Tagged: Design

Good Logo Design: U-Gro Case Study

Overthinking logo design using U-Gro's logo as an example
It's a logo that shouldn't work. I spent the past week visiting each of the U-Gro Learning Centres, from Harrisburg to York to Lancaster, and everywhere in between. At each location I provided an hour-long presentation for the kids. There was some juggling, a bit of science, and a lot of clowning around. And everywhere I went, I was faced with this logo. I couldn't help but analyze it. The font weights between characters vary. There are tapered weights within individual characters, sometimes Read More

Faulty Aircraft Design

Flight company logos that didn't quite pan out
It happens. From time to time a project goes down in flames. I've gotten better at sniffing out the jobs that are going to be troublemakers, but sometimes they catch you by surprise. Unfortunately, they're usually ones I put a lot of work and time into. So I decided that rather than relegate the work to the dusty archive bin, why not feature my rejections in all their glorious shortcomings. A few years back I took on the task of developing a logo for a company that offers flight training, charter Read More

The Story of Design

Treating the elements of design as characters in a story
A few days ago my wife and I watched ourselves on the big screen. I recently shared a documentary that was made about us, and that documentary was entered into the Lancaster County Community Foundation's 5-Minute Film Festival where it won second place. (Congratulations to Alexander Monelli!) As a winning entry, it was then shown at Zoetropolis (a local art house and theatre), along with other top entries. There were quite a few great submissions, ranging from student work to professional films. Read More

40 Rules of Design

Forty rules of graphic design and web design
This week I turned forty. For about half of those years I've been a designer. What better way to celebrate than by compiling a list of my very own design rules? Never stretch a logo disproportionately Always push for details before starting a project Never use a style only because it's trendy Always design a logo in black and white first Never use your own child in an ad Always tell clients when you strongly disagree Never use more than two fonts in a logo Always be tactful when Read More

Design is a Joke

Design is a joke
One one stage you have the comedian who has great jokes but poor delivery. He gets few laughs. On another stage you have one with great style and delivery, but poor jokes. He gets many laughs. I do a lot of performing as a juggler. In my experience and via the stories of those more skilled in juggling, audiences simply want to be entertained. The difficulty of your patterns and the number of objects you juggle are relatively unimportant. The performer getting laughs using basic three-ball patterns Read More

“Juggle” Documentary

Documentary about a juggler/designer and clown/artist
This isn't our story. Rather, it's somebody else's story about us. I'm a juggler. I've been performing as a juggler for most of my life. Design is my bread and butter—but I'm also a juggler. It gets weirder. My wife is a clown. Her main job is fine art, but she is also a clown. And together we provide entertainment and perform stage shows. Now this site is about design (most of the time), so I won't go into too much detail about that side of our lives. But it provides some necessary background Read More

Office Design

Office space ideas courtesy of of Piksl Design
It was a Friday afternoon earlier this month when I realized I had a free weekend ahead of me. This does not happen very often, so I floated an idea by my wife: what if I did a weekend overhaul of my home office? At that point there was no turning back. Any thought of improving the appearance of our home gets her excited and she insisted it's something I had to do. So Saturday morning found me at Lowe's picking out paint. Kate's sister was visiting and the two of them were busy with their own Read More

Logo Tutorial #4: Be Fontastic!

Fonts are the most important design elements in a logo
Some of the liberties we're allowed in logo design stem from the fact that we're including the company name along with the imagery. The big boys like Nike and Apple can get away with just an icon. Your local heating and cooling business can't. Neither can most of the businesses you'll be working with. And this brings us right to the main point. The text portion of your logo is just as important as the image. Even more, the text is part of the image. The two are inseparable. If you spend days developing Read More

Logo Tutorial #3: Don’t Be Literal

Logo Tutorial #3: Don't be literal when designing logos
What is a logo? In the corporate world it's an image or a mark that represents a company, division, program or product. To keep this tutorial simple, let's focus on the company logo. This logo will be many people's first introduction to your company. We all know first impressions are important. And the weight of that makes people want to explain clearly what their company does—via their logo. That desire makes sense. However, the pursuit of that goal will usually cause you to pass over the Read More

Periods in Phone Numbers

Should you use periods in phone numbers?
This is one article to which many people will reply, "Who cares?" So let's begin by reviewing the name of this site—"Overthinking Design." Admittedly, this is a small issue that I've put too much thought into. But with design the details matter, and text formatting is often overlooked. So buckle yourself in as we take a close look at…phone numbers! When it comes to designing text there are two main goals. Above all, you want the text to be understood and processed quickly. Second, Read More