The whole world loves a rainbow!

So Catherine had suggested taking the logo’s and making the same designs but brighter fresher gradient colours through them, and putting it over a white background.

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Okay, so the first few I totally ignored the idea of putting them over a white background. I was accused a few months ago of being in a dark phase with my design work, and I don’t think that it is entirely false accusation. One day I’ll do a design entirely in shades of black, which will be very hard to make out but will look awesomely cool.

But even I have to agree, the gradient colours bring the designs to life, taking the same image but looking far more modern, vibrant and fresh.

So, taking the design towards it’s final incarnation, I decided to give my partners a set of the designs in a range of colours, both over white and over black, so when selected the design could be used over either.

 

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Dug_Wall_strongDug_Wall_strong_2Dug_Side_purpleblueDug_Side_purpleblue-2Dug_Side_pastelDug_Side_pastel_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the designs the colours are bright enough to stand on their own away from the backgrounds, but the paler more pastel schemes become indistinct and difficult to read against pure white. Adding a small border of contrasting colour helps them stand out more, but a thin black edge is too shocking and overwhelms the colours in the other way. So I added the border in a mid-range grey, and added a drop shadow to really make the image stand out from the white.

So, the time has come for a final decision, which will my partners pick?

In which sanity takes us a little too far near normality for our own good!

So, after our dabble on the rather random side with our cartoon dog selves making an appearance. Sadly, The Hamildug, the Bishdug and the Moodug will not be making a return appearance.

So we returned to Roberts designs, and I took a simple cornered area, along with a modern font (GeoSansLight), and incorporated his drawings.

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Using a simple black background, and gold foreground colour, I imagined this type of design being gold foil on business cards, which I thought could look quite classy. The dog peeking round the corner looks good, I liked keeping the unbalanced nature of the original design with the name poking out of the retaining border and the dog taking one end of the logo all to himself. However, in negative the eyes of the dog suddenly seem cold and dead . . . the cold dead eyes of a killer . . . or maybe that’s just my imagination running away with me.

Second up.

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The same effect throughout all the designs today, this cheeky little scamp is more central and far more balanced. However I’m already becoming concerned that the gold looks bland on screen, while it might look wonderful embossed on a card, here it just looks tan.

Third up.

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This scruffy little blighter looks pretty good, but keeping a single colour means that the text is difficult to read even though I’ve added a significant border around it.

So I changed the image of the dog to just it’s outline.

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Which looks okay, but is indistinct and difficult to see at small sizes (like a business card or on a mobile phone screen).

So, returning to the first version, I changed the text to a gold effect gradient.

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Which makes it stand out, but it still looks a little bland.

So I went back to the first two images, and added various metal effect gradients through them to see how they would work.

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I added pupils to the eyes on the one above, to avoid the cold dead eyes thing, but now he looks frightened, and with smaller pupils he looked high.dug_trad_7.3dug_trad_8.3

Showing these to my partners, they liked the direction I was going it, but felt that the black and gold didn’t work particularly well, and that I should see other gradients, and should exclusively stick with the gold.

Catherine also wanted a more bright image, so wanted to see the variants over a white background.

We’re getting close, only a few more iterations until we get concordance.

More tomorrow.

 

So what do we do now . . . we go a little bit crazy.

So, if an image of a dog was possibly just going to make us look like a dog services company, then what could I do to an image of a dog to make it look different.

So, firstly I just took the image I’d created from the photo of the Schnauzer, and processed it into metallic colours, the only one of which I liked was the bronze gradient colour set out of photoshop.

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Which really doesn’t work, it looks less Dog Grooming, but just more . . . bad.

So, how could I change the image up to show it wasn’t all about the dog. So I took the image, and sliced it up, lowering the resolution of each slice so the image would slowly, slice by slice become more pixelated and blocky.

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This communicates (fairly poorly) that the image is both art and digital, but requires too much explaining to get that message across, whereas a logo should be distinctive, and/or get it’s message across easily and quickly.

While I was thinking digital, I came up with this little guy.

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8 Bit video game Dug.

He looks dis-approving.

Anyway, one last attempt at altering the processed image, so I just inverted the colours of half the image.

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An effect which leaves me cold, but was worth trying.

So, what are we going to do now. The core of the problem, is that any plain picture of a dog, is going to look like a pet grooming company, whether it’s plain, cartooned, or anything. So how do we connect the image to what we’re doing.

So Catherine suggested, cartoon dogs, but operating computers, holding clipboards, taking notes, doing office type things. An idea which was quite appealing, but I countered with . . well why the hell not cartoon dog representations of the three of us.

As mentioned before, I’m not a great freehand artist, so I took artwork by other artists, and used the parts like jigsaw pieces to create the following.

Robert came first.

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Then Catherine,

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and finally me.

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The Scruffy Dugs.

