Ok, here is the thing: I’m not a designer. For the most part I’m just a semi-decent code monkey with an overblown online ego. I do know a lot of the principles that drive good design, and I can talk shop with designers, but actually doing the stuff they do is not my strong point. Like most people I have dabbled in Photoshop on an occasion to put 48point Impact font, all caps text on a picture of a cat… But designing logos, icons and the like – that’s something that borders on arcane magic for me.
Whenever I sit down and try to Photoshop something from scratch it ends up looking like an equivalent of uncoordinated drawing your kid made at school and now wants you to put it on the fridge. And you don’t have a heart to tell the kid that his carefully crafted art looks like someone just had an epileptic attack with the shit-brown crayon all over the page. I’m really good at producing shops of that type of quality. It’s actually quite amazing – I can spend six hours fucking around with layers, gradients, shadows, masks and the like, but when all is said and done, you could swear it was done in MS Paint.
Case in point: I wanted to design a logo for Terminally Incoherent. Logos are cool. They make you look more professional. They personalize your site, they make for nice icons you can use in other places. For example you can make yourself a coffee mug with your logo, and make it a conversation piece. Or put it on your business card. Not that I really need mugs or business cards – but it’s a nice to have that option.
Actually, I would want the logo for the following purpose:
- Unify all the different things I’m doing under Terminally Incoherent banner – like the forums, my Tumblr, the Facebook page, the Steam group and etc.. A logo would go a long way to visually tie these things together
- Replace the favicon – the Ti icon you see above in your address bar/tab bar is pretty much a representation of my design skills. An unimpressive square with lettering. It is simple and it works, but it is not much of a “logo” really.
- Replace the banana icons I hand out to long time Teminalists. These always need to be explained.
I was sort of inspired by the neat Markdown Logo designed by Dustin Curtis. All he did was to put a letter M in a rectangle, but note how his design is miles ahead of my crappy favicon. It has nice rounded edges, well thought out proportions, carefully chosen font face and etc.. That’s the sort of attention to detail I would like. That said, I’m not married to the Ti acronym – especially since that’s already kinda trademarked by Texas Instruments so I can’t really lay a claim to it. I really just want something clean, simple and functional that would be unique to this site and this community.
Here is a working list of my requirements:
- Preferably two colors: white and orange
- Minimalistic – as few strokes, shapes and symbols as possible
- Reducible to 16×16 favicon size – you should still be able to recognize at that scale
- Be at least somewhat representative of the topics we discuss here
- Bonus points if you can make textual approximation (like [M↓] for markdown)
So far I don’t really have a clear vision, but I have been bouncing a few ideas around. I’m not really set on any of them yet.
Idea the first, was a planet swoosh. Kinda like the one SciFi channel used in their old logo before they decided to rebrand themselves as “the channel formerly known as SciFi which now hates nerd stuff and only airs wrasselin, and reality shows”. Kinda like this:
I really like the Nike logo + half crescent design of the mini-saturn like planet. I would totally steal it, but then again that would be kinda pointless. I’d rather have something original, but along similar line of thought. Huge amount of the topics I cover here on this blog have something to do with science, science fiction or both so a planet with rings seems at least a bit relevant.
I actually attempted to create my own version of this logo in Photoshop and/or Inkscape. I won’t even show you what I ended up with, because it’s embarrassing. The magnitude of my failure was overwhelming, and I was quite ashamed of myself. Plus, I’m not sure if this is the right way to go.
Idea the second… You know what – let me just show you: [#_]
No, seriously. Check it out: the brackets are kinda like a terminal window. The hash mark is like a root prompt. The underscore is the cursor – which may or may not be blinking. In some fonts the underscore connects and blends in with the bracket making it look even more like a tiny window. Terminally Incoherent – terminal, terminal apps, etc.. Get it? It is fairly representative of the topic matter, and it’s mostly text. I would basically just need to find a good looking font to use in the graphics. Or just, you know – draw it.
Plus it’s searchable. Someone may not remember how to spell terminally or incoherent, and whether or not there is a dash in the middle of the domain name – but they could remember the logo, and then google it. The more I think about it, the more I like it.
What do you think? What are your suggestions for Terminally Incoherent logo? Do you have font suggestions? Any other considerations? Let me know in the comments.