Clients, designers and site visitors often comment that many of the logos developed by our studio have a particular ‘look’ – a highly rendered style that is quite unique when compared to other design firms. Probably true – a lot of the work featured in our logo design gallery are illustrative in nature – influenced by the formal illustration background of TLF staffers, as well as the history of our studio. While these types of logos are not for every business or venture, we’ve had a lot of requests for this kind of design since we opened our doors and it’s remained a specialty of our shop. Accordingly, we thought it would be fun to show you the stages that go into making a highly illustrative logo – anatomy of an illustrative design if you will – and to do so, we’d use the project for Comic Vine, a client who, as part of their client brief, had requested an identity with a “comic book vixen.”
Always start with the doodles.
Like all projects requiring illustrative work, the design for Comic Vine began the old-fashioned way – with pencil, pen and paper. Rather than hurriedly jumping into desktop design software, our designers always begin by drawing a series of rough sketches and concepts which are then shown to the client and “tightened up” through an iterative process.
As much as it would help us in our day-to-day, there’s really no automated solution to turn sketches into usable vector art (auto-tracing results are iffy) and only one way to insure file and art fidelity – vectorizing by hand. Here’s the initial vector art as rendered from the sketches above:
Type Of Project:
Logo & brand development
A case study in illustrative logo design, the project for Comic Vine saw the development of a leather-clad heroine and appropriate typography. Like all illustrative logos, this design began as a series of old-school sketches and character studies before moving into digital and vector-based artwork.
Working with vectors.
Once we have the baseline to our vector illustration, we can colorize it, add details, shading and turn the image into a final study of our leather-clad hero. Here she is in all her glory:
We needed to add some comic book appropriate type so we worked up a skewed version of the client’s name. This also needed to be dynamic enough to stand on its own when use of the full logo wasn’t an option, due to size restrictions or aspect ratio limitations.
The final assembly.
By combining the artwork and the typography, we end up with a great comic book hero brand. The final logo (variant:)
Illustrative logos & pricing.
Due to the additional amount of pre-production and production time required, illustrative logos are restricted to our professional logo design packages (or higher). Illustrative is only one of of several logotypes, each having its own set of merits, advantages and disadvantages. Which is the best for your particular application? That depends on your business type, projected market segment and audience. The client’s reaction to their (then) new logo? Here’s what they had to say..