Brand Integrity, Simplified.

Digitalie logo design – the creative process

Published 31 January 2014

The latest logo design was for a Dutch business called Digitalie whose niche is ‘simplifying marketing for small businesses.’ I met Natalie Vijlbrief, founder of the company, on John Williams’ 30 Day Challenge, a programme I joined in December 2013 to help me start my own health website venture (under development). It was great to share this process with like-minded people, all wanting to earn their living doing what they love, and I am still enjoying the community aspect of the programme, which is continuing on Facebook. John Williams is the author of the book ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ – a title that appeals to me very much! Hence I am now fully self-employed 🙂

The design process started with the font. I had an idea of what I wanted for the feel of it – sans serif, light, modern, slightly rounded and classy. After trying several fonts, I ended up choosing Asenine, a free font from dafont, which seemed to suit the shape of the letters used as well as the overall shape of the word.

The client told me she liked pink/purple or turquoise/purple combinations, so I used these colours in the letters, in a vertical gradient, as follows:


The next step was to think about a symbol to accompany the text. I envisioned something round, almost floral, as well as bright and clear. At first, I wanted to see how the capital ‘D’ could be used, but then I thought the lower case ‘d’ would give more possibilities, so I thought I’d see where it would lead.

As it turned out, the letter ‘d’ in the Asenine font (or any other font I tried) was not symmetrical enough to make this shape work in the way I wanted it to, so I ended up making my own letter ‘d’ with a simple circle and line – or, in proper typography terms, creating my own bowl (the circle of the ‘d’) and ascender (the straight line of the ‘d’).

After many, many rotating experiments to get all the parts in the right place, this shape was born out of eight ‘d’s, again using the colour gradient as per the text, but radial instead of linear:


I also decided to experiment further with a more simplified shape, with fewer white lines and more opportunity for colour to come through. I removed four of the ‘d’s and took up the ascender of the letter at the bottom, which made the ‘d’ look more retro. It resulted in this shape, in which the ‘inverted’ gradient really emphasises the round, floral part of the symbol:


The client liked both these options and found it difficult to choose. The 4-d option was further fine-tuned by tweaking the lines into a more rounded version:


At this point, the 8-d version hadn’t lost its appeal, so I re-started the shape to be more open, allow more colour through and using the colour gradient as per the 4-d shape.


And then, the logo was born! The final chosen version: