Over the past few weeks, I’ve been designing a logo that turned into a very big project as it progressed. The logo is for a composer called Meurig Jenkins, specializing in video game composition, but who has fingers in almost every musical pie you can imagine, from brass band to dub step to indie folk and Spanish guitar. Check out his amazing compositional work on his soundcloud, visit his website, or follow him on twitter!
Originally, the idea behind the piece was to have the name as the negative space between swirling, snaking ribbons, but as it progressed, the more I felt that it needed to be something more than the initial sketches. I’ve always known about the beauty of fractals and as soon as I had the idea that the background could be a a design like a fractal, I knew I had to do it. The problem, of course, is that fractals are not only mathematically precise, but they are also infinite. While I would love to know more about fractal generation, I’m no mathematician, and I needed something that was the right shape and density of detail that it would both fit around the logo and be possible to execute in simple black and white. Of course, the end result is not a fractal. but I looked to fractals for inspiration, to try to find shapes and principles that are present in their designs. I went through numerous variations of the shapes and details to give the best effect. Eventually, the design I had settled on included a lot stippling to emulate the gradient-like nature of elements found in many fractals. This wasn’t a problem until the point when it came to vectoring the design. I didn’t want to use computer generated gradients in digitization, because in the end, they give a very different feeling to what you can achieve with stippling. The problem, then is that a vector file including thousands, if not tens of thousands of tiny circles, ends up being enormous. I was lucky that the design has rotational symmetry, meaning that I only had to fill half of it, then duplicate and rotate it by 180 degrees. Even still, there were many times, especially towards the end of the process, when the number of elements on the screen was simply too much for the software, leading to many crashes. Of course, I got into the good habit of saving my work about once a minute.
The final piece:
Here is just the fractal design behind the name:
I wasn’t lying about the stippling! This next one is entirely made of dots. Please don’t try to count them.
The file is made of many layers, and I quite like the look of this layer on its own. There is a row of triangles lining the outline in the centre of the design and extending out towards the edges. Take a look!
The original piece, of course, includes the name, unlike the versions above. However, the reason I vectored the entire fractal, instead of leaving out the parts behind the name, was so that I could do this too:
It’s almost the opposite of the original, with the name containing the design, rather than excluding it. This image, however, has a very different feel to it, I think, but is a useful variation because it fits in a smaller space but retains a glimpse of the details of the original.