Radu Luchian

A new personal logo after many years

Considering that a lot of time has past since the creation of my old logo - time in which I have learned, lived, evolved - I feel that it doesn't represent who I am anymore, both as a person as well as a professional. The old one was sloppy, rought and not very practical, so with this in mind I began work on a new identity, one that would better depict who I am and what I do.

While the previous version had a paint brush on a negative-space colour palette, the new one is more consistent with my actual field of work. I use the pencil everyday, it’s my tool of trade. No matter if I’m sketching, wireframing, taking notes, scribbling, illustrating or drawing… you will always find me with a pencil on my desk or in my hand. I’ve been tempted by this symbolism before and have tried to redo my identity awhile back, but to no avail.

Old logo
Old logo: No longer representative for myself
Initial failed sketches
Initial failed sketches: Exploring the pencil idea.

So the fall of last year, I began sketching some new ideas I got while browsing some lettering projects online (I was very interested in lettering at the time). From one sketch to another, a classic wooden pencil shape was born out of the mechanical pencil in my hand:

Getting to the final concept
Getting to the final concept: Adjusting the geometry of the shapes for everything to come together nicely.

I also incorporated my initial letter – which was in fact the concept around which everything came together – and aimed the tip of the pencil right in center of the “imaginary” circle of the “R”. After a few experiments, redraws and proportion fixes I was right were I wanted with the icon:

The anatomy of the logotype
The anatomy of the logotype: A wireframe to better show the proportions and geometry of the concept.

For the typeface, I knew what I wanted to use ever since I first laid eyes on it on Behance. I’m talking about Frank Hemmekam’s Sabado. As with the icon – when I knew I wanted to use the pencil symbol – I also knew this typeface was the one for me and in fact it was the one thing that gave the nudge I needed to get started on this redesign. After figuring out the ideal layout of the logotype, I switched my attention to the coloring and decided to go with something similar to my previous identity, a slightly desaturated azure blue combined with dark ash.

Finished logo version
Finished logo version: A clean, clear result with lots of metaphors behind it.

Now with a new identity, the uses I had for it were almost endless. After firstly rebranding my own website I focused on another side-project I had been thinking about for some time: creating my very own custom branded dot-grid book. I went all out with this one and played with it as much as possible, trying to keep it simple enough in the same time. You can view more photos and find out how to make your own right here.

Custom branded dot-grid book
Custom branded dot-grid book: An A4 work book with 80 sheets of double-sided dotted-grid paper.

After having done the dot-grid book, I wanted to “update” my coffee coaster with the new icon. This was tough since my previous coaster had the logo painted on with varnish and in a bit of a rush to be honest. In the end though, this didn’t matter as I was inspired by my own dot-grid book cover and used the trusty fretsaw to create a new and one of a kind coaster just for my coffee drinking pleasure:

Custom branded coaster
Custom branded coaster: Created using a fretsaw and a little bit of patience.

Also, while catching up some reading it came to me that I was using all sorts of items for bookmarking: from post-its and notes to book-rugs and other promotional flyers. So I though it might be fun to take it all a step further and create my own bookmarks, following the dot-grid book cover cutout trend I strated for myself, and so these things came out:

Bookmark: Putting an A4 sheet of black paper to practical use

All in all it was a great way to experiment with logo design and branding at a small-scale, especially since I’ve been out of practice for some time now. I’m very satisfied with the outcome of everything and am proud of the fact that I didn’t rush into any decision making and took my time thinking everything over, especially since I’m my own most picky client.