14 May 2010
3 Years, 3 Logos, 1 Beach Geek
It's been three years since I came up with the Dr. Suess inspired name for my new web design firm,
Geeks on the Beach.
In that time, the company has evolved; and so has our website mascot/logo - The Beach Geek.
Version 1 of the logo was largely inspired by the For Dummies Guides character. It turns out that "inspired by" and "infringing" can be a blurry line.
A little backstory: I wrote a book back in 1997 entitled
Apparently, someone noticed me driving around Parksville / Qualicum Beach in my Geek Mobile and reported me to my own publisher, who promptly contacted me through their legal department.
And so it was back to the drawing board and on to version 2 of my logo.
I am a website designer first and foremost. I can find my way around Photoshop pretty well (heck, I've even taught courses on Photoshop in Website Design at the U of R), but I don't make any pretensions to being a professional-level illustrator.
Version 2 of the Beach Geek stretched my abilities as a self-caricaturist about as far as they could go.
I was never happy with the perspective on the inner-tube/life-saver, but all-in-all, I was quite pleased with my effort.
Geeks - even beach geeks - tend not to get out into the sun that much. But looking back at version 2 now, my website mascot is so pasty white he looks almost vampirish to me. Chalk it up to SPF 3000.
The glossy, faux 3D effect was the direct result of visiting one too many "Web 2.0" sites.
Over the last three years, my website designs and my skills as a developer have become more refined. It was time to bring my mascot up to that same level of polish.
I looked at the portfolios of professional illustrators for inspiration and kept coming back to the work of one illustrator in particular cartoonist, Wardell Brown.
Check out Wardell's portfolio or pick up one of his books. The man rocks!
Rather than trying to copy his style, I went straight to the source and hired Mr. Brown to refresh my character. The end result is everything I wanted.
My website mascot is friendly, cartoony, professional and unique while retaining the essential character of my self-designed Beach Geek mascot.
Oddly enough, when I show off my new logo, people ask what the difference is.
The difference is striking to me. But, for some, it's only when they see all three version side by side by side that the evolution becomes crystal clear.