Case Study:


I never work for free, and I refuse to enter design competitions - it devalues designers and the hard work we put into projects, our businesses and careers - but it's important to pay it forwards sometimes and my involvement in the branding of pug.js - an html templating language - was an opportunity for me to give something back to the tech community. Albeit a small niche corner...

I saw, randomly on Twitter I suppose - that's where most random things pop up - a call for logos for the Pug project following its forced renaming. It used to be called Jade, but then a longstanding software company pointed out that they owned a trademark and TL;DR it's now called Pug.

I got to work on my first draft. It was very much a first draft.

Yeah, so it looks like a bear. There's a reason why we have first drafts and rounds of changes.

The logo design process was a competition, and other users got involved. Some of the logos were - I won't mince words - just plain awful, and others were very well drawn but they were illustrations and not logos.

Logos need to work in a very particular way - representative, and not illustrative - and that's what I had in mind with my vision for the Pug brand. All the pieces were there, It just needed to a little bit more like a Pug, and not the beloved children's television puppet, Sooty.

So to Google I went, and thankfully people like pugs, so there were reference images galore.

It was important for the logo to work under any conditions. Contrast studies like this help to demonstrate if a concept will still be recognisable as it is stripped down.

The wrinkles, the triangular ears, the sad little face, I worked hard to preserve all the things that make a pug a pug and I believe I succeeded.

I won (so to speak) the competition and my logo has been used by the project for the past 6 years.

Working for "exposure" is a real issue in the design community and one that doesn't appear to be going away any time soon. The difference with this project is that I chose to be involved and that I was also looking for no exposure whatsoever. I was simply happy to use my skills to benefit a software that had greatly aided me in my career by reducing the time needed for coding in my projects back then.

No one was taking advantage or being taken advantage of. A very important distinction.