, but they seemed too concrete for this site. A pencil would point to my book/illustration project, and the shirt and tie would point to my CV, but neither the shirt and tie nor the pencil was very elegant, and both of them seemed to pigeonhole my message.

I needed something that was classic, a bit abstract, and would somehow represent me in a way that would cover all my bases, or at least, it would support and not detract from my foci.

I’ve always loved the image of a barn swallow descending in flight. With its split tail and spread wings, its silhouette represents a star, which is a powerful and classic image. Having grown up in the countryside of the American Midwest, I also have a bit of an affinity for these busy, graceful, little budgies.

I settled on using the barn swallow as the major image in the logo, but how would I incorporate it? It was time to see what the professionals were doing. I did a Google search for “best logo design” and came up with several pages to peruse.

First thoughts...

First thoughts…

Creating the Design

A couple of the “best logo design” pages were completely dedicated to classic, badge-like, circular designs. Of all the layouts that I reviewed, only these layouts would provide me with the ability to incorporate my entire name with an image, so I sketched some possibilities based on the professional designs that I reviewed.

Trying to capture a classic badge-like design

Trying to capture a classic badge-like design

Working in the URLs as well  as my name

Working in the URLs as well as my name

An attempt to add some detail

An attempt to add some detail

Building the Logo in Adobe Illustrator

As much as I love the sketchy, stark, black on white lines of a hand drawn illustration, my experience with logo design has shown me that it’s best to create a high quality, vector image of your logo in Adobe Illustrator. Because vector images are constructed of mathematical equations and not just pixels, they can be altered and resized without losing any quality.

I started with an image of a barn swallow and traced it using the pen tool in Illustrator. Then, I began adding my text elements, and testing the logo on the website.

Tracing a barn swallow in Adobe Illustrator

Tracing a barn swallow in Adobe Illustrator


Testing some textual elements

Stars or no stars?

Stars or no stars?

Howzabout an eyeball?

Howzabout an eyeball?

Maybe just a little filigree...Ah, that's nice.

Maybe just a little filigree…Ah, that’s nice.

A little bolder lettering on my name to even out impact of the black

A little bolder lettering on my name to even out the impact of the black

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