I recently unveiled a new planetz logo in the intro of my AC15 Comparison video. Here’s the story.
In January 1999, when I launched my original website at planetz, I asked a brilliant digital artist friend, John Weir, to make a logo for me. He used a Mac and an SGI workstation, with programs like Adobe Photoshop and Fractal Design’s Painter, and produced a really interesting and unique piece of artwork for me:
Years later, when I asked him how he had produced it, he couldn’t really remember all the details other than “massive amounts of layers, filtering, distortion, plugins, etc”. And unfortunately the original file was lost, so he couldn’t give me a higher resolution version of it.
I really liked the rich colors, the cool “bubbles” and raking effects, and low-fi distortion of the characters making up the word “planet”. But, I always wished I had a larger, higher resolution version of it, especially as I started to get into high definition video. Also motivated by the shift to high definition video, I needed an image that didn’t crop so closely to the letters. And I kinda wished the Z was a bit curvier too.
So I recently set out to reproduce the logo from scratch, in a larger high resolution format. There’s no way I could make it identical, but I wanted to make something new, inspired by the original.
Using the free open source graphics editor GIMP (which has a lot in common with Photoshop), I spent countless hours experimenting and tweaking. I learned a lot, and made some interesting discoveries along the way. Here’s the finished result:
What follows is a detailed step-by-step guide for making this logo. Read the rest of this entry