A Thing A Week 1: Logo Design

Posted by Jordan Chapman on Thu 15 September 2016

The Goal(s)

  1. Create and submit a logo for Robot Framework.
  2. Lean how to make cool logos

Some Background

Robot framework is an awesome, open source test automation framework that I have used a couple of times. While the framework is great (and the website is um interesting), the current logo is terrible.

I'm sure my mot--er creator loves me

Yup that's a picture of a toy robot roughly cut out of it's background. Even the creators of RF know it's bad, so bad that they even crated an issue asking for a new logo.

My Motivation

I was motivated to learn how to create cool logos after seeing a link to logo.pizza on HackerNews. The logos presented are at the same time simple and good looking. How hard can it be to make something simple? The answer of course is it's easy to make something simple, it's the good looking part that takes skill.

I can use Inkscape fairly well, but I've never really used it for anything that complicated or logoish before.

The Logos (or Attempts Thereof)

Ugh, these are rough. From top to bottom, here we go

  • Alright I want to make something retro-ish, let's try to make it look like the eyes of the current RF logo
  • Maybe I need a full head, let's make it more zany!
  • If I turn it sideways maybe it'll look like it's 3d. Nope it's almost screaming "please kill me"
  • I'll make a pickle robot! Gerkin => Pickle => Pickle Robot => Robot Framework. Wait I can barely make a pickle or a robot, how am I going to make a pickle robot?
Just some really bad logos

Alright time to just focus on the robot!

  • Parts of a robot I need, a hand and ...
  • A head!
  • Ugh, these look awful, how does that pizza guy do this? He just adds a magic thick border and everything looks better, let me try that.
  • Oh look, I should probably use these colors (except not for the main color for some reason...). And the border should be really thick!
  • Let's see how that border looks on the robot arm!
Some better bad logos

At this point I took a break from my robo-logo (rogo?) and made a bee and orange for some orange mead I made. I think these are the best that I've ever made.

  • Bee
  • Orange
  • What happens when a bee loves an orange very much
Some solid, non robot logos

Back to the ole robot drawing board, let's revisit some old ideas and try to improve them with big thick outlines!

Some thick lined logos (still bad)

All of those look too much like the steam logo, let's try making a full robot!

Eh, they're big and ugly

What I've Learned

Half the week's already gone by and I've made a couple different logos, here's what I've learned so far.

  • Googling for design is hard, many results are useless and contradictory
  • Ideas are hard to put to paper
  • You don't know if it's good until it's done
  • Thick outlines are cool
  • Outlines shouldn't be simple black, something like a really dark blue looks cool
  • Colors are hard, I think I'm going to mostly stick to those I found here

My current problems/issues/nagging questions

  • How do I make a simple robot?
  • How do I make something that looks good out of only outlines?
  • What would they (the RF people) actually want?
  • Am I going the complete wrong way?
  • How will I know when I'm done, will I ever by satisfied?

I'll continue working on my logos and update this blog. By the end of this week I'll make contact with the robot people and see if they like any of my designs.


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