Lazy Type Logos

2 minute read

My friends like to joke with me that I’m too invested in the “2D World” when I spend hours of free time learning some new development framework or building apps. That’s a fair assessment at times, and something I still have to learn how to balance.

This past week for me has mostly been spent in the “3D realm”. It has consisted of a week of moving and organizing, celebrating with friends and family, and even hitting the golf course a couple of times. It’s been fun, hectic, and exciting.

What I’ve probably obsessed the most about this week is my experience building a site with Gatsby JS, and learning more about the intricacies of GraphQL and trying to remember good JavaScript syntax. But that is all going to be unraveled in a Gatsby JS post soon to come.

This week the other thing I did do when I had a minute, was to create a few banner logos for projects I’ve worked on recently. I figured it would be a good opportunity to share.

Typography as Logos/Branding

It’s hard to draw. Harder still to build an engaging and memorable logo and branding. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to side projects and open source - time is usually just not on your side. What I’ve learned to do in the absence of a great idea and the ability to craft it has been to go minimalist and go textual.

tilt app icon

The app icon for an early iOS project of mine - tilt (today i learned that) - just slightly tweaked the app’s title to make it unique (and to fit nicely in the rounded rectangle of iOS App Icons).

For an Instagram portfolio site I built for my friend Matt, I mocked a simple design from Cincinnati’s Museum Center in Affinity Designer. The strong and minimal Union Terminal silhouette in the site’s primary color along with the strong Midwest Art Deco in San Francisco.

Midwest Art Deco

Sometimes literally all you need is type. Resting on the hard work of the font designers and mixing in just a dash of your own visual flair can be all you need for a quick design. It’s all I needed for a recent Android project I did called Templato.

Templato logo

Mix font weights and placement, toss in an interesting gradient, and your design is complete!

I followed a similar approach for building a recent Jekyll site for a friend, but this time with a splash of emoji.

Greg Puskaric logo

It’s simple but effective, and it doesn’t take long to make. I usually create logos in Affinity Designer - a more affordable alternative to Adobe Illustrator - and something like this took me under five minutes.

I know it can seem borderline lazy to just build all of your logos out of tex, but consider all of the brands out there that are strictly type. Google for instance is strictly typography. You can still convey a memorable message about what your product is just by some basic typography and color.

Next Week, on Weekly Obsession

I think next week I’ll be able to share my work on my Gatsby JS starter site and some reflection on my process building it. Also probably some thoughts on Google I/O that’s going on this week. Not to mention I’m prepping for WWDC this month! Stay tuned.