I’ve always been drawn to brands that have consistent and appealing design. Call it the graphic designer inside me. Call it being drawn to the beautiful, to the neat and tidy. Regardless of what you call it, I always wanted that. I always wanted something to call my own. Something to set me apart from the rest. That was the end goal of this project. I wanted to brand myself in such a way that made me that neat and consistent brand.
In order to do this I had to start somewhere, and what better place to start than to create my own personal logo? I needed it to be refined and professional, versatile, timeless, and a good representation of myself and my abilities to design. I needed it to be scalable so I could stick it on a business card or a billboard, so vectorizing it was essential. Lastly, I didn’t want to be like the thousand other designers that throw their name on a business card with a neat sans-serif font and call it good; I wanted more.
With all of this in mind I set off to work. I started with sketching. A lot of sketching. At first almost all of my efforts were directed at creating a logo with my initials. There was enough steam behind this idea that it almost ended up being my final concept, until I started to loathe it. I don’t know if it is the curse of the graphic designer, or some subliminal hatred of everything I create, but the longer I spend trying to refine something, the more I start to resent the work, and then I start to resent myself. To keep my sanity, I went a different direction in the end.
I decided to scrap this idea because I am more than just my name; so I went back to the drawing board (or sketchbook in this case). I thought about who I am and what I represent. As I was sitting there stewing over potential identifiers and branding the word “Apex” came to my mind. Normally I don’t think that epiphanies are the best source of valid design choice, but this time the word just wouldn’t leave. Plus there were some subtle connections: I’ve always been a big guy and I like to think I can make myself a presence in a room if necessary. As such I went along the route of including an animal mascot to accompany my logo, and I settled on a gorilla in the end.
At this point I vectorized the logo and settled on the name of Apex Design: feeding from being an Apex predator, having the word APE within the name, and showing that the design I create is at the top of its game (and I’m humble too). I then received critique from colleagues and peers and fixed things about the design until I felt like it was refined. I struggled slightly with making sure that the balance between realism and simplicity that I was going for was met. The critiques I received helped in that regard.
When I had the overall shape and layout firmly in place I went through and played around with some color schemes. I won’t show them to you here, because frankly none of them worked. Despite my best efforts on the front of implementing good color theory, I was unsuccessful. As such I settled on a deep gray with a white contrasting logo to work on darker backgrounds.
Overall, I am proud of the way that the logo turned out and I believe it is a fair representation of who I am as a designer and as a person. There were numerous changes and redos that occurred over the course of this project, but I believe they were all for the better and helped me learn and grow along the way.