Logos are an interesting choice of work for graphic designers or any content creators. There are so many different ways to create logos, not to mention size varieties of font, and canvas or display area as well. Logos also come in all sorts of shapes and patterns.
Some logos may just include text and a minimalist background of a gradient or even a single color. Many business cards offer such logos on the front. Other logos, however, include graphics and objects along with the text. This is why as designers we need to plan the logo ahead of time and make it fit for what its theme is meant to convey.
If the company we are creating the logo for, whether it is our own company or a client’s, is a tech company, we should make it reflect technology. Maybe add some computer screens or keyboards to its layout. If it is a flower company selling flower products, we should add a bouquet of sorts or at least a flower here and there onto its design. These are just some examples.
The actual text on the logo, however, may be its most important part. Many programs, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, offer a wide range of fonts to choose from for text. However, there is also the option to make the logo truly stand out and offer a unique print design and that is creating the text from scratch.
One way to do this is using various inks or pen and pencil tools and writing the text. However, another way that I recently used was using Illustrator’s pen tool. It is no easy feat as the pen tool takes some fiddling to really get good curves and angles — particularly on the S. However, it offers a pretty unique way to make the logo stand out because it also allows us to create various fills and gradients to go along with the design of the text.
I recently started doing side jobs doing native speaking or conversational english here in Europe along with my content creation online. Or at the least, I have a one-time-per-week client right now and am trying to see if I can develop this into a side business of sorts. However, my main focus is still freelance multimedia and content creation.
Thus, here is a design I started working on for a logo based on being a native speaker and it will go on a business card I plan on forming out of this logo. I may even use it for a website’s header image or other purposes. However, it really was a learning process and a process of finesse using the pen tool. That was the main goal of this project along with getting more familiar with the various gradients and fills I can use to create unique logos in the future. Here is what the final design turned out to look like after trial and error getting the letters to lign up:
So there you have it. A bit of my work using Illustrator to create Vector logos that can be scaled and printed any size without loss as long as the file is the pdf version. This particular logo was done for me personally, but I can do other such work for your brand or company if you are interested in working with me. I can also combine various other ideas, shapes, gradients backgrounds (or color fills) and more. This was just one idea.
You may be aware that the Internet is not as free as you were once told. It started out pretty free or the idea behind it was connectivity with users around the world and no hassles of government interference or control. You may recall the Usenet groups that made communication among people from all over the world a breeze before the World Wide Web even appeared.
The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location.
This is an interesting statement made by the Internet Society on the Brief History of the Internet. It however, represents a long lost idea. The idea of freedom of communication being made possible online and without interference of any kind to limit the flow of these ideas or other forms of information.
The Internet is much more than just the World Wide Web and websites. It consisted of many services, Usenet being an example I previously mentioned, before Tim Berners-Lee’s idea became a reality and has been before the 90s in such capacity.
“As the web began to grow, Tim realized that its true potential would only be unleashed if anyone, anywhere could use it without paying a fee or having to ask for permission,” according to Web Foundation's article titled History of the Web.
This was truly a time of potential and exploration. However, both the WWW and the Internet as a whole have since started to be much more limited in terms of geographical barriers and content control. Geoblocking of content, nations around the world controlling the flow of information and many other hamstrings exist today to a global and free Internet.
A Prime example of this is Netflix. You cannot watch the same content from even your own Netflix account abroad, say in Europe, than you can if you opened and ran your account from the United States. A lot of the content, such as TV shows, will not be available due to various licensing agreements that Netflix made with the producers or providers of such content. It all comes down to money and influence.
Another example of unequal access to online services and Internet restrictions based on geolocation data include the recent European privacy laws, called GDPR, that made many websites that do not comply with the new GDPR law unavailable to European users. This is based around Europe protecting privacy of user information and preventing data gathering for further targeted advertisements among other things. Last time I checked, I could not even open up the LA Times online when connecting from a European IP due to this issue. This is really a U.S. problem or problem with U.S. media not wanting to comply with GDPR.
Such unequal access to media will prevent the flow of information from being free and global. It will also prevent as global collaboration among journalists and media networks as a whole. It is also worth pointing out that this is very disadvantageous for average Web surfers and users who cannot get an unbiased picture on world news due to being prevented from accessing content or articles from even renown media channels, like the aforementioned LA Times.
With a quick search I found more information on such sites and media. The Guardian has written an article mentioning this problem called LA Times among US-based news sites blocking EU users due to GDPR, but it is not the only major publication. According to the Guardian's report:
“Visitors to newspapers owned by Tronc Inc – formerly Tribune Publishing – which also includes the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and the San Diego Union-Tribune, are being redirected to a page with the message: ‘Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.;”
This also means that many of us who want to travel and access our Netflix shows abroad will have to forego watching certain things we want to watch or go the route of purchasing VPN services (usually for a fee) in order to trick Netflix and other content providers or media into thinking we are in a different geographical zone (notably the U.S.).
Netflix is not the only example. In fact, many social networks, such as Instagram, offer geoblocking to an extent. Many even adhere to censorship from governments around the world such as China and North Korea to prevent web users in those countries from getting the full content of the site or network or prevent access altogether.
Besides the Web and Internet as a whole being manipulated and controlled by entities, whether governments (like China's) or companies like Netflix, to bar users based on certain geographic demographics or geolocation, there are greater issues at play. You may have heard of the recent Net Neutrality rules controversies and how the Trump administration in the U.S. has not favored net neutrality, but sided against them.
“Supporters of net neutrality say the internet as we know it may not exist much longer without the protections, according to a CNET. “Big tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, and internet luminaries, such as Tim Berners-Lee, fall in that camp.”
