Crafting a Logo

logo iterations, created with the tortilla printing press

logo iterations, created with the tortilla printing press

Ryan heard a good logo should be friendly, playful, recognizable, and simple enough that a three year old could draw it.

So, with that in mind, we started off with a gumdrop LED, because it is friendly, inviting, and a great material to tinker with. I bent the LED's legs to make it look like it was walking in a jaunty manner, and used it as a model for our logo. I made a quick sketch of the led on a piece of styrofoam, carved it with a toothpick, and printed the image using our handy tortilla printing press. The printing press is a great tool for iterating on a design because you can make a print, carve into the foam to change the design, and print it again to see the result. . . I was able to try a few different styles, all printed from the original piece of styrofoam. The result was nice, simple, recognizable, and it passed the three year old test, but it felt a little too safe. I wondered if we could make it change colors (it's an LED, after all!) but realized color-changing LEDs have 4 legs. So, I added a couple of legs to to original LED, and our weird and lovely logo was born.

I've moved the design into the computer to play with the colors, but I'm pretty sure it will be back in the physical world before long. It's really fun to make different versions, whether they're on the tortilla printing press or on a computer, and they all seem to have their own personalities. I've been using lots of different tools and materials to tinker with the logo, and each tool gives it a different character. So far I have tried the tortilla press, photoshop, and I am planning to try airbrushing and see if I can try out the CNC embroidery machine at Techshop. A friend suggested making a color-changing LED gif. What else should we try with the logo? This is going to be fun!

Nicole Catrett