Mason Weis

Archived Blog

New Year, New Brand

Hey everyone! After a bit of a hiatus, I’m glad to say that I’m back. If you’ve been on the site before, you might notice that things look pretty different. I took some time off from blogging to redesign my personal brand, strengthen my portfolio and focus on my freelance and part-time work.

I figured that for my first blog post of 2017, I’d talk a bit about my new logo/identity in order to give it a proper introduction and to talk a bit about my methods and thoughts on the project.

Conceptualization

I’m horrible at designing for myself. I’m too picky and too critical of anything that’s not for a client. Because of this, I decided I was going to try my best to distance myself from this project in any way I could. I’ll go into that in more depth soon, but it’s something I knew I wanted to do right from the get-go. 

When I do brand design for clients, I ask a series of questions to best get a sense of their brand’s values and the identity they want to put forward. It’s virtually impossible to know what to design if you have no idea of what it is that you’re trying to communicate. After coming up with words I wanted associated with my brand and my services, I made a mind map of associated words to create a wide-ranging and deep understanding of the implications of these words. Following this, I left the project for a little while. In an effort to distance myself from the project and because of real-life circumstances, I halted things for a month or so. I wanted to come back to this information as if it were the first time I was reading it. 

Sure it might be a lot... but I wanted to be thorough!

Sure it might be a lot... but I wanted to be thorough!

After coming back to things, I wrote a short couple of paragraphs covering my findings and summarizing my brand, but with a different name attached. I wanted my name removed from the equation entirely. While it might sound silly, it helped me look at things more objectively. If only a little bit. 

Aside from this, there were a few elements I knew I wanted to toy around with. Namely, animation. I’ve been meaning to learn animation and After Effects for a long time, so I knew that no matter what, I wanted a logo that would translate to this medium well. Aside from everything I wrote down, one element I knew I wanted to include from the start was motion. 

Inspiration

As I read my “brief,” I began to think about companies that I thought fit a similar mold. Two camps emerged. Other designers and tech companies. I began compiling inspiration by creating a mood board on Pinterest for myself. I looked at designers like Milton Glaser, Saul Bass and Stefan Sagmeister as well as companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft for inspiration. 

Pinterest is a great way to gather inspiration and put it all in one place! I highly recommend it. 

Pinterest is a great way to gather inspiration and put it all in one place! I highly recommend it. 

I noticed a few trends emerging. High profile designers like Glaser and Sagmeister kept their logos incredibly low profile. Sagmeister’s especially emphasized a minimalism that to many might not even qualify as a logo. Most importantly however, they both proudly used their names, or at least their initials.

Tech companies on the other hand focused on simplicity and color. Google and Microsoft both use the same rainbow color palette.  Aside from that, however, there is just white. 

Aside from these things I also looked at artistic movements such as cubism and De Stijl. These ideas didn’t pan out as well as I had hoped initially, but they still aided me in moving forward.


Sketching

With all of these things in mind, I began sketching. Here you can see some of my sketches. Rather than go on and on about that, I’ll let the sketches themselves show off the process. 

Proposal

Following an extensive thumbnailing period, I turned 5 of my favorite concepts into rough vector “mockups” and laid them out into a PDF. This was to be my proposal document. 

Within the PDF, there were at least a couple of instances of each logo, showing various ways it could be used. I got together a list of people and sent it out to them. 

While proposals usually go to the client, I needed to distance myself from this project one last time. I asked these people to order each idea from their favorite to least favorite and took the average of each person’s answer. From that, I came to the logo I have today. 

Finalizing

After the logo was selected, I began a process of cleaning up and perfecting things. I solidified my ideas regarding the various elements involved and looked to get things as practical as possible. 

The Logo and Brand Identity

The full version of my logo. I rarely plan to use it in this exact context, but I figure the full version deserves to be showcased here.

The full version of my logo. I rarely plan to use it in this exact context, but I figure the full version deserves to be showcased here.

This is what I ended up with. This logo was made to embody the simplicity and minimalism of my inspiration while still adding a flair of its own.

 

The Base

The most basic form of the logo, what I call the “base” is a simple square with my initials inside of it. It can be a variety of "brand-appropriate” colors but my intention was to make it black most of the time. The base also does not necessarily need to have my initials in it. It can display other strings of text as needed. An example of this in action can be found on my about page.

 

The Colors

The colors I used are similar to the colors Google and Microsoft use. I really appreciated their “rainbow” color palettes and wanted that reflected in my own identity. I thought that this would add more variety and life to my logo. 

The colors I used were:

Black - #212121
Red - #f15b5a 
Yellow -
#efc41b
Green - #4eba6e
Blue - #2b95bf

 

Putting it Together

The final product in motion

The final product in motion

As I mentioned earlier, motion was a focus of mine for this project. This concept specifically focused on smaller “color squares” interacting with and flying through the base. Each of these color squares serve different purposes, though. They can also work as bullet points, function as bases themselves, work as a loading bar or add flair to other aspects of my brand. 

Moving Forward

My brand design isn’t done and it never will be. This concept is something I feel confident about and I’m excited to take things further. As I move into the future, this logo will take on many permutations that will help make different facets of my identity unique and separate from one another. I’m still working on the actual execution of these ideas, but they’re definitely coming soon.

Thanks for reading! I’m glad to be back. 2017 is looking to be a big year!

Until next time!

Mason Weis