I had originally designed an idea using www.pixlr.com. I love this site. It is like having Photoshop, but on the web. I found the Berlin Sans FB Demi font there that I really liked for the V. To me it looked like a person throwing up his/her arms, so I put a dot in it. I tried some ideas to create a two-tone look. Then I added gradient headlights. I may have grown too attached to the concept, because I kept coming back to these ideas. You'll see, eventually I let go enough.
The other was to change the gradient headlights to line art, our toughest issue. We discussed different positions, back lit letters, which still caused issues with gradients and I was too attached to the circle shape of the G with the light inside of it. I also wanted two headlights to represent a car, not a motorcycle. If you are riding a motorcycle on an unpaved highway you are braver than me.
Happy birthday to me: on my birthday, Hampton sent over the initial ideas. He changed the font to Highway Gothic, which is what is used for U.S. highway road signs; you know the big green signs that say where you are headed and what exit is next. It is indeed a very clean and geometric font; however he took liberties. Some of the font modifications stuck, some of it just needed to be adjusted. What I liked the most was the unbound space. The logo reached in all directions and was at an angle. Looking back at it, I still like how tightly spaced the words are compared to the final version. But, I will get into why we changed the spacing. We tried some things out: the color blue that is used for the unpaved highway symbol on maps, hair on the dot and headlights in different positions. We started to move away from the person in the logo: the dot is a bit confusing on its own and giving it a hairstyle seemed like a limiting factor. It took until nearly the final version to remove the dot completely.
I requested feedback from friends on Facebook and professionals, so a few people got to see four variations that we were considering. We learned that most people did not pick up on the dot as the head of a person, and that person being YOU. I still did not want to lose the essence of the V and A forming the person. Removing the dot meant that the V looked too tall. We liked the angle of the top of the V because it kept the look of the person and it helped with the flow from the U to the V and back down to the ED; that is, it attracts the eye across the logo. In the variations I had included the A being flat at the bottom and with the points. Having the points added to the left to right flow, balance against the V, and energy of the V and A person: adding the look that the person is extended, not just standing still.
With these problem solved, I leveled off the G and H to balance the flow from the U to V. I moved the headlight between the A and Y to pull them closer together. In the original the headlight was under the D, but in this case we did not want to extend it too far to the right. We were not entirely happy with the headlight. We tried different shapes, different radiant patterns and placements. We decided that making the center bigger helped to define it a bit better. There were a couple small cleanups to minor inconsistencies, but no further changes. The logo really comes to life at the higher resolution.
What started on April 13th was completed by June 1st, just as scheduled. The logo was unveiled over the past week with six frames on Instagram before being incorporated into the website and other social media sites. We are creating new merchandise with the new branding and look. I can't wait to buy some for myself and offer it to you.