Simon Austerberry

A third-year graphic design student documenting his design journey.
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Posts tagged logo

May 13

Negotiated Major Project

My NMP is finally finished and what a relief! It has been a long journey of experimenting with styles and playing around with hundreds of ideas! For my NMP I worked with two of my friends to establish a collective called Mutton Boon. Whilst the ethos and ideas for Mutton Boon have changed about a hundred times, one thing that has been constant throughout was to create designs and products that take advantage of printmaking and the handcrafted.

I went down many different routes in this project so this blog post is a way to explain my process from start to finish and why I decided to change ideas so often.

At the start of the project we set out to create a collective that created a range of tee’s and prints. For the first few weeks we really struggled to find something to create that made us feel unique. We spent a lot of time exploring printmaking techniques but was producing designs that were quite common (like aztec patterns). Time was getting on and we needed to start creating visuals and outcomes. We decided the best approach was to put a constraint on our work. Sometimes having such an open brief can stop ideas from forming as you don’t know where to begin. This is where the minotaur comes in. We needed to make a more restricted brief so we picked a story we know very little about. What we ended up doing was a story about the Minotaur, a half man half bull that lives in a Labyrinth. All of us knew very little about this which allowed us to create designs based purely off the research we had found. I will admit it was challenging.

Our first attempt at producing a zine was… well far from amazing. We produced outcomes which we felt weren’t very strong. However, we were starting to form ideas that would actually influence our final outcomes. The week later we managed to produce a set of work which created starting points for our final outcomes.

I produced three different directions that I wanted to take the project in. The first was exploring the branding of an American Hockey team called “The Minotaurs”. The inspiration came from this because I felt the minotaur would create a fantastic mascot for a sports team and I really like the design of American sport team logos. The second direction was illustrated type. I had created the word “plagued” out of what could be interpreted as bubble gum (intentional) or as flesh with sinewy bits. I am obsessed with typography and wanted to explore a hand drawn type route. The final option was illustration. I had started to produce a playing card using a minimalistic geometric style that was all about clean, precise lines.

I decided to go down the route of the minotaur sports team. The first changes I wanted to make were to change the logo I had made and begin developing it. Alongside that I wanted to create the team’s hockey kits, design an official mascot and then produce a range of merchandise. After a few weeks of going down this route, I realised it wasn’t working for me. The idea didn’t really do much for me, it wasn’t clicking in my head so I scrapped that approach and went for the illustration route.

I liked the idea of playing cards. I think the illustration of the Kings, Queens etc are really nice and I wanted to have a go at making my own. This eventually led it’s way into tarot cards. Tarot cards were originally designed to be a game which then got this association with the occult and some people use them to tell the future. I was fascinated by them because of the way they are illustrated. Each illustration is full of symbolism which relate to the card’s meaning.

I began creating designs for tarot cards which linked to major parts and characters of the Minotaur story. I created illustrations full of symbolism to represent the personality traits and to tell the story. However, it got to a point where all I had were tarot cards, and I didn’t really just want a pack of cards for my final show. After a seminar, I decided to try and take this symbolism and apply it to clothing, and to see where I can take that.

I spent a while trying to create unique symbols to sum up the tarot cards. However, I found it a struggle to come up with a lot of unique icons and I also felt this was taking too much of a tarot approach and was moving away from the minotaur.

I then looked into hand drawn illustration. Whilst this isn’t really my style of working as such, I do enjoy drawing. I spent a few weeks exploring illustration styles and began drawing a range of outcomes from paper money to illustrated wallets. However, the choice of style really wasn’t clicking with me and it was only a matter of time before I went to the more familiar minimalist style.

I liked the idea of symbolism and the way you convey a theme, message or idea from a small image. I also liked the idea of creating unique symbols, as some of the symbols I had produced earlier were far from original. Eventually I came to the idea of creating a micro site/app that creates your own coat of arms, based on your personality. This coat of arms would be completely unique to you, and when applied to products would allow you to “Wear your own brand”. For this I created a range of different icons which all slot together to create the coat of arms. The more icons I created, the more combinations of icons.

Alongside this I created a product range which represents medieval armour, to tie it in with the coat of arms. Each coat of arms would have a unique pattern which could be applied to the clothing. The style I went for was a clean, precise style similar to that of the playing card I did earlier. Unfortunately I only got this idea a week before my hand in. So it meant I had to spend a week creating the outcomes for my idea which I felt did limit experimentation and meant I could only push it so far. However, at the same time I am really impressed with what I managed to produce in such a small amount of time, and I think with a bit of tweaking in time for the show, could potentially have a product range that I would be happy selling.


