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The Natural Evolution of a Logo:
Sculpting an Image that Fits

< return to part one

They asked to see a variation of the slug where it was more in profile, with only one eye showing. I did this for them, but every way I looked at it, it just looked like a cyclops to me. They agreed, and this variation was abandoned.

While I was working on this version, I got the inspiration to try incorporating the frame from the campus seal around the slug (something both the campus' Alumni Association and the Fire Department had done with pleasing results).

At this point I also made several small refinements, enlarging and brightening the eyes, rounding the body slightly, basically taking it from a preliminary sketch to a final drawing. The SCS folks really loved this version, and asked to see what it would look like if the phone cord were curly. Working with that idea, I decided to try going one step further and changed the dotted border around the seal to a curly phone cord:

We all felt that we were now very close to a finished piece, and it was time to examine some color options. A golden "banana slug" yellow was a part of the design from the outset, and I added a royal blue (UCSC's school colors are blue and yellow/gold) in a few variations:

The final one directly above was unanimously approved, but our work was still not quite done. Because their logo would be used in many different ways, a black & white "line art" version was designed:

Also, there are times when a horizontal logo fits the project better than a vertical one, so I made sure they had versions with both orientations:

Each project is its own creation, taking more or less time in one or another stage, requiring more or fewer revisions. But the basic process of five stages holds true in most cases, and works to get the job done well:

  • Getting clear about needs and desires
  • Creating initial vision and variations
  • Allowing for inspirations
  • Perfecting the vision (adding/subtracting details, colors, etc.)
  • Creating alternate versions for various situations

When it all comes together, the result is truly satisfying, and a real asset to an organization.

Does your company have a logo? Are you happy with it?
If the answer to either of these questions is "No" we can help.
Give us a call at 415-382-1918 or send us an email at
We'd love to create something wonderful with you.


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