Buffalo-based photographer, Nate Benson, approached me about creating a logo for him back in December and I was all for it. Nate and I worked together in Apple Retail back in the day, but this was the first time I really got a chance to sit and talk with him. I’m a big fan of his work and was pleasantly surprised to find out that we shared a similar aesthetic taste, not to mention a genuine love of professional wrestling. I mean honestly, what more could you possibly ask for in a client?

No matter if I’m working on a logo for a friend or for a stranger, my process always begins the same way; with tiny thumbnails on graph paper. Doing this benefits me in a number of ways. First off, it helps me determine the geometric shape and scale, if a shape is recognizable at very small sizes, I know it’ll work just fine scaled larger. Another way this helps, is that I’m working in basic black & white where the same general idea applies, if the shape works in black, it’ll work in color as well.

This particular process works great for me primarily because I’m a firm believer that logos should be the most basic representation of an idea. They shouldn’t be illustrations, but rather, simple graphical representations of a person or company. I like to think of them as “stamps” or monograms. A logo needs to communicate efficiently and effectively, there’s just no time for cheap frills.

I don’t move into the digital realm until I have a clear vision of where I’m going with the design. Once in Adobe Illustrator, I start with the primary shape and steadily evolve the look until I get it close to what I had in mind. At this point I may veer off in a few different directions if it isn’t quite turning out the way I had hoped. In this instance, I was pretty much right where I wanted to be with it. A few tweaks here and there and it was ready to rock.

After some initial feedback from Nate and a couple small revisions, this thing was a wrap. The whole experience was a pretty painless one because Nate knew what he wanted going in; kudos to him for that. Admittedly, we both share the same theory on what a logo should be, or more importantly, what it shouldn’t be. I realize that this factored greatly in the design coming together so quickly. However under normal circumstances, designing logos very rarely goes this smoothly, so I think I’m going to just sit back and enjoy this one for a little while.