I have been following enthusiastically all the posts regarding the recently concluded Oregon Toy Safari. I was very happy to see the T-shirts with the Toy Photographers logo on it and I thought maybe now might be a good time to share the evolution of the logo.

Back in January, Shelly and I were chatting on Facebook (something I enjoy, btw!) and she found out I was a graphic designer and at the same time, this website was undergoing a revamp. The time was just right for the website to incorporate a new logo and when Shelly asked if I could cook up a logo for the site, I was happy to contribute.

The Initial Design Process

Once I got the brief, the first thought was how best to represent visually toys of different IPs. This became quite a bit overwhelming because of the sheer range of toys out there! That problem got stuck in my head for a couple of days. I tried couple of ideas of creating a character out of the word TOY. Eventually, the solution was to ditch the idea and use typography and play on the word TOY. However, this kind of gave it a cliched feel, – colorful text position in a playful manner. As my client always remind me – “It’s so predictable.” So much for that idea. And at this stage, I realized I had not been focusing a lot on the photography aspect of the logo. I guess it was more fun to work on the word TOY. 
At one stage, I decided to incorporate the rule of thirds into the design. However, the layout looked pretty clunky and thick.

Think Simple

I started to explore toy companies’ logo and look at their design rationale. I do this occasionally in my day job, looking at existing concepts and ideas for inspiration and then use that as a springboard to start working on the problem at hand. Though sometimes, this can lead you into a rabbit hole and cause more problems and headache! It was right about this time, I kind of gave up and I looked at the word TOYPHOTOGRAPHERS.COM again.

The funniest thing happened next. After all that searching and cracking my head, I simply scribbled the letter “Y”, right before the word “GRAPHERS”. Sometimes, overthinking is not good and the solution is right in front of you. I was so happy, I literally bent my arm backwards to give myself a pat on the back, thinking aloud YOU ARE A GENIUS!

I eagerly sent an email to Shelly to share this design. Because of the need to use the logo on different platforms, we decided maybe a wide logo might not be such a good idea. It was back to the drawing board again!

By the end of the whole brainstorming process, I had doodled 5 pages worth of ideas.
Below are some of the rejected ideas that received a finished treatment:

The Final Design

Right about this time, I had to travel to Malaysia to help out a friend with a project. I didn’t really have much to for this particular project and it gave me time to think about the logo. Ideas have been swimming in my head on and off and I would suddenly wake up to doodle in some concept whenever an idea popped into my head.  I shared with my friend the doodles I had done so far and he gave me some suggestions. When the final artwork was almost done, Shelly, Brett and I tweaked it a bit and arrived at the final version we see now.

Although I could not make it out to Oregon for this year’s toy safari, at least a little part of me made it in the form of the logo on the T-shirts! Couldn’t be happier!