You are looking at archived content. The hot new stuff is happening at Veerle's blog 3.0. You should check it out!

Mar 23

Logo design for fabulis

2010 at 03.45 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

Today a new social network web site called fabulis, launches its first (beta) release, which is only a limited version of what the site will offer once it’s fully finished. The design of the ‘full launch’ is still in full swing, and so we thought the timing would be perfect to talk about the process of the logo design.

What is fabulis?

According to our client, founder of fabulis, Jason Goldberg, it is...

"A website and a mobile service that helps gay men discover and share where to go, what to do, and who to meet. It'll help you figure out what restaurant to go to, which shop to check out, which bar everyone is going to tonight, who you can meet while visiting another city, and much more. Basically, it's the gay take on life. Spotting trends. Making plans. Meeting people. In other words, fabulis will be the network that connects gay men with great experiences down the block and around the world."


Our first meeting was face-to-face here at our offices in Deinze, Belgium. Jason came all the way over from New York to discuss the project and our working relationship. We were immediately on the same page and the connection felt really good. Once Jason explained the whole fabulis concept and its service, we knew we had to look for a contemporary, modern, stylish logo that reflects this community, and was worth its gorgeous name.

Ideas & doodles

One of the thinking paths I always follow when I start a logo design, is analyzing the name purely from a typographical perspective. Thinking about what is typographically possible. Secondly, I was thinking about the web site and its purpose. There are 3 elements that play a central role: places, people and things. Only, I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to focus on this aspect in the logo design.


Trying to find the right direction in terms of color, typeface and general style.

I tried out a few different angles in terms of typographical styles. Then, I also suggested a few typefaces, although, my intention was to tweak the cursive ones into a regular font as I don't feel an italic typeface would suit. I never had a preference for oblique fonts, because when you compare them to italics they look as they are skewed.

When doodling, I tried to come up with some general ideas for the site's design as well, trying to find a suitable color palette and other general design ideas such as colored lines blending from the logo into the page design. This was of course all very experimental.


While doodling for a logo design, I was trying out a color palette proposal and thinking about some basic ideas for the site as well.

One other thing I tried out, was splitting up the word into 'FAB' and 'ULIS' so it would fit a square and have the style of a label. Next, I was looking if a very round script typeface could work or even go as far as overlapping the characters, but that clearly resulted in a ineligible logo.


The client didn't really like the square icon concept too much, nor the cursive fonts, but the Dessau Pro Regular font really caught his eye. What he liked most about this was its clean, modern, yet slick look, which was exactly why we chose it. Just like us he saw its potential and could already see his logo in action on t-shirts, on the web site... There is also this special shape of the letter 'a' which we thought would be interesting to work with. As far as the thumbnail sketches for the sites, I should make sure it comes across feeling more modern, not so much floral.


(1) And so I started experimenting with the fabulis characters in Dessau Pro Regular. (2) After just typing the name, it felt to me that the letter 'f' could use a bit of tweaking so we get a different aligning with the letter 'a'. Next, I was thinking what I could do with the counter of the letter 'a', and so I thought it would be cool to turn the dot of the 'i' into this shape .


Experimenting step-by-step starting from Dessau Pro Regular. Tweaking the letter 'f' and 'a', and the dot on the letter 'i'.

(3) Next thing I tried out was rotating the counter of the letter 'a', but it only got me this far, and I knew I wasn't there yet.

First proposals

We shared our thinking process with the client by showing some initial proposals. We played with the letter 'a' trying out dots and stars, which was clearly in the right direction, but we still weren't there just yet.


Experimenting with the letter 'a', with the idea of creating an icon for the logo. Trying out dots and stars.

Icon experimentation

We felt that a star would be nice and suitable for the logo, although a regular star didn't feel interesting enough. It was missing uniqueness, and so the next thing I did was some icon experimentation starting from the shape of the letter 'a'. Below is a picture that shows my entire process:


After a lot of rotating and duplicating, I ended up with a star that felt like a perfect fit for an icon, the star being a representation of something being fabulous, as the service will let you decide if a place or an item is fabulous or not.

Final proposal

And so we ended up with this logo design (see picture below) which got approved and has been printed on t-shirts and other *fabulis* gear so far.


More about fabulis

fabulis will launch later this Spring in its full version, and on the iPhone. We are proud to be part of this excited project. We should mention that we didn't do any front-end coding at this stage due to having our hands full with the design part. So far we only did the front-end coding of the holding page.
Stay tuned!




permalink this comment Carlos Yabar Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.43 pm

Nice final proposal, also I saw a couple of good ideas in the sketches.



permalink this comment Raja Sandhu Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.45 pm

Very nice - always great to see into the mind of a fellow designer. The end result is, well, fabulous!

- Raja



permalink this comment alfy Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.53 pm

the experiment with the font that you used, I did too long ago, then I changed font….



permalink this comment Arie Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.56 pm

Nice way to create a logo. Realy cool how you use fonts. A little comment: I think it’s not a good idea to use a star in a gay site logo. This because of associations people can get with this. It is a little suggestive or something like that.



permalink this comment Peter Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07.03 pm

Awesome, awesome post. I just found your site and I’m not a designer, but I love the depth of your posts and your description of the process. Thanks so much for sharing!



permalink this comment Dan Russel Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07.25 pm

The best bit about this post is the part where you show the experimentation phase and reveal how you got to the star in the letter a. Fascinating to see that process. Never would have thought it all started as a flower. Clever!



permalink this comment justintime Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08.09 pm

it is…so so compared to your other work as it has that ‘already seen’ affect.



permalink this comment Daniel Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08.21 pm

Wonderful post, it sounds like a really interesting project. I agree, the best bit for me was seeing how the font developed and the evolution of the star. Great stuff, as always=)



permalink this comment Patrick Clarke Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08.44 pm

I’ve always enjoyed seeing you sketches for concepts within your posts, but I really love the Icon experimentation you have for this post.



permalink this comment Julian Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 03.08 pm

Very nice post! I love watching the process of creating :-)



permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 04.18 pm

Arie said:

Nice way to create a logo. Realy cool how you use fonts. A little comment: I think it’s not a good idea to use a star in a gay site logo. This because of associations people can get with this. It is a little suggestive or something like that.

hmmm, the logo has been in the hands of many (site has thousands of signups) and nobody ever brought that up. Personally the thought never crossed my mind and I wouldn’t dare to be offensive. I guess if someone sees something suggestive in it, that’s their interpretation because their mind is probably being tainted by a site that is for gay people. Like I explained in the article, it is a star that represents being fabulous. If someone sees that otherwise they are clearly suffering from what I would refer to as subliminal influence. There always will be people who will see what they want to see. Mentioned this reaction to the client and he doesn’t see any problem.



permalink this comment Patrik Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 08.00 pm

Interesting how this simple logo has a lot of character and uniqueness; in particular the star sparkles and represents well the idea of partying, I guess. Great job.



permalink this comment Judd Watts Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 08.21 pm

It’s great to read all your thought processes behind your logo design.  I recently designed my own logo so this is all fresh in my mind.  I kind of wish I’d seen this article first, as I might have been a bit more sophisticated about my design approach!



permalink this comment Paul Anthony Webb Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 04.10 am

I like how the final logo came out. Your sketching process is quite nice, I go a similar route on my logo designs as well.

fabulis sounds like a great service in a market that is decidedly devoid of such a streamlined concept. I’m looking forward to seeing how the site looks when you’re done with it.



permalink this comment Wendy Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 07.00 am

Loved the first sketches. I am fascinated by the way you worked through the selection process with your client. Thanks!



permalink this comment Rachel Lehman Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 06.32 pm

Really nice - I enjoyed seeing your concept sketches and the evolution of the design. You did a really nice job on this one! Very well thought out.



permalink this comment Scott Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 06.35 pm

The a looks just like the old Quark logo…..with a starburst inside



permalink this comment Cody Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 06.53 pm

I love seeing your thought process when you have projects like this.  Its very interesting all the different concepts you think of.  Very cool.



permalink this comment Birgit Sun Mar 28, 2010 at 10.01 pm

thanks for sharing your process, that’s always the most interesting part for me :)

nice outcome!



permalink this comment Thomas Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 10.13 pm

Great result Veerle! The font is great. When I looked at the sketch it immediately caught my eye! Like the star too! Very well done :-)



permalink this comment brandon Tue Mar 30, 2010 at 03.12 am

yes quark logo and used way too often.



permalink this comment Daniel Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 12.35 pm

Veerle said:

I guess if someone sees something suggestive in it, that’s their interpretation

Wow, absolutely Veerle, I didn’t see that one coming either. ‘Fabulous’ is exactly the right word for the idea that comes to my mind when I see stars in branding. It’s important to be aware of harmful connotations, of course, but it must take a very negative view of homosexuality to see something like that in a simple star, or to even perceive it as derogatory. If the client and the end-users are happy with it, then I see no problem.



permalink this comment Radik Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05.04 pm

Very inspiring article. You draw it detailly.
Thank you for sharing.



permalink this comment Andy Sat Apr 3, 2010 at 09.14 am

Amazing that you draw these out first.  When I am working with fonts I have to see them as I design.



permalink this comment Chris Noble Sun Apr 4, 2010 at 05.17 pm

Love the font - thanks for sharing another great article :)



permalink this comment Dave Mon Apr 5, 2010 at 03.42 am

I agree with the above comment, on the fact that you actually draw out the design or what you see as the design right away.  I like this because it allows you to allow the creativeness to flow out right away with out any restriction.  Then (as you did) you can take a piece of something from each attempt to create what you are actually looking for.



permalink this comment Ryan Wed Apr 7, 2010 at 08.41 am

I love your logo design, thanks for sharing your process. It’s interesting to see how it all takes shape.



permalink this comment Denis Thu Apr 8, 2010 at 01.35 am

But what about colors, did you decided to stay black and white?
This article shows beautiful logo transformation.



permalink this comment Martijn Thu Apr 8, 2010 at 04.14 pm

The logo looks great! It’s good to see how you think and how you spend your time brainstorming and doodling.

The end result is really something to be proud of. Love the little star!



permalink this comment James Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 08.28 pm

It’s fastinating to see the evolution of an idea from start to finish.  I’m about to start looking at a new logo and you have given me some great ideas.  Thanks so much for another great post!



permalink this comment Sam Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10.07 pm

I love the finished logo design!  Dessau Pro Regular is a great font and one that I may now give a try.  I’d be interested to know if it comes with extra glyphs.



permalink this comment Massimo Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 11.59 pm

Very nice logo and tutorial!
One month ago I created almost the same minus front star for a logo (into a shield of a winged lion, for a fantasy book series-the book series hasn’t been published and divulgated yet).
Thanks for sharing!



permalink this comment Samantha Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 06.21 pm

I LOVE this design.  I’m very interested in fonts and love the integration of the star icon in particular.  A very simple logo,  but extremely effective.  Well done!

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.


buy something from my Amazon wishlist