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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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How Giving Away A Free Logo Design Benefited The Whole Community

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Influential Blogger

Back in May I ran a competition where I asked JCD readers to comment why they should be the winner of a free logo design, designed by myself. In total there were 65 entries however I ended up choosing Janette Toral from Influential Blogger as the final winner of the free logo design.

I chose Janette to be the winner based purely on the fact that the new logo / badge could be used by many people rather than by just one individual, thus benefiting the whole community. I am now briefly going to go through the process of creating Janette’s logo and also show you the logo in use.

Background Information

Before I explain the logo design concept I shall give you a bit of background information… The   purpose of Janette’s website Influential Blogger is to get people all over the world to vote for the most influential blogs that are emerging each year and to narrow it down to the top 10 most influential emerging blogs for the current year.

This year there were a total of 177 entries and the winners were announced on August 11th at a dinner function held in Manila, Philippines. You will find the photos from the dinner below.

The Brief

Naturally, I start my logo design process in the usual way and get all the information I need off the client before I begin designing but to cut a long story short, after all our discussions and emails, Janette and myself concluded that a unique, simple logo somehow incorporating a ‘spotlight’ was the direction that we would go in.

There would be two versions of the logo; one version for the header of her blog, and another ‘badge’ version that would be placed in the sidebars of the 10 winner’s blogs. This meant that the logo had to work at small and large sizes – this also being one of the principles of good logo design.

Janette also stated that the badge version of the logo had to have the words ‘Emerging Influential Blog for 2008′ and that it had to convey to people to “watch out for this blog”.

You can see the logo (badge version) below and the header version at the top of this article.

Influential Blogger Badges

The Concept

Crown Lights The concept behind the final logo was to portray a crown shaped out of 5 rays of light. The crown is a symbol of power, legitimacy, strength, righteousness, victory, triumph, resurrection, honour and glory… all traits that an influential blogger has. The ray of light is a symbol of ‘being in the spotlight’ and also of being searched, (ie. a torch) which relates back to the actual purpose of Influential Blogger… to search out the most influential blogs.

The Challenges

The Semiotics

The challenge in creating this logo was not creating a crown or spotlight itself but bringing both of these icons together to form one identifiable logo. This took a lot of sketching on paper and also a lot of experimentation with gradients and transparency in Illustrator. Janette and myself finally decided on the simple transparent / gradient concept which you can see in the final logo above.

The Effects

I purposely made the logo not look too much like a crown, nor too much like a spotlight so as not to put too much light on each one (excuse the pun) rather, have the the image as one identifiable logo that could be seen as two separate objects. I achieved the this through the use of gradients and transparency which effectively shows that the rays of light are not solid objects.

This technique of using two objects / icons is also very much alike my personal JCD logo seen at the top of this blog… the logo can be seen as a pencil, as well as the initials JCD.

The Text

Another challenge was the actual amount of text that had to be included in the badge version of the logo. As previously mentioned, the logo had to work both at large sizes and small sizes, such as when people placed the badge on their own blog. For this reason, I was limited to placing only 1 or 2 words per line.

To help counter this limitation I used different sized text and shading to give hierarchy to what is read first. On first notice you will read the word Influential Blogger, then later read “Emerging, For 2008″.

The Colour

The colour blue was chosen based on surveys that I conducted of what colour people associated with the word ‘potential’ and also the personal choice of Janette herself. Below you can see some colour variations on an earlier concept of the logo.

Early Concepts

Below you can see the final logo to be used on the header of Influential Blogger.

Influential Blogger

Below you can see the final badges again that were used on the blogs of the top 10 influential blogs.

Influential Blogger Badges

Photos From Award Ceremony

Below you can see some photos from the Influential Blogger award ceremony that was held in Manila.

The dinner turn out in Manila.

Influential Blogger Dinner

Receiving Recognition

Influential Blogger Dinner

Certificate of Recognition Award. Notice the badge logo?
Influential Blogger Dinner

The Function Room
Influential Blogger Dinner

There are a lot more photos of the event at the links below.

Write-ups

Not only did the logo make its way to the dinner at Manilla, onto all of the Influential Blogger Certificates and videos, it also found its way onto many of the bloggers websites who were involved in the ‘competition’ of which you can see some of the write ups below…

The Benefits Of Giving

As you can see, by offering your services for free you can get a lot of exposure for your work along with benefiting the community as a whole.

It hasn’t been the first time that JCD has given something away for free either… We have given away over $5000 worth of prizes away in a Graphic Design Group Writing Project and we have also given away prizes here and here and here and here and here and here and we also offer a free type classification ebook. What are you offering for free?

As always constructive criticism, questions and feedback is welcome.



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