Let's build a logo
I'm going to be honest, I haven't made a logo before. I don't have the money to hire someone, so I'll just have to figure it out on my own.
Going into this session, I wanted to create a symbol that encapsulates Simplex Minds.
What is Simplex Minds?
It's a platform for people who are doing what they can to make the complex look simple.
So my thinking was to create something complex out of simplistic shapes.
What complex shape should I aim to make? A brain.
A brain as a symbol makes a lot of sense here. Simplex Minds is about learning and progress. It's about turning what you have learned into something new.
I found a brain vector online that was semi-simplistic and used it as the base for the logo. Then I used the golden ratio circles, shown in the left and began to roughly outline the brain. In the end, I got the symbol on the very right.
With this session I was kinda happy with the results, but I wasn't satisfied. It makes sense for "Simplex Minds," but it didn't feel right for what I wanted to try and portray. It didn't feel simplex. It didn't have that energy, that I envisioned, so I moved on to a 2nd session days later.
With this second session, I wanted to go a different route. I scrapped the brain idea and just wanted to build a symbol that I felt represented the word simplex.
Here's some of the requirements I put in place going into this logo building process:
- Has to feel appropriate
- Needs to be distinctive/memorable
- It has to be simple enough to be able to draw
(These requirements mostly came from videos by The Futur on YouTube).
I first started with just drawing a bunch of different simplistic polygons next to each other, intersecting each other, until I found something I thought was interesting.
This unfinished cube caught my eye, so I decided to try and expand on that.
I am not sure why, but none of the symbols I was working on felt good. I was changing stroke widths, rotating the symbol, but the squares just didn't feel right. It was too sharp. The corners felt too clean cut. It felt like there was a specific start and end to the symbol.
I always thought of simplex as a more circular kind of concept. So I started to mess around with circles instead. (As seen through the bottom two rows). I tried to use the same connecting concept of the squares with the circles and it still didn't feel right. I liked how in the first column, third down it had a subtle "S" in it. But still, it was too clunky. It felt like it was trying to hard to be something it wasn't. Then I deleted the connecting lines and adjusted the stroke length of one of the circles (2nd column, 4th down) and it started to feel right.
Liking the way the skinnier circle felt more like a sketch and the thicker circle feeling more finished, I took it to a new doc and worked on it there.
I decided on the bottom left design, and it just felt right. The left circle feels very much like a beginning idea. Whenever you have an idea, you begin with a "sketch" of what you want to accomplish. Do you necessarily know exactly what it is going to be? Not really. You put down a blueprint and you work on it until you get the final piece, which is the corresponding right circle.
Now back to the criteria I put in place:
Does it feel appropriate? Yes.
Is it distinct and memorable? Well, I guess you will have to decide that.
Is it simple enough to draw? Yes.
Overall, I am really happy with how this process went and I feel like I learned a lot throughout the whole process. This was my first go around with making a logo. Simplex has been with me for a while, and I wanted to be able to symbolize it in a way that was simplistic and made sense.
Here's the first official word mark and logo for Simplex Minds:
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