Donut in Photoshop

Started by drawing two circles using the ellipse tool, selecting these in the Paths palette and filling with black(⇧F5). Then used the Warp tool to give a more realistic donut like shape.

The next step is to add volume and colour. This is achieved using several effects in the layer styles panel beginning with Bevel and Emboss

This gives us a pretty convincing shape. Now to work on the the colour. Using a radial gradient overlay with the panel setting below.

These are the colour stops I used but there are many possibilities.

Next adding drop shadow and an inner shadow. The drop shadow is simple enough. The inner shadow has the following values

The outer chocolate takes on a deeper color adding a touch of realism. In the satin option I reduced the opacity to soften the orange layer. Now for the toppings.

In brush presets altering the scattering until we get something like the preview windwow. Now its just a case of applying an appropriate colour.

My final touch was adding a Bevel and Emboss to the toppings layer to give the more dimension.


Taking it to the Computer

Had a few decent shapes in rough form, and wanted to see how they translated to screen if at all.

At this point I wasnt that pleased. The all looked pretty bland, uninspiring etc. By this stage I was comitted, and just made attempts to salvage something. I applied some colour in hope of giving them more form, and produced some drafts.

Injecting some colour helped, but they are still too basic. I was struggling for a name. Myrtil is the name of a butterfly in  French. Since this was the main impetus for the logo I went with that until something better came along

Rough Sketches

These are my sketches showing some of my thinking

I started off with the the flowers in the top right, and how insects move from one to another. In doing so cause pollination, rejuventation. I likened this rejuvenation to creation of thoughts, sharing of ideas etc between individuals when engaged in this act, and the mobile provider as the insect that facililtates this. Also I thought the idea of flight represented freedom of movement, mobility. So I went with this concept.

I tried out different wing and body configuration in hope of finding a pattern that I liked, or thought might work. I ticked a couple along the way that I would come back to later

Here I tried looking side on, hoping to get a reduced form that might work. At this point I kind of felt stuck, probably over committed to the butterfly idea, which wasnt working that well, but nothing else came to mind.

This is trying to flesh out one of the earlier ideas which was just a pen stroke. Im trying to give ot some substance some form, but my drawing skills are not that great. I just feel something is missing.


Here Im looking at logo for mobile companies. Some are operator, some sell handsets etc. Ive also looked at some of the smaller carriers

The compaies vary in size. some are large international compannies with both hardware and software platforms. Some are highly recognisable brands such as O2. Other are less reocognised carrier who have larger overseas markets.


Branding Imagery

1. Computing

Sun Microsystems was one of the largest Computer companies of the 80’s and 90’s with the likes of IBM, and Microsoft. this logo always stood out to me. No matter how you read it it says Sun. I really like its clean geometry.
Arguably the most iconic firm today. Likes its product range its logo oozes sophistication. I like the fact that the icon is so strong it does not require the wordmark. Well its an apple obviously !!
Raspberry Pi is a small UK computing company creating a lot of international buzz at the moment with the release of their $25 mini computer. I think this is a fitting logo.This thickness of the contours make it seem more playful, informal, appealing to the enthusiasts, hobbyist, one the potential markets. The colours  imply vibrancy, energetic which again fits the buzz around this very young company.

2. Software

A programming language brought to us in the mid 90s from Sun Microsystems. Was set to be a game changer. It key slogan  ‘Write once Run Anywhere’ . Hence there was no need to rewrite Software  for different Operation Systems or devices. This could potentially save millions in the development cycle. Was ubiquitous in the late 90s early 2000s as its Virtual Machine was in most web browsers like Flash today, but never managed to capitalise on this. Although it does have the distinction today  of being the worlds most widely used programming language (PL), covering all sectors.

The marketing was rather innovative. Up until this point the naming conventions for PLs  were usually

  • acronyms
  • named  after the inventor
  • some obscure mythical reference

Java was named so because is sounded cool, unique, and easy to spell and fun to say. It is also the name of a coffee hence the logo. This really was ingenious. Still to this day I cannot think of a PL that has a logo, let alone one so distinctive. The free flowing line give and sense calm, ease not to serious.

This is the logo for Google Android. Google’s mobile Operating System. First of all I love the name. It doesn’t have ‘OS‘ in it. We all know what OS means right!. Is soo redundant.

I think the logo is great. Its definitely fun. It smacks of  being hip, youthful etc.. It  makes me smile. Probably because it reminds me of Metal Mickey. Also Google have given a lot of leeway in regards to the use of the logo. Hence they see its playfulness as a marketing asset.

I think the jigsaw design is well thought out. You get the sense of the individual parts, in this case the applications working together in unison to achieve the desired goal. This is perfect for a productivity suite. I think this was a very successful campaign as many other companies began producing similar designs. The use of block primary and secondary colours has become the norm amongst many tech firms. Ebay and Google are good examples. I could be wrong but I think the Microsoft Windows logo was the first example of this.

3. Food and Drink

I love the simplicity of this logo, which kind of expresses the simplicity of the product. This is exemplified in the slogan “Nothing, but nothing, but fruit”.  the really push the fact that their products are free from additives, pure hence innocent.

