Build Keeper.NET logo drafts

by alex 28. March 2013 01:50

Tree logos

My first idea is that since Build Keeper is used to cross reference different versions of software releases, it could be represented by a tree. And what better way to illustrate a programmer's tree than with Visio? =)

That idea gave rise to these two images. Some feedback on the first image was that it didn't invoke the image of a tree in the viewer's mind. This doesn't necessarily make it a bad logo, but it misses the mark so I tried adding a few smaller green leaves. I'm not totally in love with either of these images, but I still like the original idea.

Cloud logo

For a brief moment I considered a cloud logo, with the bubbles on the standard cloud logo being nodes in a small dependency graph. I don't know what I was thinking and this was quickly abandoned.

Castle logos

The second idea, probably a bit more obvious, is centered around the "keep" portion of Build Keeper: castles, towers, and such.

2D Iconic castles

I tried some quick drafts of simplified 2D castles but I wasn't particularly fond of anything that was happening here. The first is very Cisco.

3D Rendered castles

A castle tower or turret is kind of interesting and I thought I might be able to get an interesting design with simplified colors. I fired up my 3D program of choice and built a (very) simple turret. Two directional lights cast high-contrasting colors at either side.

Using a standard up and aim perspective camera, looking up at a shallow angle, I rendered it with high-contrast colors and then again with two colors from the product site. I kinda liked it, but it felt a little boring, so I tried cutting a hole in the middle of the tower, to make room for an icon or something. Barf. But it was fun because who does boolean operations on polygonal solids these days? =)

All cameras are not created equal and the next experiment used an orthogonal camera. Ignore the black parallelograms on the bottom - that's the underside of the turret and it'll be stripped off later.

I liked that well enough to scratch a bit.

Using Gimp, I created a bottom edge (this same look could probably have been achieved with a perspective camera with tweaked out settings to make the vanishing points shoot far off... probably something to do with ISO settings [j-playing at the end there]).

Anyway.

The brand name also makes an appearance here. The contrast between the blue-side and "Build" is nice, but it requires the tower to be tall and the text is quite wide, so the silhouette looks strange - bulk to the left and wide and thin to the right. It's almost key-shaped. But I feel like I could be on to something with this shape. 

I tried shortening the turret a bit, but I think it went a little too far in the 2nd image - it looks squashed and the 3D-ness of it starts to break down.

 

Vectorizing the raster - inking

Everything to this point has been low-quality, rasterized bitmaps and they were a bit fuzzy in places. I imported the latest version (the shortened tower with the brand) into Inkscape and traced all the edges. This process involves drawing math-powered lines on top of the bitmap and then filling it in.

These shots in are:

  1. The traced source image.
  2. A taller turret with deeper "teeth". And I also somehow swapped the colors. That wasn't intentional =)
  3. Two tests of how it would look on the product site and in the product itself; the product will use a transparent version to let the menu header shine through.

 

Finally, here's what it would look like in the product itself and on the sales site:

I think I like this logo. It can easily be 1-bit, which makes it cheap to be printed. The colors can be varied to fit the medium and the message.

If two colors are used (like the orange and blue of the product site) I may remove the black outlines.

What do you think?

Edit: The smallest icons - in the last two samples - gets a bit blurred at the top, while the middle is a wasteland of color. I could see trashing the middle "tooth" and have only 2 per edge around the top. That might turn out to be funny looking.

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