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A Man and His Mascot

I first and foremost want to say thank you to Professor Davidson, I have been a big fan for a while now and it was an honor to take this class. Ever since seeing his first logo design tutorials on deviant art, I have been impressed by both his aesthetic style, and willingness to share his methods. Upon finding his work on dribble, I very soon elevated him to my favorite sports logo designer, hoping to one day develop enough skills of my own to call him a primary influence. The pièce de résistance, for me, was his work on SB Nation, which perfectly exemplifies the breadth and skill of a true master.

Anyways, even though I've never told anybody, I secretly hoped I would someday develop enough skills to construct a logo, or amass enough money to hire Fraser, and have my very own NiC crested hockey sweater. Thanks to this class I am much closer to the former, although still holding out hope for the latter.

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Prior to finding this class, I had developed a logo that felt almost right, but always felt like something was off. I was focused on developing and incorporating an illustrative style, and lost some of my personal likeness in the process. Upon discovering this class, I started off messing with some animals, but soon realized the best use of this experience was to dust off and update the old Nic logo. 

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I started off by leaning back in my chair and taking a couple selfies. I wanted to try and capture a similar angle to the old logo, so I tried to look as far away from the camera while still looking at the camera. So that's me. In hindsight, I probably should have shaved first, but ah well.

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I then used the process outlined in this course to get to work. I like the concept of using a reference photo, and sticking to it pretty closely. Right around the time I found this class, I also found the Makers of Sport podcast and it seems like most of the logo designers ( Joe Bosack, Todd Radom, etc. ) interviewed there are more hand sketchers and consider sketching an integral component of their process. For me, saving the time of countless sketches while working toward what might be only as good as a great initial reference pic just seems like a barrier to me amassing a bunch of work to practice my new style. Does that make sense? Either way, I have never seen a logo designer who worked straight thru in illustrator, and I definitely see the benefits in doing so.

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So next I blocked in some shapes, paying special attention to the suggestions and style Fraser uses in Illustrator. Even without all the fancy shortcuts and Astute Graphic plug-ins, Prof. Davidson is a vector master. Period. I have always been focused on and economy of points while designing my work, but it never dawned on me to conserve handles too. Why use two when one will suffice, and be much easier to partner up with the next. 

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So that's what I came up with. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and of course, I have to say thanks again to Fraser Davidson for this class. After seeing his work for years, almost exclusively in his time lapsed videos, I always just assumed him to be some hyper-speed vector wizard, but with everything slowed down and explained in depth... Simply amazing. Thank you.

And if you ever have an extra dribble invite, it would truly be an honor to be sponsored by a man I consider an idol in the field.

UPDATE: Here's that sweater I wanted...

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