When Diamond Select Toys asked me to work on the logo for their new high-end collectible bust line, I jumped at the chance. DST has been an excellent long time client and the Legends in 3-Dimensions line promised to be something different for them. They intended to procuce 1/12th scale busts of genre favorite characters: Animal from the Muppets, Spider-Man's archnemesis Venom, Robot from Lost in Space. I'm a fan of everything the line represented.
What follows is a case study of the process I was trained with - a break down of the exploration, iteration and refinement methodology I learned working with incredibly talented designers and Art Directors when I was coming up.
1. EXPLORATION - INITIAL CONCEPTS
Diamond Select's informal brief described a premium product line for genre collectors: crafted, refined and detailed. The line's direction was nothing new for DST. They've been known for producing high quality sculpts for over a decade. But the format and sizing is new for them. So the logo needed to stand out - not only against their other product lines, but inside the industry.
We agreed early on custom typography would suit the aesthetic of the product. This helped early concepts. I could focus on different styles of hand drawn type. I like to work on 11"x17" paper - the larger format provides room for quick and loose rough sketches as well as providing a physical format to open up my thinking. The thumbnails are intentionally kept fast and loose - typically, more than 90% of the concepts put to paper in this stage will be tossed. The idea is to find the one or two ideas that have value for the project.
2. ITERATION - SHAPES & THE GRID
This is the part of the process that is the most frustrating and rewarding all-in-one. The due date is the finish line, but I like to iterate until I can't see anything else to fix. I'm showing the results of iterative sessions. If you're interested in more detail, check out the after credits section at the bottom of the page.
ITERATION 4 - To match the sculptural nature of the product, I've added cuts into the script to give the forms some depth. The "d" finds its final form here. I've also added the "s" which is oversized in the sketch, but the design language demands a more refined form. I prefer this "s" to the final version - the client wanted more emphasis on its extended form. They are probably right.
ITERATION 5 - One of many alternate "L"'s later... Consideration for the overall balance in reading left to right and the "IN 3 -DIMENSIONS" has to be constant. I consisitenly turn that layer on and off in Illustrator for evaluation. The "L" is easily the most difficult shape to finalize.
"Brian's work always brings about something unexpected. And the Legends in 3-Dimensions logo is an excellent example. He approaches our creative projects with a unique mentality - he's decisive but collaborative. The quality of work he's produced for DST continues to set up apart in a crowded industry ."
-CHUCK TERCEIRA, PRESIDENT - DIAMOND SELECT TOYS
A WORD ABOUT COLOR - FROM THE STYLE GUIDE
These colors were chosen to represent cultivated refinement. The logo represents a collectible line, but the color should always be treated as though it were for a high end luxury item - sophisticated without being obnoxious. Although there are strong, deep colors in the logo palette, their usage should never feel overbearing. The palette is split between red and gold, and each group should be used in harmony with their familial tones, while balanced with their partner colors.
The reds provide a tonal contrast amongst themselves and give the mark its primary background. They should be used with consideration for the viewer’s eye. The red tones can draw the viewer in with their warmth, but should never scream for attention. The gold tones were chosen for their association with the subject matter. Consider the burnished gold as understated - confident without being garish.
4. THE DETAILS