Apr 9
The Minotaurs
There’s been a lot of development with MuttonBoon since I last posted (my blog backlog is stupidly big at the minute). After a lot of confusion as to where the project was going, we buckled down a few weeks ago and produced a whole range of artwork to tell the story of the Minotaur.
Our reasoning behind the story was because we wanted to work with a story we didn’t know anything about. For our last seminar before Easter, we had over 20 pages of different designs to represent the different parts of the story.
However, we found we became stuck again, we didn’t know where we could go from here. We took a step back and realised we were approaching it all wrong. Instead of creating a book of art and illustrations, we are now taking each section and then creating a whole series of outcomes.
The first part I am working with is “The Minotaurs”, a fictional Cretan hockey team. Having developed a quick logo for the seminar before Easter, I now want to create a series of different things based on this. The idea is to develop the full kit and a range of merchandise for the Minotaurs Hockey team.
Some of the items I have been working on include:
The team’s kit including Jersey, the shirt underneath, helmet, skates 
Hockey puk and hockey sticks 
Flags, scarves, banners, caps 
The mascot (which will be produced in a paper toy form) 
And possibly a range of posters
I have until next Wednesday to complete all of the outcomes until I need to move onto my next series of outcomes (working with gambling and death). I’m finding ideas and outcomes are easier to work now I see where I can take this project.

The Minotaurs

There’s been a lot of development with MuttonBoon since I last posted (my blog backlog is stupidly big at the minute). After a lot of confusion as to where the project was going, we buckled down a few weeks ago and produced a whole range of artwork to tell the story of the Minotaur.

Our reasoning behind the story was because we wanted to work with a story we didn’t know anything about. For our last seminar before Easter, we had over 20 pages of different designs to represent the different parts of the story.

However, we found we became stuck again, we didn’t know where we could go from here. We took a step back and realised we were approaching it all wrong. Instead of creating a book of art and illustrations, we are now taking each section and then creating a whole series of outcomes.

The first part I am working with is “The Minotaurs”, a fictional Cretan hockey team. Having developed a quick logo for the seminar before Easter, I now want to create a series of different things based on this. The idea is to develop the full kit and a range of merchandise for the Minotaurs Hockey team.

Some of the items I have been working on include:

  • The team’s kit including Jersey, the shirt underneath, helmet, skates
     
  • Hockey puk and hockey sticks
     
  • Flags, scarves, banners, caps
     
  • The mascot (which will be produced in a paper toy form)
     
  • And possibly a range of posters

I have until next Wednesday to complete all of the outcomes until I need to move onto my next series of outcomes (working with gambling and death). I’m finding ideas and outcomes are easier to work now I see where I can take this project.


Feb 22

Mutton Boon Progress: Identity

Here are just a small selection of the many logo sketches I’ve done so far for MuttonBoon and some very quick vector traces. I’m currently exploring hand drawn type and handwriting using various tools like markers etc to get different marks.

I really like how the first one looks (on the digital mock ups) but currently it feels like graffiti. I will try the same style but using different tools to see if I can steer away from the graffiti look.


Feb 16

Salford Type Foundry - Embracing the Machine

This is my initial mock up for the Salford Type Foundry logo, along with some of the other digital ideas I played with.

It took me a while to get a concept for this logo. I spent a good hour just drawing S T F in a number of different ways. I began doing a bit of research into the industrial revolution (of which Salford played a big part) and whether it had an effect on type. It turns out that it had a big effect on it. The slab serif was actually produced because the serifs of the typefaces at the time couldn’t handle the pressures of these new, powerful machines.

Using this, I created a logo using a thick slab serif (Bree Serif). I wanted it to be bold, creating a sturdy logo that stood out and also represented the big, powerful machines of the time (particularly those used for printing type). I didn’t want the logo to look dated, however, as this is a project showing new typefaces. Therefore, I wanted a slab serif that had a contemporary feel (which Bree Serif does). It has some really nice curves on the S and in the negative space below the /T/ arm which makes it feel less harsh.

There is still a lot of experimentation to be done and I haven’t even begun to think about colour yet. However, I feel I have a strong concept which hopefully will go down well in tomorrow’s pitch to the rest of the group.


Salford Type Foundry

I spent a couple of hours today having a crack at the Salford Type Foundry logo. Just a few of the pages here with some ideas on.


Feb 9

The Development of My New Website

So yesterday I released my new website. It had been years since I had a personal website and with graduation and the real world creeping ever closer, I decided it was time to make one. I set myself a challenge. I wanted to build a website in less than 15 hours that uses HTML5 and has both a small selection of my work and my CV on.

The result? A website that took me about 10 hours to design and code which was built using HTML5 CSS3 and JQuery. The design is minimal and follows a strict grid which lets my work shine, allows all of the information to be read easy and is a reflection on my preferred design style.

I purposely chose to code it using HTML5 and CSS3 as I wanted to start learning the new web technologies that will one day in the future become the norm. HTML5 allows for much better markup and along with CSS3 is making the web more dynamic.

