The C.H logo on the front page was first made on logomakr.com which is a simple to use website which allows you to create clean logos really easily, its a great start for anyone.
The above logo won’t be a permanent fixture of the site and yesterday evening I began to create a new one that was more original and unique to me.
My graphics options are limited to the free version of Serif DrawPlus and MS Paint with my hardware being a mouse and a low to mid range laptop. Serif DrawPlus is a great piece of software which can be downloaded for free for a simpler version which carries many of the more basic tools, despite this, it almost always does exactly what I need it to do. MS Paint requires no introduction.
I apologise to all the graphic designers who may be about to read this.
My goal was was to include something about me into the logo and add a bit of flair into it without making it an over-complicated design. I decided to include a cartoon effect of my hair into it.
Job 1: Find a good picture of my hair while facing front on
Looking through pictures of me from a range of source that had my hair clearly shown at the right angle, I decided on this one:
Unfortunately it was the best one.
Job 2: Isolate the hair
I downloaded the picture into Serif DrawPlus and started to work. Without the lasso tool, my only feasible option was to zoom and use the pencil tool to draw out the shape using the picture as a stencil and benchmark. After a few attempts I had traced the hair to a high enough standard and then do the same with my eyebrows.
Job 3: Colour
At this point I had a drawn out version of the right shape that I was happy with. The first thing I wanted to do was to clearly define the lines which is picture 3. Though at this point I still didn’t know what I was going to be doing with the completed picture.
The drawn item in picture 3 looks basic and not at all sleek so I changed the outline to a orange/yellow colour and the orange fill has been darkened with a slight white fade from left to white has been added. Fortunately the design started to build itself and was going in a direction I liked while learning what impact a tool had while using it.
Job 4: Combining with the C.H logo
Once I had the design I wanted, I decided to try to incorporate it into the original C.H. design made on logomakr.com. The original logo is in white to better fit with the dark header picture, but in this version I made it in black and added my name underneath in a font that most closely matched that of the theme I use on the page.
Opening the file of the C.H logo and hair both onto paint I could tweak both of them together, the result was putting the hair over the letter ‘O’
Job 5: Transparency
In order to remove all the block white that was added in MS Paint and make the logo transparent again, a transparent selection of the logo as a whole needed to be made in paint. Here I then copied the logo into MS PowerPoint where I was able to remove all the white by adjusting the colour and saving it as a picture.
After using 3 pieces of software I was able to finish what I wanted to do and the end result is:
I’ve done basic graphics work before for assignments at university and they’ve all been done using Sarif DrawPlus and MS Paint. Without the tools of proper software like Photoshop, in order to get any form of result, I need to bodge together at least 2 pieces of software. This makes everything much harder to do and double the time it should take, to do a simple job such as the one above. Though it took me a number of hours, a lot of the time being used was trying to find alternatives and ways around the limits of the software I have.
Despite that, I’m happy with the hair design I have made but don’t like how the two are merged together. I’ll probably tinker in my spare time over the next few days but at this point I doubt I will use the new logo in favour of keeping the original C.H lettering. But with all the appropriate files saved, it may be something I’ll come back to if I have a brainwave.
This has definitely reminded me why the last university assignment in which I had to use graphics felt like a chore. I found the work enjoyable to do but without the relevant software or hardware, each small task becomes a challenge that requires planning and several attempts.
Even so, it was a nice challenge to complete throughout my evening and makes me appreciate the patience and work of graphic designers out there.
Serif DrawPlus is now a legacy product and so is no longer being updated, but if you want to buy it then the following link will allow you to.