Updated: Apr 6, 2022
We’ve recently released a logo for The UP Cycled Thread! It was designed by yours truly, and took way longer to complete than I initially thought it would. I thought it might be interesting to share and reflect on the idea behind the logo, and the process of creating it.
At first, I didn’t know what the blog logo would even look like. Our blog is called “The UP Cycled Thread,” and I thought, “It should be that, written in a thread-like or rope style font, colored by a gradient of our company colors.” I didn’t think I had the capability to design a logo like that. However, I knew my brother had a friend who was good with graphic design, so I reached out to this friend to see if he could help out. Unfortunately, I was never able to get in contact with him. Because of this, as well as school and tech limitations, the blog logo was put off.
As the Spring semester came to a close, and my schedule opened up, I decided to give the logo another try, this time with me as the designer. I knew I could create my idea using a program like Adobe Illustrator, which I learned how to use in high school, but I didn’t have the means of paying for an expensive Adobe subscription. So, I searched for a less costly alternative. I stumbled upon a free program called GIMP (horrible, horrible name), which I thought could be used for what I had in mind, but I found the program to be too complicated for a novice such as myself. But, fortunately, using GIMP allowed me to see my idea on the screen in real life for the first time; The UP Cycled Thread, written in a rope style font. Something I spent the past few months visualizing in my head. When I saw it on the screen for the first time, I couldn’t believe it…. I hated it. And so it was back to the drawing board, this time in search of a new design.
While at a loss for what the design could potentially look like, I remember thinking about the wording for the blog title. I wasn’t sure if I liked The Upcycled Thread or The UP Cycled Thread better. After seeking out a second opinion, it came to my attention that the word “UP” is a huge part of our brand; UP Cycle Design, Level UP, and therefore, the blog title officially became The UP Cycled Thread. Thinking about the title in terms of brand enabled me to do the same with the blog logo. How could I make a logo that exemplified our brand? A brand of circular economy and fashion. A brand of zero-waste. A brand of sustainability. This thinking brought me to look at our company logo, and that’s when it hit me. The infinity sign is a piece of our brand. Once I had that revelation, this mind dump happened:
And all of that led me to:
Which became the first initial sketch of the new design. I immediately tried to create it on the computer. I didn’t have a scanner available when doing this, so I had to manually recreate the sketch, something that GIMP wasn’t equipped with the tools to do. Another setback. However, I was determined to complete the logo this time. I gave an Adobe subscription another thought, and since I was in a better financial spot at the time, I bit the bullet, and got a student subscription to Adobe Illustrator, knowing for sure that it would allow me to design the logo.
And allow me it did, albeit with a lot more hassle and difficulty than I was anticipating. That pen tool is something else, let me tell you. Another week or two passed, and I ran into several problems. The lines wouldn’t bend the way I wanted to form a decent infinity sign. The gradient wouldn’t apply to the whole design, or sometimes at all. One font would work but not look good, and another font would look really good but not work. I could keep going, but I think you get the point.
After much improvising with the tools, adapting the logo, and overcoming the challenges, I finally finished the design, and our blog finally had a logo.
Designing the logo was a lot of hard work, way more than I was expecting. I’m sure a professional graphic designer would look at it and scoff, probably thinking that they could knock it out in an hour. But that’s neither here nor there. At the end of the day, I’m proud of the design and seeing it on UP Cycle Design’s website lets me know that I’ve done something professional and made a lasting impact on the company. Not only that, creating this logo has reignited my interest in the world of graphic design, something that I am looking forward to doing more of as time goes on.
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