It’s far more than an image.
I think I should first start with why spending time creating a logo
I know I should focus on building the app, especially if my main purpose were to getting it going on, showing it, asking for feedback and iterating, trying to get some users, i.e., to make a contribution. But it’s not only this. I am spending my spare time on numerry for the fun and the learning experience. And this learning is not only about programming, it’s also about managing a project, looking into design and communication. Creating a logo is a good example of this broader scope, as well as writing this post.
A logo is more than an image, it’s the incarnation of the project.
You can find me a bit extreme there, but that’s how I feel it. On the apps I use, like GitHub, Trello, Evernote, Gmail or Slack, having a blank or default logo is like the broken window, that tells me that it’s yet another random project, that I’m not actually believing in it. Can sound crazy, but hey, you know who you’re reading.
Believe me, it’s much harder to create a logo than it seems. Doesn’t have to be right from the start by the way; this one is the second one; I hope you’ve never seen the first one, looked like some ballons on a fair; took me three minutes, enough to get something at least.
There are at least two corollaries. The first one is that it forces you to define the brand of the project, its visual identity. The second one lies in the motivation: having it cristallised in a small picture reminds you that this thing is important, it’s there, and it needs attention: it’s a good motivation anchor.
Three values, three colors, three circles
Let’s dive a bit into its signification. As you already know, my values are quality, people and fun. That’s either three shapes, or three colors, or both. I went for three colors, keeping one shape for the consistency. I like red and black, I’ve added a light grey for the contrast. These three colors map the values indeed: black for the quality, its cold, or serious, aspect; red for the fun and the joy; finally the light grey for the people. That last one deserves some more eplanation. It’s difficult to assign a color to the notion of people, as the first impression is that it matches the skin color. Yet, you know me, I am interested in the mind and the heart of people, I don’t care about appearance. Light grey is a mix of yin and yang, with more positive white than negative black, nodoby’s prefect and luckily so, otherwise the world would be really boring.
About the circles. I like circles, period. Natural to draw, infinite in a sense, consistent or complete, and a whole lot of meanings that’ll come out later on. I know, technically these are disks, see them as complete, fulfilled circles.
The sizes are in thirds depending on the order of the value, i.e. 3/3 for quality/black, 2/3 for people/light grey and 1/3 for fun/red. Quality englobes everything, it’s the outer circle. People are more on the top right, on the positive part of the quadrant, pulling up. Fun is right at the center… where else?
You can also see that this looks like a 3D view of the Earth where the crust and the mantle have been removed to show the core. This applies beautifully to numerry, where quality englobes the whole, people make the movement, the action, and fun is at the heart.
I couldn’t stop there without mentioning how I ended up with this logo. By the way, I love these two buzzwords together…
" — Whatcha scribblin' again? — Shut up! Don’t interrupt my creative process!"
Step one. Create a crappy logo in five minutes. You have to start somewhere.
Step two. Wait, and let the guilt of having such a crappy logo for your beloved project build up.
Step three. Start thinking about what your project is about, what values it carries, and the visual identity of it: serious, fun, colorful, sober, with some fantasy, for your family, friends, the world? In the meantime, get informed about color palettes, what makes a good logo, what tools you can use, etc.
Step four. Roll up your sleeves and get working. Remember that it’ll take some iterations to capture what you have in mind, only to iterate again to refine or redefine the idea behind it. It’s okay if it takes some time, as long as you keep the momentum, iterating a lot. Don’t hesitate to ask friends, colleagues, random people in the street, to get some feedback.
Step five. Release it and share it with the world. Update all your avatars on your tools. Write a blog post about it. Use you color palette to customise the sidebar in Slack, find a nice wallpaper for your Trello boards, set the color of your Twitter account, etc.