Designing a logo is very much like writing a book. You first need to think about your audience. What about your logo will visually represent your style of writing and your genre? When I took on the task of building a logo for the Pen and Cape Society, I immediately wanted two elements to shine, the PCS is a group of authors and the genre is specifically superheroes.
My first designs were a good start. I created a quill pen to represent the authors but I needed more help on the superhero theme. I initially designed a shield (or badge) in the background but I did not like how disjointed the image appeared. In the next version, I double-stacked the title and created a mask for the background. For the first version, I removed the quill pen but now I lost half of the meaning of my logo.
When I readded the quill pen, I did not like the angles of the logo. It also looked too crowded. However, I did finalize the text styling and placement in the fourth version. Instead of a left justify, the second line would indent. I also decided the text needed to be stylish but not difficult to read. I wanted something you might see in 1930s art-deco. The pen was placed near the end of the logo. Authors are never really finished writing so the quill pen needed to look like it was still creating the logo.
This is where I had a little good luck. I initially created the swooping arcs as shadowing detail but I did not like how it looked. The background was interfering with the text, the most important element of this logo. When I looked at it closely, I thought it looked like Lady Justice and Turbulence from The Enhanced Series or Atlas and Astra from Marion G. Harmon’s Wearing the Cape flying overhead. I flipped the bend and made each shape a different color. I also built a gradient to fade out the shape before it overlapped the text.
Now that I had the visual elements completed, I refocused on the text style again. Remember I wanted to show an incomplete but legible logo. I outlined all the letters but for the incomplete letters, I left them empty. The quill pen would be positioned over the left-most letter as if it was filling it in. I moved from the T in SOCIETY to the O in COM to give the pen some white-space from the right of CAPE. It was a simple but effective change that conveyed exactly what I wanted. I also drew the quill pen in more detail that I used for the final Illustrator file.
If you do any web design, you should have colorschemedesigner.com bookmarked. I already had the red color, the color used in the top header bar, so I set up a triad and found complimentary colors for the arcs. I used the darker blue/green and green that faded to the lighter complimentary . These are just some of the hexidecimals I wrote down as I used the color wheel.
And that is how the Pen and Cape Society logo was created.