Posts Categorized: Illustration
Rob Marsh

Semi-regular Design Team Gathering

Every couple of weeks, the artists here in the design shop post on the walls a bit of their favorite work from the previous ten days or so. Then the design team “votes” on the best work of all those that are submitted. Each of the designers with the best work gets a small gift card as well as the applause and respect of their peers. (I say this a little tongue in cheek—in truth there is usually much joking around and the good-natured ribbing you’d expect). Often times the designs that are presented were not selected by the client—but are amazingly good and deserving of some recognition. Thus the reason for the get-together (it’s definitely not a meeting).

We’ve been doing this 2-3 times a month for almost ten years, and the incredible quality of the design we hang up on the wall each time we get together never ceases to amaze me. It’s a good reminder of the incredibly talented people I get to work with every single day. Last week’s gathering featured about 30 logo, stationery, and website designs. Here’ are two of my favorites (in both cases here, the client ultimately selected another composition)…

The first is for a golf course restaurant called Tomasso’s that uses lettering to suggest the idea of spaghetti in addition to a nice icon that represents both golf and a pasta bowl (I’m getting hungry just looking at it):



The second is one of my favorite logo designs I’ve seen in a while. It is a simple, custom lettered, logotype, and in my opinion, a great logo…



See more great logo design in our gallery. (Or try your hand at designing your own logo at that last link).

Rob Marsh

Demonstration—Let’s Draw Toby

Our most popular posts tend to be those that show our designers at work. So here’s another in a growing collection of demo videos, this one by Rob (not me, but rather the more talented, extraordinary designer Rob). Like a couple of the others, Rob chose a subject from the U.S. version of The Office. Obviously, we’re fans. Take a look:



To see our other designers at work, click the links below:
Design Demo #1
Design Demo #2
Design Demo #3
Design Demo #4

UPDATED: We don’t have an active design shop any more. However, the designers who created these demos are featured at Check them out. Or create your own logo here.

Two Approaches to Illustrating in A.I.

Depending on training, workflow and expertise, different designers have different ways to do illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. The great thing is, it allows for many different preferences to fit every artist’s style.

When I am illustrating, it usually comes down to two methods, finished work by hand, or hand sketched idea that I finish in AI. Here’s an example of both that I did yesterday:



Here’s a scan of two different apes. The top one is a pencil sketch that’s pretty much finished.



I use AI’s helpful LiveTrace feature to quickly vectorize it. It has some rough edges, but that’s the look I was going for.



Now that it’s vector, I can fix things like his eyes and hair. He didn’t look gorilla-like enough for me, so I pulled up his forehead. If I had done this with a pencil drawing, it would have involved a lot of erasing.



Five minutes later, I’m done with a the illustration. The longest part was drawing him out on paper. Unlike the second one….



Placing my original scan, I trace him with the Pen Tool (in pink, so it stands out).



Then I delete the scan, change it to black, and start giving some personality to those lines.




I add some detail, and make sure it all makes sense.



Twenty minutes later, he’s done. This one was much quicker to do before I scanned him, but took more time for experimentation and tweaking once it was traced. You can see more examples of this in the logo design section of

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Rob Marsh

Logos I Love—Black Rooster

A few years ago, we were approached by a client to design a logo for a property holding company called Black Rooster. They didn’t have a lot of expectations, so our designers had a lot of freedom in concepting and designing the project. In my opinion, the work we presented to this client was exceptional. The client saw a total of six initial concepts (and four revised versions of his favorite concept after that). Here are two of the initial concepts.

The first concept is an illustration using simple shapes and just three colors to create a rooster enclosure. The more complex icon is contrasted with a simple clean type treatment:

And the second is one of my favorite logos we’ve ever created. It’s not perfect (for example, it would be hard to engrave or embroider with this level of detail), but it’s a great piece of artwork. I love almost everything about it.

Do you have a new business or product that could benefit from a stunning logo design? If so, we’d love to work on it for you. Check out the designers featured on our home page to get started. Or create your own logo at

Rob Marsh
Filed under Demos, Illustration, Satire.

Another Look Behind the Curtain

We’ve posted a few videos showing our designers at work—or rather, at play (here, here, and here). We give them a camera and an hour or so and let them do whatever they want. Recently we asked Justin to take some time and just play around a bit. He chose to illustrate a somewhat prominent rap star using a reference photo, then he suggests a new product category for hip hop artists to expand their marketing clout. Nothing serious, just fun to watch. Check it out:



To put our designers to work on your next logo design (or other design project), check out the designers at