I love design. I love branding.

When graphics and type are set well, balanced, thoughtful and considered it can make all the difference. No matter how small or large the enterprise or its nature, it matters.

The people at Apple are the inception point in many design revolutions, in many industry sectors, many times over the course of the company's history. From Susan Kare's wonderful icon designs in the 1980s to Sir Jonathan Ive's minimal and meticulous product design direction in the 2000s, when Apple revolutionize, it ripples.

Since I started out as a graphic/web designer nearly 10 years ago, I have done a fair share of design, branding and coding, much of that inspired by Apple. From personal pet-projects to full on in-house agency client work. Some work I have been especially proud of, others, not so much. The more I come to look, question, analyze and learn, the better I become. Apple are one of those touch points that keeps me (creatively) on the straight and narrow. I certainly don't imitate them, but look at how they approach the job and see how I can use that to my craft.

In the last few years (especially in the digital world) there has been a visual approach to decluttering; thank Google and Microsoft for that one. Microsoft managed to do a complete u-turn on their image (albeit with some hiccups along the way) creating a distinctly digital, functional, minimal interface. It's one that I (and many others) applaud. It was brave, bold, and (for the most part) has worked for them. They were certainly inspired by The Swiss Style; where typography is the primary design element.

ODOU logo

In this day and age there is always room for creativity and an almost limitless cornucopia of inspiration and sources to draw from. In the instance of ODOU magazine, I was inspired by scent molecules.

In my original icon design for ODOU, I used a simple black coloured circle to represent a scent molecule. By slicing off the top of this circle, it appeared to look like the letter "U", and if I tilted my head to the right, it appeared to look like a "D". All in all, I was pleased to arrive at this destination.


A few days later, my boyfriend spotted the striking resemblance of my logo to that of The Barbican in London. I had absolutely no idea I was copying! I was shocked, then, not so shocked. Being exposed as we are to a wealth of imagery and design, I figured I was subconsciously inspired by the Barbican centre's logo (that's the story I'm sticking too). Thankfully, the process of launching ODOU is still in its infancy. I have the time to carefully plan and execute the launch of the first issue. And with that, I went back to the drawing board for ODOU logo #2.

I was concerned at this point it was looking "blobby", too circular. It lacked a certain character I wanted to reflect for the magazine and its audience.

I started Googleing for "smell" and "science". There it was, a benzene carbon ring; six sided, simple, effective, minimal. 


Conceptually this represents the very hook of the magazine; smell. A carbon ring being the very thing our olfactory gland connects with in order to start the olfaction process. It appears three-dimensional, but it's flat, suggesting that smell is indeed something physical, but untouchable. The inclusion of the four letters inside the hexagon represents the collaborative nature of the magazine, the various contributors working together under one.

I will continue to explore other derivatives of this design. I love chameleon logos or imagery that is altered in one way, yet retains a sense of familiarity as a whole.

I have applied this logo now because I believe in documenting the design process. It represents this very point in time and one I want to share with others. Besides, I didn't want to look like the Barbican for too long!