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hand sketches of ConcatLab logo

selection matrix of logo concepts

hand sketches of ConcatLab logo

logo concepts with varying image effects

I find branding to be very interesting, so I couldn’t resist the chance to do some of my own for this site. In this post I will describe the process by which I arrived at my current design.

Brain Dump

I began by just sketching out anything that came to mind. Some ideas were pretty awful but it was a good exercise to determine what I liked and disliked. As the ideas flowed and transformed, I began to see the general direction that I wanted to go.

The real turning point for me came when I broke out the compass. A couple concentric circles later and I felt that I was really onto something. There was a bit of a confidence boost as well. I had seen all the compass arcs and lines in those awesome hand sketches for famous corporate logos, and now I was seeing some of those same elements in mine. I began to feel like I almost knew what I was doing.

Choosing a Theme

Logos often convey hidden meanings or symbols, and I wanted mine to do so as well. What I came up with was the plus sign, which helps demonstrate that this site is about combining ideas. So, I began to work on incorporating a “+” into each concept.

Constraining the Problem

Once I decided on a general theme I setup some constraints to force me to be creative in different ways. What I chose to do was draw every letter using only fixed diameter circles and a grid tangent to them. For any angles I set a rule of 45-degrees only.

Not only did this make my design much more consistent and symmetrical, but it resulted in some unique letters that I would not have envisioned otherwise.


Once I found something that really struck my fancy, I began working out the small details: letter shape, spacing, etc. To make this easier I transferred my sketches to vector graphics in Inkscape, where I could more freely manipulate and compare things.

The result was a 4x5 grid of concepts demonstrating various, subtle deviations. I varied the capital letters in the columns and the lower case styles in the rows. Comparing them all head-to-head I was able to choose the one I liked the most and the one you now see on this site.

Colors & Effects

For colors I wanted a weighted average of my favorite colors - blue & green - with a tinge of grey. I opted for a dark teal color and then used varying shades of it as secondary colors. I colored the capital letters using the darker shade to make them pop more.

In choosing all of the colors I found to be a great resource. All I had to do was come up with my primary color using the palette and the site provided a huge trove of information about it --- triadic colors, complementary colors, monochromatic shades, and numerous CSS code snippets for using it on my site. These proved especially invaluable when it came time to customize this blog template.

I really could have stopped here, but I couldn’t resist playing with some of the filters and effects in Inkscape. I tested out nearly every style of drop shadow, and finally found some that spiced things up just enough. I particularly liked the cutout effect, which I eventually chose to use as the main logo on the site menu.

Wrapping Up

So that’s the story. I’m pretty happy with the end result and am proud to have done it all on my own. I think the typeface closely resembles some of the Bauhaus style fonts, and the design I chose lent itself to creating a nice square logo for a thumbnail and favicon.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!


  1. I read your post. It was very nice. I learned something knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing.

    school logo design

    1. Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it. Will be posting about another logo design soon.