The website isn’t actually 100% finished. The initial idea behind it was to create a digital CV as I wanted to apply for a placement at a company that does a lot of web. However, the design turned out much better than I imagined so I intend to continue the development of the website into a full portfolio (taking it more from just a slideshow of work).

Intended Updates

My next plan is to create a way of showing my work. I intend to do this by using thumbnails that will change the slideshow’s images and also include a description of the project. The slideshow will show the finished product along with some of the process behind it. Using JQuery will help to keep this to a one page website.

I then intend on developing this design so that it can be applied to my Tumblr. This will keep everything consistent between the two sites and also be a great way to learn how to create a tumblr theme.

Finally I intend on implementing wordpress into the site so that I can update the website without having to edit code. This is something I’ve started dabbling with and again is a nice skill to have.

EDIT:

I forgot to mention I also intend to make this design responsive so that it adapts nicely to tablets and mobiles.

A New Logo


I have also finally updated my logo from the one I made in second year (which I absolutely hate!). This one is based around the grid of a diamond, and then is framed nicely in a hexagon. The concept is based on how the well formed structure of the diamond is the reason why it’s beautiful, and is a reflection of my working style. I was quite lucky to be able to make the letter ‘A’ combined with an ‘S’ from the diamond grid.


Apr 19

Logo Process, Unconventional Self Promotion & Salsa

I’ve almost got my logo 100% done. It literally is a matter of making tweaks. I’m currently debating whether to have the box surrounding the logo. This is because when I place it next to my name it doesn’t look as good.

I’ve also been looking into font choice for my name. The logo was created using circles and squares, therefore a geometric sans-serif feels like the logical choice. However, saying that, choosing a different type of sans-serif could provide a nice contrast. I’ve currently been playing with gill sans which is working nicely at a regular weight.

As for my self promotion piece, I’ve finally sat down and had a brainstorm. I’ve not got any actual ideas yet but know it will work around the theme of ideas, as I feel my strengths lie in coming up with ideas. Instantly I’ve dismissed lightbulbs and boxes. The two main themes so far are journeys and eureka moments.

Thinking up ideas is a journey and isn’t just A to B. A couple of ideas that have come to mind is some sort of idea compass, possibly to guide you in the right direction, or something to do with travel agents. The other direction at the moment is those eureka moments. They strike in the most random of places and sometimes wen its inconvenient. I could play with this theme possibly creating a tool to help get those ideas down.

These literally are initial quick brainstorms. I’m going to research idea generation and development (luckily this month’s computer arts is all about it!) and then forget about the brief until next week. Hopefully something will hit me in that time. That’s the plan anyway.

On a totally unrelated note, I made a tomato salsa for the first time today. It tasted good.


Apr 11

A look into how I went about creating my identity.

I always have to start with paper, pen and pencil. I printed off about 10 fonts I liked the look of. I decided to use a san-serif font as not only is it more contemporary but reproduces better at a smaller size. I began tracing letters, placing them in different positions, seeing if I could combine them in anyway. I chose to use just ‘SA’ as I have quite a long name. Some might see the idea of tracing type pointless seeing as it is much quicker to use a computer. However, I really enjoy drawing type and it makes me think more about positioning and how the letters can work together.

After I had some initial sketches, I digitally produced some of the stronger ideas. From there I began experimenting, constantly asking what if?

I have some final tweaks to make, mainly refining the size of the outer box and tweaking the space between the shapes. I also need to decide on a colour which will represent my personality.


Logo Feedback

I’ve finally got my logo done for the self-branding project! I had a seminar and immediately the tutors favoured one particular logo. Unfortunately I don’t have the logo with me to upload right now, however, I will do a blog entry later today showing my logo design process and some of the other outcomes.

Now my logo is finished, I can begin applying it to business cards, stationary and a website. I also want to explore use of colour for the logo and also explore the idea of imagery in the logo (will explain later).


Mar 31

Interviewing the Pros

We’re coming up to the third week of the new project and everything is going really well. I allowed myself a few days off to relax after the Ted Baker brief as I was burnt out and exhausted. However, I’m now ready to get stuck into this brief and really excited to create an identity for myself and get in touch with professionals.

As far as creating an identity goes, I’ve been looking into the identities of both freelance designers and design studios. I intend on doing some more research but also begin hitting the sketchpad and drawing out loads of identity ideas. I’ve decided to use the initials SA. As much as I love my last name and think it’s unique, it’s just too bloody long. I may have an attempt at using my full name, but so far initials seem the way to go.

I’ve also had some success getting professionals to answer our questionnaire. At the moment, I’ve been asking contacts I already know and have around 8 or so completed questionnaires. It was a great opportunity to catch up with some people but I also have a nice selection of people who’ve been doing it for years and people who’ve graduated only a few years ago. The next step is to come up with a strategy within our group to get many more questionnaires.


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