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Jason McDowell is also known as Little Tiny Fish. He is the Creative Director for OnMilwaukee. Occasionally he freelances. Mostly he rides bikes.

littletinyfish.com is not a cohesive blog, but a repository of musings on an assortment of topics, such as design, art, cycling, Milwaukee, and other personal experiences.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working with a couple of different people regarding logo design: Tim Cigleske of Teecycle.org and Steve Glynn of Spreenkler.

Teecycle.org

Teecycle.org’s old logo was in need of an overhaul. The green in it was a bit dark and overbearing and it was improperly sized on the site. The chosen font wasn’t particularly strong or representative of anything. When I set to work on the new version there were two requirements for the new Teecycle logo: It had to have the universal recycle symbol in it and it had to use the color green.

I started out with a three-color logo, using blue, red and green, but eventually we decided to knock it down to two colors. I preferred the red, but fearing a too-strong association to Christmas we ultimately leaned towards green and blue.

Two fonts were used. Clarendon Black was chosen for it’s sportier, stronger look while Candice was used make the mark a little more lighthearted with a nod towards retro. The swoop underneath helps with this as well.

The swoop is also representative of a nature trail or a green river since the organization donates $1 from every purchase to River Revitalization projects.

A square, or vertical logo was also included, as well as a Favicon, however current WordPress restrictions don’t allow for the replacement of the Favicon.

ThinkMKE

The Greater Milwaukee Committee was looking for a light–hearted, more adventurous design for their soon to be released blog, ThinkMKE which is located at thinkmke.com. Since this is an offshoot of the official committee I did some research into the goals of the GMC itself. Their biggest ideals are Leadership, Community, Diversity, and Development.

The typeface is highly representative of the strength of the organization. The letters are bolder, thicker, and stronger. They are accented with thicker slab serifs yet those serifs still hold a bit of a curve and grace to them.

The varying letter heights and blocky forms are reminiscent of a panoramic skyline view of Milwaukee and the letters are spaced tightly together to bring home the essence of a tight knit, supportive community.

The colors of the letters vary between the three primary values: red, green, and blue. These colors are foundational in design, echoing strength, diversity, and possibility. And while these colors are at their essence primary, they are not perfect representations. The red is slightly warmer, the blue is a little more crisp, and the green is brighter, more welcoming.

The logo itself springs from the page positively moving forward and rising upward.

Finally, the logotype is set on top of an abstract thought balloon. ThinkMKE.

As far as it’s target audience goes, this logo is certainly a radical departure from the very corporate GMC site. It’s more fun, more active, and more exciting.

Ultimately this is not the final product. While the blog has been set forth and is currently being updated, the identity project was unfortunately halted.

Archived Comments

These comments were pulled from the archives after a site failure in mid 2014. Though I no longer accept public comments on my site, I’ve included them for posterity. If you’d like to submit a comment, send one to littletinyfish@littletinyfish.com.

  1. I’m more than happy with my new logo. The ThinkMKE logo is really sweet, too.

    Teecycle_Tim · 2008-10-30 12:06 · #

A recent acquaintance of mine, Tim Cigelske dropped himself off in Colorado with a bike, a bottle of water, and a few power bars (as well as a kick ass Chipotle jersey) and in currently working his way back up to his home city of Milwaukee.

Having only biked 80 miles to Madison and, more recently 115 miles around Riverwest, this seems like quite the feat.

Now I’m on vacation in Iowa and since I have no significant other traveling with me (unless you count my beagle, Frutiger) I had room in the trunk in which to throw my bike. Half the family I’ve come to visit is gone and most of this morning I was alone. And since I forgot to pack some food for my lovable companion, I thought it would be good to start practicing my distance biking by making a trip out to Target.

From where my parents live, it’s only a mere 7 miles away, but since I’m in the suburbs of Iowa, the city planners only come up with plans for expansion and rarely come to any sense of completion. Roads suddenly end (they’ll put them there soon) or they’ll suddenly turn you down the opposite direction and bike paths suddenly end (you just wait, this place is gonna be great!).

Or maybe those are just my excuses as to why I got lost and overshot my goal by about 13 miles. I went back and forth down a few main roads and just as I was about to give up and find my way home, I was at Target’s front door. When I realized that I was practically feet from it almost a half–an–hour before I felt a little sheepish, but ultimately it was just exciting to take the bike around.

And it rides so much better now that I’ve raised the seat an inch.

I’ve only recently discovered the miles/calories/gas-savings site, Gas Free Commute in which you can input your miles and compete to see how green you are. Most of my trips have lately been to work, which is kinda boring. But today I win.

Archived Comments

These comments were pulled from the archives after a site failure in mid 2014. Though I no longer accept public comments on my site, I’ve included them for posterity. If you’d like to submit a comment, send one to littletinyfish@littletinyfish.com.

  1. Sorry I missed you in Iowa. We may have been biking around the same suburb the same time, crossing bike paths.

    Teecycle Tim · 2008-08-11 14:30 · #