A funky new look for our Logopalooza series.

We’ve been using the term Logopalooza off and on for years now. It was the title of this blog when we first launched. It became our rather intermittent book series, then eventually our podcast. All of them required logos. From the beginning, I knew we needed – this was supposed to be a ‘celebration’ of logos, so it had to be funky. Upbeat. Maybe even a little zany. When we designed the logo back in 2006, we even had a little dancing dude (who was plugged into an iPod for the podcast series.) For what it’s worth, here’s how everything looked back then:
old-logopalooza-cover-podcastTrouble is, I was never happy with it. Sure, it worked with the theme but it just wasn’t there. The longer it hung around, the less “there” it became. The entire concept revolved around the logo being consistent and yet we kept changing it with each outing. The little dancing guy came and went. The font stayed the same, but we changed its configuration. And so on. Logopalooza remained one of “those” internal branding projects – something that we’d get around to redesigning when we had the time. Well, this weekend I took the time and had another stab at it. You can tell me how successful I was.

Initial set-up and font deconstruction.

For this design, I knew from the get-go that I wanted something different. I wanted unique, colorful and a logo that spelled out “celebration.” Easy, right? Not quite. This logo is not without some challenges, including the fact that Logopalooza is a very long word. Eleven letters long to be exact. There’s also two ‘L’s, which are a pain in the kerning department.

Due to its main purpose (book covers) the logo needed to end up with a squarish aspect ratio so I began by stacking the letters. The trouble with this exercise is the word doesn’t stack nicely – the natural breaks would be at “Logo,” then “Pa,” then “Looza” (1.) That just doesn’t work – it has sizing issues that set up a goofy hierarchy, so I had to break the word down to “Logo,” “Pal” and then “Ooza” (2.) I’d have to rely on graphic tie-ins to thread the letters together. I wanted a bold, circular font, so I began with Futura Extra Bold as my base typography, which I made even rounder and bulbous with some absolute circles (3.) I knew I was going to deconstruct the letter forms pretty savagely, so I first looked for angles that I could mirror throughout the design and how circles could trim letters that were in proximity (4.) Once that was accomplished, it was a matter of pulling everything apart, breaking the various letters into deconstructed shapes and angles. Like so:
logopalooza-text-logo-design-refinementWhile there were many more steps than this, the above picture gives you an idea of how we got where we did. When I had the basic design down, I used tones and random tones to rough in where the colors would go – in this case, as important as what they were. Once we had that figured out, it was time to pick them.

Choosing color swatches.

Choosing the right colors for a logo is always important, but in this case would be critical – color would not only bind the design together, it would lead the viewer’s eye through the word. With the fractured letters and the word Logopalooza itself, legibility was going to be a big issue so we had to use muted, harmonious color schemes, trying to avoid combinations that would clash and/or vibrate. Most of the schemes were black and three colors (the one we ended up with was black plus four.) Once we had the palettes figured out, it was time to start adding them to various shapes in the logo:

Various color setups and palettes.

Nice. By changing colors for various editions, we could finally have the consistency that we were after all along. Here’s the final color choice turned into a book logo (with subhead and edition bug.)
Like any logo, this one needed to work in black and white linear & grayscale:
We might need it for something, so we set up a horizontal version too.
By removing bits and pieces on color backgrounds, we could create some interesting patterns. Not that we’ll ever use it, but this would make some nice promo artwork, a poster perhaps:
While a black cover is pretty nice, there’s a problem that we overlooked in previous incarnations. This is intended to be used as an ebook that people can grab from our site (earlier editions have been downloaded several 100K times.) Some people might want to print Logopalooza on their desktop printers and a black cover sucks up an awful lot of toner, not cool for the environment or their pocket books. Accordingly, we needed a white one:
There you have it. Pretty well set on this design, and have added it to the Logopalooza.com site (a work in progress that’s coming soonapalooza for now.) Now that the logo and cover have been put to bed, we can focus on putting the final touches to Logopalooza 3.

Look for news about that pretty soon.