The logo plays on this concept in a number of ways. The halo, obviously associated with innocence, purity etc. Secondly the eyes are gazing  up at you as if the product is  a small child looking  up for your approval. These can be quite strong emotional pulls.

This is such a clever design. It actually looks like prescription medicine. So straight away your gonna think there’s going to lots of health benefits if you take this. Genius! The colours a really bright , you are immediately drawn to them. The text layout is very strict, formal, very medical which again makes you think this is something to be taken seriously.  I think the brand name  is a good example of a logotype.


4. Motors

So many motor companies have obscure logos which may look good but off the bat you wouldn’t know what they mean or how they relate to the company. This is just an inspired bit of typography. It seems so simple when you look at it. Enclosing the type in a circle gives it the logo feel. You would be hard pressed to do better than this.

5. US Team Sports

These are team logos from the WCL: World Combat League. A full contact, continuous fighting promotion owned by Chuck Norris. Brings together a mixture of kickboxing and martial art styles. Harkens back to the hey day of full contact sports karate  with standouts such Chuck Norris and ‘Superfoot’ Bill Wallace.

When it comes to these logos you dont have to think to much deriving meaning from the logos, its pretty there, right in front of you. I find them visually striking, I absolutely love them. I first came across them in 2010. These logos in particular were one of the driving factors for me to do and  introductory Graphic Design course at the end of 2010.

6. Tv Channels

I  like these logos for their informality. By their color range and style they are all are geared towards a young audience. Comedy Central use a comic style illustration. It kind of denotes a freedom of expression. MTv create a similar by feel by using a spray paint style font. Both allow alot of variation within its brand guidelines. You can find them in many stlye and colors.

E4 has opted of a fairly loud color, and a bold bubble style. This gives off a young, casual, hop vibe. The placement of the E is a great use of the white space inside the 4.

7. Energy Drinks

Follow very similar design rules to sports team logos (STL). Although there is a lot more freedom to draw on other contemporary references.

Gatorade is one of the more established, arguably the leader of the pack. Really does look like a STL with good reason. You buy in the concept that your buying something that professional athletes would use. It has been associated with American Football since time immemorial. I haven’t followed  American Football in over 20 years and even I have vivid memories of the celebratory gesture where the Superbowl winning coach is dowsed in a tub  of Gatorade by the team. This is an act that is deeply ingrained in  the hearts of the American people. Through this alone Gatorade has cemented its place in the public consciousness. Its not as flashy as the new kids on the block, but it doesn’t have to be. Its well established, and part of the culture.

Amp’s logo follows the same rules as Gatorade and sports logos in essence but clearly looks upto date, fresh, vibrant. Yet simple and clean. Like most STL it makes use of ‘energetic verbs’ i.e verbs dealing with energy, the release of energy etc.
Relentless (by CC!) is one of those logos that draws on cultural references. It uses a very expressive black-letter font with embellishments making for an ornate logo. Black-letter has had revival of late finding new expression in body art especially within extreme sports communities. It is particularly conspicous within BJJ and MMA circles.

Random Thoughts

I was astounded to read this is a Coca Cola product. Im not sure if it was always a sub division or  a recent acquisition. Either way its serves as a great example of how to tackle new markets. Coca can be considered a victim of its own success. It is well established. Arguably one the worlds most popular brands etc and as such is not expected to change. In fact the public dont respond too well when it does. This explains the slew of variants that havent done so well. So you know right away Energy Coke is pretty much gonna fail !

But Coca Cola are huge. Should they care about this market?

Heres my take:

Person A who typically drinks coke, sees all these new energy drinks which are all the rage to the mo, so decides to buys one. If (s)hes buying the new energy drinks (s)hes buying coke! This relatively new market seems as though it going to be here for a while (or to stay), so this eventually hits Coca Cola bottom line.

Coca Colas answer:

  • Produce a new drink  to compete in this marketplace with coca cola brand name nowhere in site or substantially reduced. This way will not be judged a Coca Cola product.
  • Find a small but rapidly rising company in the market place, buy it out,  and add it to your portfolio

This situation reminds me a lot of the Walt Disney / Touchstone setup. End of ramble!

The Monster logo is clearly influenced recent crop of horror /  slasher flicks.

8. Multinationals

Arguably one of the best rebranding campaigns that Ive come across. It uses this wonderful 18 point geometric design coloured to resemble a sunflower. The previous logo was  the shield. This could be considered adversarial, along with other possible negative connotations as the shield is a weapon of war. The new logo casts BP in a positive light, much more approachable even friendly, environmentally conscious etc.

9. Delivery Serives.

Arguably one of the worst redesign efforts Ive come across. The Consignia redesign threw away all RMs history in one fell swoop. This redesign was not well received by the public Thankfully they eventually saw sense and revert back to the original design. If there’s on thing Ive learned form the Museum of Brands is not to overly rework a design. Making Subtle changes, whilst retaining the essence of the original is usually the best way forward. On the left is a recent rethink [1] [2] of the classic design. I think it works quite well. They particularly did a good job of simplifying the crown

Very simple logo. Shortened form of Federal Express. Nice and punchy, easy to say, and remember. This shortened form itself exudes speed and efficiency. Perfect association for a delivery service. A positive side effect is that it became productive as a verb. People would say ‘I would like to FedEx this package’ regardless of the carrier ( David Airey, Logo Design Love, Pg 55-56). Never gripe at free marketing!

