Archives for October 20, 2011


The Artistic Method – Evolution of a Logo

Wood Ring Guitars Logo

I produce most of my art digitally using several graphic programs.  I do most of the artwork for profit as part of my job as a web site designer and developer. I often don’t consider what I do “art” because it is usually a reflection of my customer’s tastes rather than my own. My customers are very particular about color, layout and design and my job is to make them happy so I must leave my own particular tastes aside and go with what they prefer out there in cyber space. 

Once in a while though a project comes along when I am given my free rein and my advice is taken more seriously. Those projects I live for and get the most satisfaction from the resulting art. Such was a recent request from my son for a logo for his web site. 

Coming up with a company name, and identity is often a multi-staged process, this being the case with Wood Ring Guitars. My son is a luthier, a builder of classical guitars. The company, Wood Ring Guitars has evolved over a period of time, first as a germ of an idea and now a full fledged, full service guitar building enterprise. Creating a look, feel and presence to match the quality of the product is the overall goal. That process is an art itself, logo design aside, and is part of an overall marketing strategy. The logo should be a reflection of what the company is all about and say it as simply as possible.  Most customers only look briefly at a logo, so first impressions are important. The logo should make the impression quickly, simply and make it memorable. The web site has been out there for a while, as a resume of good quality guitars, well made and which sound great, but needed a final touch, a memorable logo, to seal the product brand. 

Creating the Logo

It started off as a simple pencil sketch and idea generated by my husband, who loves to take his mental process down on paper from time to time. Those sketches looked like this:

Kitchen Table Thinking Process

Again, not my original idea, but definitely something I could work with! What these sketches did for me was get my creative process working. 

These sketches represent some attempts at combining the WR in clever ways alone and with guitar shapes. The bottom two sketches seemed to have the most appeal. 

The second design on the bottom right (See next image below) had the most appeal due to the darker background and two tone color scheme. It was decided to proceed with that design on the computer.


Sketches Used For Logo Consideration





First a simple guitar shape, similar to a typical classical guitar was created using Bezier curves and straight lines within a graphic program.

Simple Classical Guitar Shape




I like to use a program with the capability of creating vector graphics with layers. It provides me with much more flexibility in the creation process.





Next the guitar was angled approximately 40 degrees.

Guitar Top Outline 40 Degree Rotation

Guitar Top Outline 40 Degree Rotation










Then I added the line representing the neck of the guitar, in this drawing: 

Guitar Top with Line Added

Guitar Top with Line Added





Having the flexibility to use the entire image from this point is the best part of not using a paper sketch. It is so easy to erase, or hide a layer. The line in this example is slightly off center, but it was just enough of the guitar to work to our purpose.




In this next image you will see how I have have removed the portion we want left to imagination giving us more room to add just enough to convey our message, simply.

One Half of the Guitar Shape

One Half of the Guitar Shape










At this point I experimented with the W and R letters. I wanted to make them part of the body of the guitar and still make them recognizable as letters. These letters went through several evolutions. At first I used real fonts and tried my best to resize and rotate them to work in the space. I would place them in the graphic but nothing seemed to work the way I wanted it to. I decided it was best to draw them in using a pen tool and vector lines. I also expanded the canvas size to envision the finished product as a business card as well.


First Design with Text and Letters

First Design with Text and Letters








Next, I added some color and removed the word Guitars, as it seemed redundant and was getting in the way of the simplicity I was after. I also squared up the image in this example, and further bolded the WR letters to make them stand out even more. Here I was looking for design that would also work for an icon or Favicon.


Added Color and Removed Text

Added Color and Removed Text








The final product emerged as a symbol with the hint of the guitar in a bold color matching the web site it will be placed on. The WR is very bold and is what first attracts the eye and it is separated from the fine outline of the guitar, using the bold brown-orange color to highlight that shape. The shape of the guitar and logo “brand” is centered diagonally across the simple square shape. On the web site the logo will sit next to an animated banner to get the final message across. If you would like to see the final logo, placed on the web site click here.

Completed Logo For Wood Ring Guitars

Completed Logo for Wood Ring Guitars


So there is a typical logo creation process, using my artistic method. No two logo creations are the same but evolve in a similar way, from sketch to graphic, with additions and subtractions along the way.




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