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My division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs recently agreed to collaborate on the electrification of vehicles in Hawaii. This is in part to help reach the state’s mandate for 100% renewable energy by the year 2045. This new initiative, called “Drive Electric Hawaii,” focuses on accelerating cost-effective electric vehicle use. More on the initiative can be found here.
For the logo design project, I chose to create a logo for the newly formed Drive Electric Hawaii initiative. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m not a graphic designer so this was definitely a challenge for me. I also don’t know how to draw so didn’t even attempt to put pencil to paper. So, I just started thinking about what I see when I read “Drive Electric Hawaii.”
I wanted to convey the words, “drive” and “electric” visually. The first thought came to mind was a car and a plug. After doing some research, there seemed to be a lot of that created already so I was deterred from the idea. I then started to think about a steering wheel of a car because it’s right in front of you when you’re driving. That’s when the ideas started flowing.
I started with the middle part of the wheel, creating a rectangle across and another one vertically down the middle on the bottom side. I used the polygon tool to bridge the horizontal and vertical rectangles to get the slanted shape in the middle.
For the word, “electric,” I wanted a font that gave me the feeling of electricity or voltage. This is what I came up with – a bit of a script font that’s neither serif or san serif. A serif font is used for the other words. As for the color of “electric” I went for a teal color that reminded me of a typical Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius electric vehicle.
As you’ll see from the color palette, I went for only three colors – the teal, dark grey and a green (for the wheel) that sort of reminds me a “recycle” type of green. Again, going for this sort of “clean” energy/save-the-earth kind of theme in colors.
For the wheel itself, I added a stitching in the middle of it, borrowing from what we learned in the Varsity Lettering tutorial. The stitching there was made to give a look of a lane line on a road (in addition to actual stitching on a steering wheel). I had to a play around a little with the dash and gap size of the stroke to get it to how I wanted it.
The plug and cord was the last thing I added to the logo. I used the Shape Builder Tool to delete the grey vertical rectangle on the bottom of the wheel and to create a half circle for the plug with rounded rectangles to finish the pins. The cord was the most difficult part of the logo. I used the Pen Tool to draw a cord from the letter “c” to the plug.
I’m still not used to how the curvature part of the Pen Tool really works so that’s why I spent hours just on curving the cord to how I (sort of) wanted it. Connecting the letter “c” in “electric” and the cord itself was tough. I ended up using the Paintbrush Tool to fill in the connection. Originally, I had the cord going behind the grey part of the steering wheel but thought it would be cool to bring it forward but behind the text. This is the end result for my draft logo.
This was definitely no easy task. I’ve very much come to appreciate graphic designers because Illustrator, while offering tons of freedom, means much more work to create images from scratch. Illustrator is not as intuitive in my opinion like Photoshop is. Getting over that is the toughest part (I’m still not over it). I can see why it’s very powerful but sadly, it was more frustrating for me. I agree that this unit has been the most challenging thus far of the course and we still have yet to start our logo design project. *Crossing fingers I can get through it.*
As mentioned previously on my blog, part of my job in terms of outreach for my department’s division is about energy conservation. I really wanted to do something that brings awareness to it. So, I started with doing a keyword search for background images that dealt with energy.
I wanted to create an image that could be used for the division’s website, social media and could also be inserted into our division newsletter that’s emailed and printed for distribution. After looking for a while and searching different variations related to energy, I stumbled upon a light bulb background and knew it was a good start to creating something with it.
I liked it because it had great use of the “Rule of Thirds” with the bulb on the left vertical line. That allowed opportunity for me to use the open space on the right-hand side for other elements. I also loved the darkness of the entire image so I could use the inverse (lighter) colors for text.
As for the three smaller pictures – I took those myself. I used a macro focus on all three and tried to use a neutral background to not take away from the object itself. Using one of the tips from one of our readings on digital photography composition, I adjusted the aperture to blur the background of the photo. While it was all neutral backgrounds, I really wanted the objects to be in focus because I knew how I was going to use them.
Working on the Gestalt Theory of proximity – I grouped all three photos together on the right-hand side of the canvas. I had the idea to spread them out but it just looked cleaner and they grouped well together with them lined up. Then the text next to them would line up better as well, looking like a list format instead of just haphazardly placed on the canvas.
From the Layer Masks Photoshop tutorial, I used it to make the three perfectly square boxes to insert the three images in them. I even used the “group layers” option and then duplicated the group to make it much easier and faster to create the three photo boxes.
In terms of the title, it just worked out to put it on the bottom. I had all this space with the background image and with the placement of the light bulb it seemed to make aesthetically more sense to place on the bottom instead of the top. I used a ruler guide (again, from what I learned from the Layer Masks tutorial) so that I could snap a perfect rectangle on the bottom to create a filled box with a lot of opacity. That rule tip really came in hand for this one.
That was pretty much it for the project. Simple and straightforward – in my experience with outreach, it’s the best way to the get a message across.
Photo credit: Lightbulb background image from Pixabay: