just a photoshop assignment from college, just thought the community might be interested in my approach

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OK so the assignment was to use Photoshop or illustrator (or both) to redesign an existing brand or logo and also Photoshop it onto an existing product.

Given my love for HACKADAY, I decided to choose the Jolly Wrencher. Now in case your wondering why I think a simple Photoshop assignment should be up on a site for hack related projects, well its because to achieve one of my desired designs in the assignment, I had to code a custom piece of software to adjust ASCII art to the characters of my choosing.

This is the fully complete assignment, the image was originally too large to upload here. The real thing of interest for this assignment was how I created the binary logo. Read the logs to see how it was done and yes, that binary does translate back into real text. A full version of the binary skull has been uploaded here.


    TAIBHSE DESIGNS12/23/2014 at 19:51 5 comments


    Stage one of the assignment was to find a logo to redesign, simple, go with my favourite website HACKADAY.


    Stage two was to study the existing logo, what made it unique, what made it stand out, what elements needed to remain for a new version to still be recognized as belonging to the brand who owned the logo.

    I spent some time looking over the logo and found its name, The Jolly Wrencher, I couldn't find any information on who made it or why they designed it the way they did. I would love it if HACKADAY someday wrote a piece about their logo or if someone here could contact me with any knowledge about it, I'm curious.

    After finding the name of the logo, I decided it was important to keep the name and that it still made sense with the new logo, so the wrenches needed to stay. Next I looked into how the logo was used, the community often engraved, printed or added by other means the logo to their projects (on circuits or casings etc). This is easily done due to the simple flat silhouette of the design. My redesign would also need to incorporate this.

    At this stage I now knew that the redesign needed to be simple, maintain the wrenches for recognition and maintain the flat silhouette appearance.


    Stage three was where I figured out my design or at least the approach I would take. For this I turned to pen and a notepad (you rarely see me without my trusted notepad). Bellow are some of the pages of rough ideas and notes I jotted down during this stage.

    Here is where I decided on a monkey face instead of a skull as the new logos main centre. As can be seen, at first I was considering a redesign of the skull but I quickly settled on making a friendlier looking monkey face (I like it, not sure if the community would). It was here I also started considering the idea of having the logo created as ASCII art, I considered plain ASCII art or using hexadecimal code or binary. When I got that idea into my head I knew I wanted to do it and also have it translatable into real text rather than just being gibberish or random meaningless code.


    At this stage, I had my basic idea layed out, keep the crossed wrenches but make them look sleeker, maintain the simple silhouette appearance, replace the skull with a friendly monkey face and finally as an extra bonus, do out a version of the logo as ASCII art converted to binary or hexadecimal code that translated back into real text (I had no idea how I was going to use this in the project at the end, let alone how I was going to make it, but it was a fun challenge).

    After playing around in Photoshop, I came out with two versions of the logo as seen above, the only difference being the wrench heads, one version had them attached while another detached. I quickly dropped the detached version as given the logo needed to be scalable to many sizes, large and small while maintaining recognizable detail, the design with detached wrench heads would have lost the detach line when scaled small rendering it pointless to have such a detail.


    With the new logo finalized, it was time to figure out how I would go about rendering it as ASCII art, in Photoshop I could have easily created a paragraph of text / binary / hexadecimal code and then cut the logo out from it, actually........I did try that.......this was the result at the edges of the design......

    As can be seen in the sample to the left, Cutting the logo out of the binary text resulted in also splitting characters and ruining the hindsight if I had thought this through I should have been aware this would happen........then again logic and sleep deprivation when working on a project at 4am - 5am rarely work well together.

    After this slight failure I remembered a portable program I had lying around on my laptop, ascgen2.

    I imported the solid silhouette of the logo design into ascgen2. Ascgen2...

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Benchoff wrote 01/12/2015 at 14:52 point


If you're wondering, the original logo was done by Phil (yeah, the Adafruit guy) in Flash. Yeah, 2004 was a weird time. I'm looking for a copy of the original logo, but my email googlefu isn't working right now. We are going to have a 'history of hackaday something or other' in a few months. I'll include it with that.

I'm guessing you'll get an A if we use this for a day or so, right?

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TAIBHSE DESIGNS wrote 01/12/2015 at 15:48 point

Thank you for the information, I always love finding the stories behind logo's and designs. Everyone has their own unique approach to design. I also don't know if this would guarantee me an A, but it would still be a good achievement for the project. I look forward to the history of Hackaday article, it will be a very interesting read.

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