May 21, 2008
I must say I’m quite relieved.
The comments on uniquefrequency and twitter were encouraging, which I’m appreciative of. Doubly so because I haven’t even spoken to some of these people before. So thanks Daryl, Claudia, nadnut, Krisandro, juzzywuzzy and parkerha for saying you liked it or that it’s fab! All of you made my day.
Of course, one can’t improve without constructive feedback. So like a kid that doesn’t want to face the monsters under the bed, but must be brave, I showed it to my boss. (laughs)
He suggested making the SMB clearer and using a handwritten type to match the sketch. Initially I thought that would be too messy or illegible when scaled down, but time to try again! He also recommended to incorporate a social media element into it.
The last point was something I should have thought about or tried harder to put in. VEEERRYY important for a logo to represent EVERYTHING the brand stands for. As a marketing student, I logically knew that, but let it slide in the face of time. Bad. Shouldn’t have done so.
I really should have given myself more time and did more drafts.
Hindsight is ever perfect. Big sigh to that. Have also learnt if I’m stuck, I should leave whatever I’m designing at the moment, and come back after a while, so I can look at it with fresh eyes.
(Why do fresh eyes make me think of Cows, Farmhouse milk and butterflies?)
And I’m still a bit nervy about offering to design things for people when I don’t have any background.
Well, no background beyond Frujch and fiddy-diddling around photoshop…… photoshop…ah, that reminds me, Quentin says I should be using Illustrator instead. Time to find a copy. Bye bye Yusof Ishak; hello Hole-in-My-Wallet.
But really, I need to get a grip and just try every damn thing I can design so that even if I don’t succeed wildly, I learn something in the process of doing it. That’s what those motivation speakers always say right? “TRY TRY TRY! “
Alright, up & on, me!
May 21, 2008
3 weeks back, Daryl (uniquefrequency) wrote that a logo was needed for Social Media Breakfast (SMB). Figuring there was nothing to lose, I told him I’d try. And may I add, with a very big bright smile at that.
Obviously, for the next 2 weeks, I kicked myself due to… the usual reasons:
2. I was literally running between filing & extracting patient files at TTSH (another grand story all together), work @ Qube and social media summer term
3. Daryl would end our 11 years of friendship over (possible) birth of ugly logo.
I was kidding about the last one.
Anyway, I never managed to sit down and work properly on the logo, but thought about it while I ate lunch, was on the train, in the toilet, in the lunch queue… and doodled here and there.
Even though I doodled quite a while on this idea, I wasn’t totally comfortable with it.
It was both too wordy (with the whole phrase “social media breakfast” spelt out) and kiddy. In the end, I didn’t tried it out with proper fonts in Photoshop.
I guess I never got around to doing it because the idea didn’t settle fully with me. Felt like I was missing something or needed to take something out.
That went on for a few days, before yesterday night which I had set as my absolute final deadline.
So while I was in the shower, with the mantra “INEEDTOGETTHATLOGOTODARYL INEEDTOGETTHATLOGOTODARYL” running through my head, it struck me: the letter ‘S’ sort of looks like a cup handle.
Perhaps all that shampooing massaged my brain the right way.
(Note to self: To try shampooing again to test above hypothesis)
MAIN IDEA #2: SMB integrated with a coffee cup + saucer
It was already 11pm so I had to hurry. Drew variations of wide cups, tall cups, narrow cups, cups without steam, cups with shading, sketchy cups, proportionate cups….
It was my dad that mentioned it looks like a person). On hindsight, I realise perhaps it’s only one of the sketches (left, circled in red that did and it’s hard to see so in the final result.
After scanning the design in, I cleaned up the sketchy-cup, making the lines a bit bolder, darkening, sharpening and played around with font colours for the SMB text.
And the first version of the SMB logo was done!
May 15, 2008
THE RSS HEADACHE
I spent an hour trying to put an RSS button on my page.
After googling, Wikipedia-ing, FAQ-ing, calling friends and yanking out my hair (in that order, yes. Interesting how internet help comes before human help, eh?), I finally stumbled on the right wordpress page with instructions to answer my prayer.
Then, I had another problem:
Did I want the usual orange RSS button?
Or did I want a green, blue, red, grey, purple one?
And if I wanted a green RSS button,
did I want an olive-green, light-green, emerald-green, or teal one?
Not forgetting, would I like that in a
Small / Med / Large size?
Talk about overwhelming choices, and that was before I discovered all the custom-made ones out there.
RSS ICON ORIGIN CURIOSITY
Who designed the orange RSS/Atom feed icon we know so well today?
Initially, I assumed it was a proprietary logo of the creators of RSS. I thought there was a company called RSS or Feed Co. or something like that. Guess I’m lacking in tech history.
Turns out that it was first used in Mozilla Firefox…
Which is under Mozilla Corporation,
Which used to be Mozilla Organization
Which was created by Netscape – where Ramanthan Guha created the first version of RSS.
So perhaps my guess wasn’t so far off the mark! )
…. and subsequently was adopted by Microsoft IE in 2005 and Opera in 2006, turning the orange square with radiating waves into the industry standard.
For the life of me, I couldn’t find who in Mozilla designed it, but my searches churned out more interesting questions:
Why this icon? Does it work well?
THE RSS ICON DEBATE
Although many agree that a consistent RSS feed icon across browsers is a good thing, they’re not so certain whether this was the best. The point of contention: Does it clearly represent RSS?
In order to recognise the icon, one already has to be familiar with RSS or seen it before. If not, a new-user’s common associations to might be “volume”, “audio” or “radio” as P.J. Onori points out.
So, which should take more priority in the design? Clarity or aesthetics?
Safari opts for the former, with its unmistakable blue-white tag of “RSS”. Simple, clear and functional, but also a tad boring.
While on the other end, we have our little orange square: a rather stylish and clean design, but unclear and non-specific.
My take is it depends on which stage of awareness or popularity the product (in this case, feeds) enjoys.
It’s like how Nike used to brand its swoosh with its name, but as it grew in renown over the years, dropped “Nike” for a sleeker design of the solo swoosh.
A logo or icon has to be clear in a product’s beginning stages, for both the purpose of building awareness and creating right associations. One shouldn’t have to second guess what the product or brand is called, even if they’re not too sure what it really is.
Personally, I do like the RSS orange icon, and to me, its radiating waves represent broadcasting – a great analogy for feeds. However, I do agree that as a first-time user, I would have no idea what on earth the button’s for.
Some designers have already solved the problem: Just add the two together.
At least this way, even if one doesn’t know what RSS is, he/she can still look up the 3 letters to find out what it’s all about, rather than sit and scratch their head or worse, ignore it all together. It’d be great to watch the use of feeds propagate. Perhaps Microsoft will pick it up soon.
In the meantime, the standard RSS icon looks here to stay; though standard may be a misnomer with all these fantastic variations (from Smashing Magazine) zipping around.