I recently relaunched my site mikerastiello.com with a new theme. This was a long time coming as the previous design (right) was almost three years old and used outdated technology.
I needed a theme that was modern, and would look good on a computer, phone and tablet. Responsive design is important, and I needed to be on that train.
Picking a new theme was really tough. After a few weeks of looking I finally settled on a few different themes and ran them by some friends to see what they thought. Luckily everyone was on the same page as me and picking the final theme was easy. Over the next few days I customized the site and polished up the text. There are a few things I may play around with, but overall I am very happy with the site.
However as soon as installed the theme, I realized I had a problem. My logo didn’t really fit, and that really bummed me out. I love that logo (right). It was a simple design that took me only a few minutes to design and create, but it was really perfect for me.
When I came to the realization that I needed to update my logo I started doodling out some ideas in Paper on my iPad (a great app for sketches). I didn’t know what I wanted exactly, so I played around with a bunch of things.
I knew the main color would be blue. There’s no other choice for me, but red was also a possibility, at least as a secondary if I needed one. I wasn’t really feeling any of my rough sketches, so I decided to start over, but instead of drawing them I switched to Photoshop (below).
I didn’t like any of the all text options. The font I had picked at the time worked well for initials, but was a bad choice for my whole name. I wanted to stick with my initials, so I changed directions.
I really liked the circle logo, and the shield logo (which I gave up on because I thought I needed a horizontal logo to fit the space).
Ali, the one with the real eye for design in this relationship, told me to revisit the original doodles, and focus on the one in the lower right corner. I went back to Paper and then Photoshop to try and play with it, but I still wasn’t feeling it. I was going for a metal sign look, that I would then age and distress. I finally decided that the font that I was using was totally wrong for me, and that this shape wasn’t working for me.
I went off to Google image search to get some inspiration and found some cool logos which inspired the designs below.
I wanted something that was vintage, 1930′s or 40′s was the sweet spot. I really liked what I came up with, so I decided to see how it would look once it was distressed.
I really liked how both versions of the logo looked, until I uploaded them to my site. I had to shrink them down too much to fit and the size I was left with made the text look cluttered. The rust version didn’t look that great at the smaller size either.
I left the clean version stay on my site for a few days to see if my mind would change, but I kept going back to the circle logo and decided to leave the vintage design behind.
I started the circle logo over from scratch. I kept the layout very similar to the initial design, but I definitely needed to pick new fonts.
Picking the fonts for my projects is an excruciating process for me. I can never seem to find exactly what I am looking for, and often times end up using fonts that I use all the time.
I’m very happy with the font I found for my initials, and I’m pretty satisfied with the ‘x’. The ‘x’ was actually the hardest font to settle on. You’d think it be easy, but it had to be perfectly symmetrical, and the edges needed to look good. It was hard to find an ‘x’ that had both.
As I said I’m really happy with the new circle logo. I’m really glad I’m not a professional designer. I couldn’t imagine I’d take criticism and notes from clients all that well.