Logotype by Hand

I’ve always felt that the first sketches for a new logo are better done by hand. Nothing beats pen on paper. And since I’m stuck in the West Indies with only an old version of Photoshop on my laptop, there really wasn’t much of a choice. I’ve decided to start a business down here, maybe. So this logo is for my own pleasure.

Pencil sketch:


While sketching I somehow remembered how all the boys in my classroom way back in the 70’s used to sit and draw logos of different heavy metal bands. And platform shoes. I had my mum buy me a pair of jeans covered sandals with high, solid heals, can’t remember what they’re called. They had embroidered flowers on top (I still love embroideries) and the ”coolest” kid in our class said it was the ugliest shoes he’d ever seen, when I had just passed him. I don’t think I used them much after that. Oh well.


A logo is supposed to represent a company and somehow convey what the business is about. I put a pen on top but decided to simplify. I still like Led Zeppelin so I decided to do a 70’s bell bottom inspired logo:

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I somehow liked the ”A” so put its leg up on the letter before, silly and nothing to do with my non existent business. As a Graphic designer with years of experience, I am entitled to do whatever I please, so I carried on.

Next I traced the image a couple of times, tried to improve the lines and make them even. Since I know of no scanner in this god forsaken nation, I used Photoboot to get the traced image into Photoshop:

Kalligra photoboot1.jpg

After a lot of cropping and level changing to make that much too dark image I got this:

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Once inside the program, I used my Wacom tablet and painstakingly drew a path for every letter. Somewhere along the line I decided a rounded version might be fun to have too.

Skärmklipp 2016-11-30 00.01.19.png

Once the paths were all there I started to play with them in Photoshop. I placed an image in the background, taken at the beach the same morning. I then used the path to create new layers, copying, filling, until I got a ”cool” logo image.


Now that’s a pretty useless picture to have. Looks like an old postcard. My daughter was making business card by some technique which involved a lot of wash up liquid. I stole a piece of paper from her, took a picture of it with my Iphone 5 (graciously handed down to me when she bought a 6, or was is 7?)


The same process started again. I won’t describe it, there’s so many people doing Photoshop tricks on the internet you can probably find a similar thing out there. Also I don’t really remember what I did, so there’s another reason for not telling.


Sometimes I get terribly stuck on an idea, so I tried again with another slip of ”bubbles”, this time I used my bell bottom logo path:


Quite a hippie thing, eh? Or was it Led Zep?

This type of Photoshop jpg’s are no good when printing large or making signs. For that you really, really need vector graphics. Since my old version of Illustrator CS3 just would not work on a brand new MacBook Pro Retina (strange thing that Photoshop CS3 does) I started rummaging the internet searching for a free alternative to Illustrator. As fast as a swaying West Indian Hot Spot in the middle of nowhere would let me, that is.

What I found was Inkscape. Getting my Photoshop path into Inkscape turned out to be no easy task, I can tell you that much. But since I’m likely to be less than alone with this problem, I’ve decided to give my account of that process in another post.

The jpg I’ve produced is designed to be used on my brand new Facebook page, when I get round to starting it, that is.