In the mid 2000’s, I worked as a freelance designer. I provided web design, flash animation, and logo design services for a variety of clients. The logo jobs were my favorite.
I thoroughly enjoy distilling the essence of an entire brand, business, personality, or project into a simple and iconic design. There’s a real art to it. But it’s easy to take great logos for granted because good design is invisible. A good logo provides clarity, and captures the soul of a brand on a subconscious level. At a glance, you should know if the logo represents a business that sells microchips or skateboards. You should know if it’s an exciting company — or a boring company. A great logo tells a story, even if you don’t realize it. At least, that’s what I aim to achieve in my designs.
My personality and style were influenced by the surf, skate, and alternative music cultures. However, it’s not easy landing design projects within those industries. As a result, I created several personal designs for my portfolio that I felt would be attractive to the brands I wanted to work with.
Among my personal designs, I had a favorite. It was striking, bold, and iconic, yet so simple. I referred to it as the “X” skull design. It captured an aggressive and anarchist mood, and I imagined it representing an alternative lifestyle brand. I added the design to my online portfolio, and displayed it in online logo galleries and design communities that were popular at the time.
The logo received a lot of attention. Designer friends expressed how much they liked the design, and the work was featured on several websites. I was proud of my stupidly simple skull design. I thought, maybe, I’ll use it for a business of my own someday.
Then, somebody plagiarized the design.