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

Rob Marsh
Filed under Creativity, People, Workspace.

Interesting Stuff Around the Office

As you would expect from any logo design agency like ours, we have a lot of creative people here in the office. And they like to be surrounded with things that stimulate creativity and fun.

Yesterday I walked around the office and snapped a few photos of the interesting things we keep on our desks to help keep us creative and inspired. In fact, I took more than a few photos—we’ve got a lot of interesting keepsakes (enough for three or four posts). Here are a few of the things that I found…

Jeff’s collection of Wall-E, Floyd, and Star Wars icons:

We’re big fans of The Office around here (as if this post didn’t already make that clear). Dan keeps Dwight nearby for sales inspiration:

Speaking of inspiration, there are lots of posters and quotes like this:

Clayton keeps a few pets at his desk (this is way better than a fish bowl screen saver):

And as a reminder of what not to do, Rick, who sends out our small business newsletter (subscribe to that here, if you’re interested), keeps a stack of Spam next to his monitor. These also come in handy when we don’t have time to step out for lunch.

Finally, there are lots of plants and flowers to add some life to our workspace:

We’ll post a few more pictures another time (we’ve left out all the very popular nerf guns, the yellow submarine, the mini-buhdas, flags, sculptures, bunny ears, cars, crowns, and on and on). Just trying to give you a sense of the interesting people and their toys that make our shop such a great place to work.

Rob Marsh

Two More Logotypes

As I mentioned a week or so ago (here), we get far more requests for icons in logos than logotypes. When an icon reflects the simple idea that a brand represents, they make great logos. But if the icon is a symbol that’s not obviously connected to the product or company name, well, it’s less important. In those cases, a logo made up of a unique type treatment may be more effective.

Here are two logotypes from the archive that I happen to like very much. The first was created for a client who asked for a high-tech logo in black and a vibrant red. They also asked for something clean and simple. This was one idea we presented:



The next logo was created for a company that specializes in community governance models. They asked for something “minimalist” and simple. Our designers presented this as one of the options:



I like both for their simplicity. But perhaps the most important strength of a typographic logo is that the only image the customer sees/reads is the company name. Something to think about when you create your next logo.

Designer, My Profile
Filed under Animals, Demos, Illustration.

Creating a Gopher

This isn’t a video demo, but rather a few screen captures from a project that crossed our desks this past week. Here’s Paul describing his thinking as a sketch becomes a more finished icon using Abobe’s Illustrator software:

I start with a rough sketch of a gopher, giving him little beady eyes to make him a bit more unique and demented. Some designers prefer to make the cleanest ink drawing possible, and then use AI’s Live Trace tool to vectorize it. I prefer to modify it and simplify after I’ve scanned and traced it.

I use a black stroke and the pen tool to trace the sketch. It already looks cleaner, but it’s still a little boring.

I realize he doesn’t quite look rodent-like enough, so I add some buck teeth.


The paths are turned to fills, then I use Path>Simplify at about 95% accuracy to remove excess anchor points.

The corners are blunt, so I use the direct-select arrow to move points around to make the corners sharp and lively. Then I can manipulate the lines to be thick and thin, to give it contrast and visual interest. I don’t make them too thin or too thick. I just maintain a guideline in my head as I pull points around so there’s some consistency.

Once I’m happy with the outline, I use Path>Compound Path>Release so I can start clicking on areas to color.

Hmm…those beady little eyes could be better. I’ve saved those until this point so I could experiment, since they give it the most personality.

Since I got the sense that this client was going more toward “cute” than “crazy” I made some big Disney eyes, making them slightly off-kilter to retain some crazy.

I use the Knife Tool to slice of some portions of areas, and make them a slightly darker grey-brown. I make the lighter parts an 85% tint of the darker colors when I’m trying to conserve PMS colors.

There you have it. The pink ear insides may have been indulgent, especially if the client is trying to save money on ink, but they can be turned into light brown quickly if needed.

To put Paul or any of our other designers to work on your next design project (logos, websites, brochures and more), visit and get started! To see more demonstrations, click on the links under “Demonstrations” on the top right side of this page.