Designing a wizard for a logo

Affinity Designer Tutorial

A member of a social media group asked me for some help with a logo he was working on for a welder. Thomas Bloem‘s initial design had a wizard (Merlin) holding a welding torch and wearing welding goggles.

Here’s the design:

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This design has a few problems. The fact that it is a bitmap image makes it problematic to scale, the level of complexity made it hard to read at a glance, the different styles in the design ranging from clip art to hand-drawn leave it looking inconsistent.

In my opinion, a logo should be clear, memorable, readable at a glance, and match the client, the business, and the industry. A logo for an ice cream parlor looks and feels very different from a game developer or a fishmonger or a car dealer. The colours, font choices, and design styles should match the expectations of the client as well as the audience.

Let’s simplify:

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2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration

Start with the basic shapes: two circles for the head and the hat.

A third circle gets converted to curves, with added nodes serves as the front part of the hat.

I created the beard as a half that gets mirrored later. Using the pen tool create a straight line [holding down SHIFT] and create a rough shape with a straight line.

Refine it with the node tool by adding more nodes and curving part of the shape.

2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration
2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration

Duplicate the beard and mirror it. Combine the two halves with the Boolean ‘Add’.

Using the pen tool I created some shadow shapes for the beard [again doing just one side and mirroring it] .

A rectangle serves as the base for the top part of the hat. Rounding the top corners, converting it to curves, and then adjusting the curves with the node tool.

A simple triangle done with the pen tool gets some extra nodes and is added to the base shape.

2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration
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A bit more detail

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2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration

The shoulders and chest part is based on a rectangle, deformed and refined with some additional shapes.

Using the contour tool, I created a smaller shape of the hat’s top for a tiny bit of shading. Bake the appearance, duplicate and offset the shape, and subtract.

Set to 50% transparency for a bit of added detail.

2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration
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2dgameartguru - creating a wizard logo illustration

In the next step, I added the name underneath. Seeing Affinity Designer is still missing that feature in the current version, I did use an external tool for the text deformation.

Note:
I used CorelDraw – seeing I own an older version and have used CorelDraw for years and years prior to Affinity Designer – but Inkscape and Vectorstyler do the job as well – and they are both free.

Finally, I created the props to match [welding torch – made up of a line, stroke expanded and some circles – and the goggles – two circles, combined, added contour and some detail].

To me, the key is a consistent level of detail. Ultimately, for a logo like this reduction is more important than detail. E.g. there is no point in adding the hands or more facial features, as they don’t make the design clearer – just more complex.

When designing a logo/ illustration for a logo keep things simple and make sure the logo can be used for more than the client initially asked – as most clients don’t know what they want at the start of the project. Keeping things in vectors and scalable, making sure it works in a small version as well as enlarged on a T-Shirt or billboard will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

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I hope this little tutorial was interesting and helpful. Have fun with your creations, as it will show in the design!

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