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Unusable of course, but it made us laugh hard late in the afternoon. If we took this idea further than this crude prototype, then we would need to draw our own artwork (instead of piece of Simpsons, and Disney dogs).

The idea each of us could have our business cards, with the cartoon version on one side with our contact details, and the group shot with the company name on the other, seemed unique, but ultimately we felt it didn’t communicate professionalism, and looked as if Catherine Dog was poking Me Dog in the belly.

So, back to Roberts drawings tomorrow, as I’ve got an idea of what we can do with those.

 

In which it occurs to us we’ve maybe made a massive mistake!

Yesterday I mentioned that we’d selected 3 of the images Robert had drawn to take forwards, but while I spent time singing the praises of him just being able to sketch something, then photograph it and send it through, the quality is way lower than needed to take things further.

So today, while I’m waiting to receive those images, I decided to take a photograph of one of Catherine’s Schnauzers that inspired our company name, and run it through various filters and perform bits of photoshop processing to see what we could come up with.

So I took the picture of the dog, and separated it from the background, creating a nice little picture of the dogs head isolated from any clutter.

Then I ran in through processing to turn it into a pseudo version of a pencil sketch.

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Although there’s some clutter left around it (guess I didn’t do quite as good a job of clearing away the background as I thought), it’s a very nice image of the dog looking dignified. But I really didn’t feel that was what I was looking for.

So I ran it through filters to turn the original image into a cartoon like version of itself.

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Which I thought looked very pretty indeed. And finally, through filters to turn it into a painting.

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Which I don’t think looks as pretty as the cartoon one, but still liked a whole load.

Now, being unsure of which I liked best, I decided to merge the cartoon one, and the painting one, allowing  the colours of the painting to show through, while the definition of the cartoon one is kept.

Merged_Dug_purple

Now, this I liked a whole load. But it brought to our attention that maybe we’d made a massive mistake. While the above image is quite appealing, it looks like the logo for a dog grooming company. And looking through the logo’s for dog grooming companies, whether we decided to make the logo a cartoon, a photo-realistic image, or whatever, it would always stand the chance of looking like we were a dog grooming company.

So how do we move forwards . . . . hmmm . . . . something we need to ponder over for the night!

More tomorrow, hopefully with a solution.

6 New Images for the Scruffy Dug Logo, number 5 will shock you!

Okay, firstly apologies for the clickbait title, was listening to a podcast this morning, and the idea stuck in my head, and the sooner these ideas are out of my head the better. Number 5 will not shock you, but you just may find it adorable.

So, Robert was good enough to sketch out some ideas on a notepad, photograph them with his phone and send them though. (Isn’t technology wonderful, while there are better ways of transferring data, this was perfectly serviceable, and was a darn sight quicker and cheaper than needing a scanner.)

Anyway.

First up a cute pup, love this little guy.Scruffy Dug 2

Second definitely fulfils the definition of a Scruffy Wee Dug.

Scruffy Dug 5

This guy looks a total wee fleabag 🙂

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Awww, he’s begging.

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This one intregues me, peeking round the corner. Love the unbalanced nature of this image, the name and picture are out of balance, and that makes me look twice.

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The duggy rampant, very heraldic. Makes me want to put a shield between this and a mirrored version to make our own coat of arms.

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Okay, so lots of ideas there. We’ve bounced ideas around the team, and the first, second and fifth images are the favourite among the team, so we’re going to take those further. As soon as I’ve got some photoshopping out of my blood first.

More tomorrow in the continuing mystery of “How Scruffy Dug chose their logo.” Duh, duh, daaaaa. {a thunder clap rumbles in the distance as the titles begin to roll}.

The Beginning of the Beginning

So, we decided on a name, Scruffy Dug, something we thought showed our sense of fun, and was inspired by the two dogs sitting nearby as we discussed names.

While a staid, formal name would have been easy, this brought a smile to our faces, and if we’re going to work on something, having a smile is a good place to start. The scottish use of Dug, also helps mean we can grab the .com and .co.uk domain names without stretching the name out with a full title, or adding hyphens, etc.

So, next we need a logo. Without it, we can’t launch the web site properly, can’t write to anyone with any sort of unified, organised front, and can’t produce business cards, so won’t be able to schmooze.

So to start sketching, first up a cartoon dog.

Dug2

I’m not the best freehand artist, but it’s kind of fun. But it’s clear I’m going to have to hand over to Robert for better quality freehand drawings.

But, never one to sit around, I took an outline of a Schnauzer (the Scruffy Dug’s mentioned above) and and just kind of scribble on them to make the outlines scruffy.

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Which kind of works, but isn’t what we’re looking for. So with time running short, I just added some photoshop effects to make them a little disco and see what came out.

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Neither of which are what we’re looking for, so guess it’s time to wait for Robert to hand in his drawings tomorrow and see where we go from there.