This shows that there may be different price hikes for different Internet speeds and broadband access to different users and companies rather than a free and equal share of the pie. This is all based on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) having a heavy hand at deciding how U.S.-based Web traffic and online connectivity rules play out; and this FCC being influenced by politicians or having chairman appointed by presidents.
What is interesting is I had no idea how restricted online access can be until I started traveling or living abroad. This combined with Google's geoblocking that prevents me from gaining access to U.S.-based Google search without typing /ncr (no country redirect) as part of Google's url (www.google.com/ncr) are just hassles that should not exist. I found many websites, including Dropbox's and Apple's that automatically switch to the language of the country I am connecting from even when I try to switch the url to US or ENG or search for the U.S. based version of the site.
It is interesting how far this approach to Web traffic will go in terms of if it will continue to divide users based on geoblocking or over time if Web access will become more inclusive regardless of geographical location. I hope for the latter as many traveling or those living abroad, but wanting access to the same content they had access to at home, do. Many business leaders and network professionals I am also sure want access to the premiere, or many times U.S.-based, versions of sites and services as they may be superior (Netflix example again) to the versions they are being forced to consume abroad.
Even website creation can become a major pain when switching regions or trying to create a site in English for a global audience. Here in Poland I created a site using Weebly and it automatically displayed Polish for me without asking me if that was the language I wanted to use for both the site itself and the menus. I have since switched to English from the dashboard, however some of the default text that isn’t changeable (maybe unless I went into CSS or HTML and did it by hand) is still displayed in Polish forcing me to delete it.
For instance, the drop down menu of archives in the news section of my template says “Archiwa” and the month in a smaller font below. Both of these words as part of the section are in Polish. I can change archive by hand to archives, but the month is hyperlink and unchangeable. What is odd is that even if delete this section and then find it in the menu to the left, it is in English. But once I drag it down to the same section, the text becomes Polish again. Just take a look at the right-hand panel of this blog to see what I mean.
These are all hurdles one has to overcome when traveling or moving into another country and dealing with so much geoblocking, geolocation tracking, and services being thrown down our throats we do not necessarily want (in the even of streamlining the web creation experience as outlined above making it more of a hassle as a result of not allowing us to change the hyperlinked text).
Personally, it will take a long time, and many dictators from around the world to disappear before the Internet truly becomes a free and global phenomenon. There are many hurdles still at play that are preventing even services such as Netflix from being equal around the world both in content and cost. Companies offering services should be the first to realize the importance of net neutrality and geoblocking woes, but when licensing and money are at play it becomes a different game.
However, there is still hope things will start turning around soon. According to the latest news (since I started writing this piece), California may soon approve a a net neutrality bill that would become the largest in the U.S. Again, this is strictly dealing with U.S. politics related to data and the FCC and not something that should affect users worldwide, but it can send a message and have a ripple affect down the road. California is a huge player when it comes to the Net, Web services and Silicon Valley is located there, after all.
This is good news when it comes to data caps and neutral access across sites and networks to U.S. broadband and fiber-optic cables. However, it still does not address the issue of geoblocking of the same content across the globe despite users paying the same if not more of a premium for the service. Again, Netflix comes to mind as the example of this. It also does not address the issue of major media and websites being unavailable to European users due to the GDPR.
I really hope there will be a time when the ideas of what the Internet and the Web should be will come to pass and where someone can log online from anywhere on the globe and access the same services. This will not only open up new job markets and the ability for remote workers to have a fair and equal chance at competition and being productive, but also give kids an example to absorb the same information as their peers in the developed nations, particularly in the U.S who get all the online services available with the click of a mouse.
I started writing an article on my experiences traveling abroad and having a very limited and inferior access to various services such as Netflix. This is due to companies like Netflix tracking your IP and based on your IP address and location giving you less content even if logging in from your account that you created in the U.S.
Netflix is just one example and the company is pretty known for this due to various licensing fees associated with TV shows and film content. It is also a reason many travelers and expats living abroad use VPN services to mask their IP addresses. However, geoblocking, and various aspects of the Internet being not free and equal for all globally, are much bigger than Netflix or any consumer services. Major U.S.-based media, such as LA Times, are being blocked in Europe right now with geolocation tracking due to Europe's latest privacy laws called GDPR.
There are other things associated with limiting online access to users based on geographical locations and even accessibility options that can cause major headaches for English speakers who want to create content in English. Even Weebly is not immune to this as it automatically adjusts the language based on location rather than prompts you to choose it as you edit a site from the get go. You have to find the drop down menu yourself and even then some things have remained in a different language for me in the menu when I drag and drop them into the side bar.
I go into these details in an article I am writing and hopefully pitching to a publication focusing on media, technology, privacy or online activities. If I do not pitch it right or get it published I will publish it on my own blog (and main personal site) at www.-mike-lata.com and possibly here as well. However, the reason I am writing this post is because I created some graphic design ideas for the piece I wanted to share on the site. It is also a reason to update something with this site as it hasn't seen many updates since launch.
Here are some ideas I created and variations of them all in Illustrator and mostly using the pen tool with some added effects:
The variation below took longer to create and may take longer to load because it used a 3D effect for the WWW icons on the bottom that it turned into a cylinder I decided to keep because I thought it looks cool and adds some flair to the overall image. However, it becomes a bit more busy and that cool looking globe that almost looks like it is coming out of the screen above due to shading effects, or outer glow, is kind of absent in it (variant below).
Here is another variant with a similar, albeit different looking 3D effect that I created:
And finally something a bit more tech noir or darker in tone using some neon glow affects:
I also have some PDF files of the various variations, but Weebly is limiting my ability to upload some of them until I upgrade to a better plan. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the content and the article should be finished soon. Look for here or on my main blog of www.maciejduraj.com for it or its hyperlink if it gets published elsewhere.
Maciej Duraj. Personal website: