JDK designer blog

James D. Kramer design services identity program

I began designing my personal logo while still in college back in the mid-1980’s. If you have been, are now, or desire to be a freelance graphic designer, I am certain that like me, you are your very own worst client. It took me 14 years to get there, but finally, when presented with a small design job I did on the side while working at Microsoft in the late 1990’s, I required some kind of mark to place on my invoice for the client. In about 10 minutes, I throw together the logo shown below;

Full logo, 1-color

Full logo, 1-color

I figured, I would revisit the logo ‘soon’ and make it better. However, I found ‘soon’ never happened because I fell in love with the simplicity of the mark. Eventually, I applied color to the logo, choosing orange for several reasons. First, it’s my personal favorite color.

Second, after researching the psychological impact of orange, I find that it is a color associated with power, healing, enthusiasm, creativity, vitality, and endurance. Individuals who enjoy the color orange are usually thoughtful and sincere. Orange is also the color of luck. It is said by some, that if you require change in your life, you should burn an orange candle for seven nights. Curiosity is a strong force behind orange, as well as an exploration of new things.

Further, circles and spheres can be described universally as; a plane curve everywhere equidistant from a given fixed point, the center, a planar region bounded by a circle, a series or process that finishes at its starting point or continuously repeats itself; a cycle, a group of people sharing an interest, activity, or achievement, a sphere of influence or interest; domain.

For my purposes, the circle represents a continuous flow of communication; an exchange of ideas, provoking thought and creativity.

All these things together encapsulate the creative efforts that are the profession of the graphic designer.


Full logo.

After refining and using the mark for a few years, I found I needed a secondary mark for use in spaces that did not provide sufficient horizontal real-estate. To resolve this issue, I developed the alternative mark below.


Alternative simple mark


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Musings from a work-a-day graphic designer