10. Clothing

Good use of type. The different weight of stems of the K and on the curvature of the C really comes through. The flattening / minimizing of the serif  brackets makes it crisp. The contrasting sizes is nice. Overall: crisp, clean, sharp, stylish, black. Reminds me of Art Deco styling done in a non Art Deco type

Exploring Brands

1. iMac from Apple

The iMac is an all in one desktop solution from Apple. The original reaches back to ’98 which is not that long considering how may redesign, innovations have taken place.

i. Packaging

Packaging for the original iMac 99. A key feature of packaging is photography. This 5 iMacs layed out in a flower arrangement to the front, and gradient tint applied to the handle section  for the side. On both side photo have been used in an illustrative way. The large scale Apple logo occupies most of the space and draws your focus. This is finished with Garamond Pro font for the text which was the standard for apple a t the time.

Packaging for the newer model follows the same principle. It is extremely minimalist, housed in a snow white box with the photograph of the iMac taking centre stage. On the side is the logo. The choice of font changes to sans-serif Myriad  from about 2002 – present. This sans serif is more in keeping with the clean simple approach to design Apple has taken towards its products, especially across the  mobile products.

I think this early ad works on so many levels. The layout is in a flower pattern design ,thus associated with natural forms. The colours are really vibrant, consisting of primary and secondary colours. You could almost imagine each one berries or some other fruit. Almost good enough to eat! This is emphasised by the world ‘Yum’ in large bold type

If this was a food ad at this point you may be thinking ‘ Yeh I’ll try one of those’ or ‘I could go for on of those’. In the case of food you would be spending a few pounds tops. But here yore looking at several hundred, so whilst its not the deciding  factor its certainly contributory. These are well tried and tested psychological ties. Here they are used effectively in this technology ad.

What is clearly different here is there is no mention on hardware spec. You know ‘this processor’ , ‘that amount of RAM’. Its not what they’re selling. You’re buying an experience, a lifestyle, wrapped in a beautiful aesthetic, rather than a piece of hardware.

The ad is topped off with the iconic logo and the slogan ‘Think different’
tying it to Apple long running innovative campaign with references to some of the most influential figures of the 20th Century

I think this multi pronged approached reached quite a large demographic. The bright colours and small footprint appeal to a younger audience. The overall aesthetic for the hardware and tightly coupled software such as iLife appeal to 20 – 40s bracket, especially those with and artistic background. With the help of the think different campaign it resonated with the more intellectually inclined.

Apple was never going to win on the corporate front.  Microsoft was too well entrenched and remains so. Apple marketing targeted the non office usage for its ‘Get a Mac’ campaign. Here it came across as hip, trendy

2. O2

Quite different approach to marketing seeing as thought the products are non tangible. They are services, not something you can package up and buy. This leads to some interesting approaches to marketing. In fact its almost a license to do anything as you are not limited by the requirements imposed by a physical product. With no tangible products to market focus is purely on getting the brand out there. Brand recognition becomes even more important.

Chocolate Bar in Photoshop

Started off by making a single block with the rectangle tool and filling with suitable shade of brown. To give the chunky block feel a Bevel and Emboss was applied.

To create a bar, its just a matter or duplicating the block into the required size. 3×4 was sufficient here.

The individual blocks were merged together using Merge Visible  ⌘E  whist holding down  ⌥ to make a copy.

To add a bit of visual interest the top right corner was selected with the Polygon Lasso Tool and slightly pulled away giving the effect of broken piece of chocolate. A drop shadow was also added to give more depth.

What we end up with is nice simple graphic which can pass for a chocolate bar. Now for the wrapper. We start by making a rectangle covering the lower half of the bar,giving it a suitable cover. The same Bevel and Emboss is used to give it form.

To give the wrapper  more realism  a rough selection is made at the top and masked away

Now for the label. I kept this very simple. Just a swirl from the custom shapes and blocky typeface for the text which  represents the chunkiness of the chocolate bar.

Starting with a rectange selection, filled with diamond gradient in difference mode. I dragged acrossed the selected area many time until I got the image in the top leftNext I applied  FIlter > Stylize > Emboss with the above settings. The result looks like crumple paper. The select was turned into a brush using Edit > Define Brush Preset  and the following setting applied to the brushThe brush was used in difference mode to randomly cover the whole layer, and a selection made as  backdrop to the chocolate

The Background

Start with a new document (600x600px) I used the gradient tool in with the settings pictured below

Clicking randomly  producing this rather psychedelic result. Then changing linear mode and dragging diagonally from the top right initially to produce the result to the left.The next step  adds filters to give a gooey texture. The filters were applied in the order shown below.

The filters have these settings:

The final step is to add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer to produce a chocolate color