The logo for my Victoria, BC game-developer-meetup-group was getting old. We had been using a member-submitted piece of work that was free, and definitely did the job, but I think it was time to get serious about our representation.
I thought I’d take you through the whole logo-design process, and show you how the logo evolved over time!
Back in the beginning, when the group was called “VDev” (for Victoria Developers), we were a much smaller, less focused bunch. We mostly enjoyed beers and hoped for the day when the group would finally grow.
As we had no talent on board, and we were kind of shaky on just about everything, this is the best I could come up with:
It’s a photo I took at a meetup, showing some game-maths I was trying to figure out and the all-important beer. In higher resolutions, it’s a pretty good photo, but it’s no logo. I think it captures me, personally, but not particularly the group. Well, maybe it does? Regardless, it sat atop our Meetup.com page for around a year.
After a year of growing the group, it became time to nail down our goals and direction. We decided to change the name from “The VDevs” to the current name, “LevelUp”, that we had been using informally. The inference here was: If you’re attending, you’re “Levelling Up” your game development career. I liked it, and it rolls off the tongue nicely.
Our group had a hundred-or-so members, and in there was some talent. I put out a call for something – anything! To grace our front page. We had a few volunteers, and this is what we went with:
I thought the logo was eye-catching and cute. I was happy with it, and it’s more … Unpolished, less professional feel. I think it jived with our group’s personality at the time, and all the way up until TODAY we have been using this logo.
But this week I’ve been planning out OrcaJam III. We’re collecting quite a few high-tiered sponsors and making it a pretty big event now. LevelUp is being approached by media and reached out to by recruiters. We’re thinking about taking the whole LevelUp group to local events, and even represent at things like Chamber of Commerce meetings. I thought it was about time we stepped things up a notch, and get us a more professional image.
I was mulling the concept over in my head when I stumbled across a tweet by Alec Holowka. He was showing off the logo for his new game, and it looked fantastic! And it turns out it was designed by none other than my good friend, Sara (@twobitart)! (And this is where I should mention that Twitter is good for finding work!)
I knew Sara worked fast and would be able to do a good job representing us, so we sat down earlier today and set out on making this new logo. Here’s a few of the drafts she came up with after an hour or so:
Just rough sketches; concepts. I loved the “xp bar” concept (middle, right) that sorta looked like a sword at the same time. I also liked the two concepts at the top, showing the “swoop” of the dude jumping up.
I thought the whole “8bit” pixelized look is a bit overdone, so after some thought I asked Sara to go in the direction of the center-right swooping guy. I liked the hand-crafted, hand-sketched look; but the logo still looked dynamic and exciting.
Sara got back to me with a few other examples an hour later, and after a few iterations I had a few more images on my hands:
Sara was trying to stick to the “professional” roots of my original request, and made up a lot of suggestions using more straight lines and a cleaned-up look. Again, these are all very drafty/sketchy and produced very quickly, but I immediately fell in love with the hand-drawn “swoop” of the word “UP” (again!). We did a batch of iterations and ended up with the end product, presented here in a more compact form:
Look at that work of beauty. I was surprised that I’d like the removal of the jumping dude, but keeping the swoop in. As soon as I saw it, I exclaimed it was “Baller” and said “ship it!”
All in all, the process was about 5 hours long, which included some breaks and things. Couldn’t be happier with the product. It looks great on the front page of our LevelUp meetup page, and I even mocked up some TShirts and offered them to the group.
So awesome. I feel so happy right now, I just had to type this up. Sara is always looking for work!