Ever since moving my blog to this new site I have been thinking about developing a logo for my blog but, like many things I would like to get around to, I just could not devote any serious time to it. Over the last couple of weeks, I made an effort to make some progress.
We Need to Talk About Books is a long site name and I wanted to avoid using an acronym. I think acronyms work best if they are short or spell another appropriate word. There is some symmetry to the length of the words and the number of spaces in We Need to Talk About Books to work with but the restriction of English is that it is most legible when read left-to-right and above-to-below which limits the possibilities of geometric patterns.
Designing a logo was always going to be the best way to go. I wanted something that says “We Need to Talk About Books” and I came up with this:
Do you get it? I liked the idea of a symbol that is a visual double entendre, so I thought of two speech/comment bubbles that were made to form the shape of a book. It is not an exceptionally clever idea (I’m not even sure how original it is either) but the problem with being too clever is that you start working against another attribute for a good logo – simplicity.
The next problem was creating the image. Technical drawing was my worst subject in school. It was all paper-based back then too. I started in Microsoft Paint which, despite being very unsophisticated, is very easy to use. Good symbol design often culminates around certain symmetries and adherence to proportions of the Golden Ratio. The two oft-cited examples being the logos for Twitter and Apple:
So I used similar principles to come up with my logo:
Paint, obviously is not a suitable platform for producing very professional work. The key word being professional. Because there are other programs that can be easily downloaded or accessed online, such as Adobe Illustrator, but they are not cheap. Some offer a free trial for, say, seven days which I guess may be an option if you feel confident that you can complete your work in that time. There are further complications, however, such as whether you will be allowed to download your completed work from the free trial access. And of course there are professionals who can design your logo for you for a fee.
I decided to go with Inkscape, which can be downloaded for free. Unlike Paint, it is not the easiest or most intuitive software to use and at times it seemed needlessly difficult. But, I suppose, it was quite useful when you got to know it better. Whether it produced a better finished product than Paint for an image of this simplicity is another matter. Perhaps marginally so.
Producing a Header image with my new logo was another difficulty. My blog’s current theme (Expound) recommends a header of 1020 by 154 pixels, but then requires you to crop the image. To not crop the image shears the ends off your heading. I’ve tried a few different ways around this without quite reaching a perfect solution. As it currently is, the header fits quite nicely, but the cropping makes the font look very slightly out-of-focus and left the colours not quite matching the background seamlessly.
But hopefully this is just the start and I will evolve more sophisticated designs in the future. Let me know what you think!
Twitter and Apple logo source: https://designshack.net/articles/inspiration/10-tips-for-designing-logos-that-dont-suck/