In March 2017, Design Lab took place for the first time in London. This new design meetup, organised by Novoda, aimed to be a community where UI, UX, Interaction and all sorts of other designers could come together, share ideas, and get to know one another. In each event, two speakers get to present and talk about a topic they are passionate and knowledgeable about, and share their learnings with their peers.
I worked with the brilliant Caroline Smith, a product designer and illustrator, to form the brand identity of Design Lab . We embarked on a 2-3 week journey to create a logo, iconography and colour specs, banners, and presentation templates among many other graphics.
We started our process by scouting the internet for other brand identities that struck our eyes. We were looking for something playful and inviting, to mirror the vibe that this meetup intended to have. We gathered our ideas on a moodboard compiled on Pinterest, organised by logo style, iconography, and anything else we found interesting. Soon enough, we concluded on a direction for Design Lab’s brand identity and we got to work.
Since Caroline is crazy good at illustration and I have some experience with calligraphy and lettering, we decided to split the work accordingly. While Caroline took care of the iconography, which constituted the bulk of the graphic part of the brand, I worked on designing the logo.
Creating the logotype
My favourite medium of ideation will forever be the pen and paper. I started drawing out many variations and layouts of the logo, and finally decided on one that was closest to our vision. I refined the lettering a few times until it got to a good condition, ready to vectorise. Few details escaped me (looking at that g letter), but nothing that couldn’t be fixed digitally.
Using these very same photos, I started the long process of vectorisation. Image tracing isn’t apt to make a logo out of a drawing, so it had to be done manually, anchor after anchor, curve after curve. The first pass is easy, but the details really make a lettering piece come together. I spend a few days endlessly refining the lettering, struggling a lot with something that just didn’t look right, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, I realised that the bowls of some letters were too large and were throwing the entire piece off-balance. Once fixing that, everything seemed to fall into place.
Putting it all together
In the meantime, Caroline had finished her work on iconography, and we worked together to assemble the two parts. After a lot of experimentations, we decided on what finally became the established brand identity of Design Lab.
Two years later, Design Lab London has amassed 2000 registered members, with nearly 100 attendants per event. In addition to that, it has expanded to Berlin where it takes place in an extravagant venue with the same number of participants every month. Talks are now live-streamed from every event, and made publicly available on Design Lab’s YouTube channel. Join Design Lab!