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Logo Design Tutorials: Animals


davidson

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hey guys,

so ive recently been doing a bit of work for another board member on some aussie rules logos and i thought id use the work as a chance to continue my logo design tutorials. as promised the second set would be animal based. although with these i think im going to take a slightly different tack. i found that my head tutorial might be a little prescriptive in terms of the process. so with this series i thought i would post this first logo design its process and then as i produce more i can post similar timelines.

so as you can see, i have tried to simplify the steps to a broader set of principles. this is generally the way i work and despite differences in the way some logos are produced, these are the basic steps i use to go from scratch to a finished article.

sketching

so this is often the hardest part of design. you tend to have a nebulous idea in your head as to what you want your finished product to look like. its very important to make sure you get this stage right. if you get your proportions wrong, then anything you produce subsequently will look wrong also. its very hard to right the ship/ polish the turd etc etc once this stage is done. thats why i like to use lots of resource material. now, there are plenty of images of crows on the net, but something that stood out was the funny little silhouette i found. now its not exactly what i wanted, but it was quite close and enough to give me the basic proportions of crow. from there i started to sketch out some basic lines, altering the shape where necessary. you can see the first couple of iterations i did of this until i was happy. finally i started to flesh out a little more detail that didnt exist in the silhouette, but things i liked in other images. in particular the wing tips. here you can see i have used the splayed lines to make sure the wing tips line up giving it a dynamic feel.

illustrating

this is where we really start try and hone the shape. this often requires lots of fiddling. i often tend to find ill become frustrated at this point and set it down for a few hours and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. this tends to make any little erroneous lines or shapes stand out. in the second image you can see im starting to think about the shape of the face and features. i have also enlarged the near wing and the talons to give it a more aggressive and dynamic feel. finally here is where you might start sketching up some of the colours and detail. nb. please remember that sometimes you will need to work with the coloured areas in the sketching stage. this will become apparent when i post other logo processes.

refining

so by the time you finished the bulk of the illustration youre really 90% of the way to a final logo. all i have done here is colour the logo, make any final tweaks and then any outlines you need. as you may know from other threads, im a big proponent of hand drawing the whole logo. there is a time and place for the stroke tool, its not for slapping on carefully crafted lines. here you can see where i have increased the thickness of the line and simplified the outline (around the feet) to make the outline feel like part of the design.

davidson_design_tutorial_crows.jpg

well thats it for the first one, ill try and post more of these as i trawl through my back catalogue and produce more work. i hope its of use to some of you guys. please post any work you produce that this tutorial has helped you with. or you can post images if you are stuck and ill do my best to offer advice. below is the final logo if youre interested.

CROWS.png

CROWS_1.png

cheers

fraser

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Davidson: I am loving these tutorials. How do you go about making your outlines (the gray outline on the crow)? Do you draw them by hand, or do you merge all the parts of your logo and then apply an outside stroke? I usually do that, but often time corners and points get really weird for me. Any tips?

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Davidson: I am loving these tutorials. How do you go about making your outlines (the gray outline on the crow)? Do you draw them by hand, or do you merge all the parts of your logo and then apply an outside stroke? I usually do that, but often time corners and points get really weird for me. Any tips?

yup. hand draw it. illustrator can be good for outlining some text, but you have to expand the stroke afterwards and pick out all the crud.

for anything complex like a logo similar to the crow, always hand draw it.

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Great tutorial, davidson. I use almost the exact same process, except that I complete the logo on paper first, in sharpie. Then I go ahead and trace the image on Inkscape, then make little refining and adjustments. I'm more of a drawing-based designer, and I don't always rely on my computer.

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Great tutorial, davidson. I use almost the exact same process, except that I complete the logo on paper first, in sharpie. Then I go ahead and trace the image on Inkscape, then make little refining and adjustments. I'm more of a drawing-based designer, and I don't always rely on my computer.

yeah, i mean they are just tools. depends whats most effective. i often scribble very very rough lines to get basic shapes using pen and paper, but i use the line tool because you have a better sense of the curves you are using. i find i get better results using as few tangents (handles or whatever you call them) on curves as possible, you get better more dynamic shapes. so i tend to get into ai as soon as possible.

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There's another very effective way to outline a logo without using strokes or hand drawing. Go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Not always perfect, but definitely great for quick outlines without the hassles of a stroke. What I like to do is offset the path, then redraw the areas that need help. It's a great way to get a consistent weight around the object.

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There's another very effective way to outline a logo without using strokes or hand drawing. Go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Not always perfect, but definitely great for quick outlines without the hassles of a stroke. What I like to do is offset the path, then redraw the areas that need help. It's a great way to get a consistent weight around the object.

Only problem with that is if you're using CS3 there's a really bad glitch in the software that puts multiple control handles all one on top each other which can be a total pain in the hoop.

What I do is a mixture of the two I'll do the whole offset path thing and then put that on a layer of it's own as a template and use it as a guide to draw my own, it means you can keep the shape accurate so the lines look parallel and it gives you total control of the number and position of your control handles.

9erssteve

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offset path is no different to placing a stroke behind an object, you get all the same issues.

its fine for the majority of text but absolutely useless for acute angles and curved angles like those on the wing tips.

i think that a constant width outline jars with any shapes that have been drawn by hand. i think you need to hand draw it

to get a variable lien width that lets you emphasize specific parts of a logo.

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just for reference, here is the logo with a hand drawn outline (left) and offset path (right)

now, obviously i havnt removed all the scraggy edges this tool creates, but thats kind of my point really. the time spent to correct all this stuff,

could be spent hand drawing an outline.

linewidth1.png

and here the black line is the offset path and the red line hand drawn. you can see that the curves created are smoother, but you can see where

you can emphasise line width on the beak, wing tips and simplified it on the feet and tail.

linewidth2.png

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just for reference, here is the logo with a hand drawn outline (left) and offset path (right)

now, obviously i havnt removed all the scraggy edges this tool creates, but thats kind of my point really. the time spent to correct all this stuff,

could be spent hand drawing an outline.

and here the black line is the offset path and the red line hand drawn. you can see that the curves created are smoother, but you can see where

you can emphasise line width on the beak, wing tips and simplified it on the feet and tail.

linewidth2.png

Thanks for the response! I usually start with the outline and then modify it because I don't always trust that I will get a consistent stroke width if I hand draw it. I just need to keep practicing at it!

For example, that is what I did with this drawing on The Clink Room's website:

Neptunas_FB.png

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cool. do you reckon you could use that logo and do a version where you draw the outline? just for :censored:s and giggles and so i can see. you can see on the crown where some odd shapes have been created.

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cool. do you reckon you could use that logo and do a version where you draw the outline? just for :censored:s and giggles and so i can see. you can see on the crown where some odd shapes have been created.

Well, if this logo gets voted on in the contest, then I will definitely address that issue (assuming I decide to keep the outline at all). And, eventually when I get time, I will probably work on cleaning it up for my portfolio. Thanks for these tutorials!

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Thank you very much, sir. I have struggled for a loooong time with humans and animals. Sometimes I get lucky with a sketch and it works out, but that is after a ton of extra labor. I can draw a human or animal, but getting it into that logo look has always been tough. Since I am hoping to use this a lot in the future I have been working on it for a while, and it doesn't seem to help much. I have gotten a bit better. I used your human tutorial for a logo I did here at work and it worked out beautifully. My reference image was actually a poor quality human head logo instead of a picture, but the process worked and I came out with something great. My process is very similar to yours, and others that have posted, but the results always seem to be lackluster. Since I work on sketching animal logos damn near every day, I plan to use your tutorial ASAP. This isn't to help my process, but to help me see shapes and the way they come together to form an image. I will reference the way you looked at your images, and basically try to train my eyes. I will let you see how it goes. And for the record I have almost always gotten lazy by the end of the design process and just offset the path to create an outline. The way you do it produces a much more dynamic and interesting result, I shall now renounce my laziness. Thank you again, and expect some animals coming from me soon. Just for the record, here is the human head I worked on.

Tutorial01.jpg

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