Somewhere around 2012 I decided I wanted my own logo for business cards, portfolio and other sites.
Here is (some of) my creative process for this particularly special project.
Since I wanted something visual instead of my full name in a logo I went for my initials. (That are "J" from "Jon" and "S" from "Suguiyama" - for those not familiar).
After several form and shape studies (mostly handwritten in thousands of separate pieces of paper) I came up with this rather simple design.
I liked the idea of this weird-ideogram-shaped symbol (I come from a japanese family) and wanted it to be bold and strong (sugi = japanese cedar and yama = mountain or in this case could mean a huge cedar forest or a mountain covered in vegetation).
The design was too confusing, though, since there was no distinction between the two letters.

It became clear to me that I had to separate the letters somehow. 
Some more hundreds of studies were made but at this point I wasn't sure if this right-angle-asymmetry would work. 
I no longer wanted to use those right-angled lines anymore. The use of curves made each letter more evident while adding some movement to it - but I had to make sure people would know where one letter starts and the other ends without giving up on the superposition.
That little gap created by the "J" is amazing!
I could now see where each letters starts and ends but the superposition was still a struggle.
So I decided to make it outlined so the letters would be definetely separated from each other.
Way to go!
I was going to put the "J" in front of the "S" and when I did that without the fill color... BOOM!
Look at those beautiful intersections! I couldn't miss the change to weave everything and see what happens, right?
This is actually an almost final design, I couldn't save this part of the process but note that the top part of the "S" is smaller and the gap is gone. Also everything is rounder and there are no more right angles on the letters.
That little square is the icing on the cake!
Some minor details were still bothering me: The  "J" gap  was too small (I had made it to the width of the overall outline). So I adjusted it to the width of the "S" gap.
It made a huge visual difference making it more symmetrical and also creating a perfect little square (as shown above). I ended up using the square structure as a guide for the rest of the logo construction.
Final logo!
The final logo doesn't look much like a japanese ideogram but has kept its original strength and sturdiness.
I hope you liked it!
Jon Suguiyama

Jon Suguiyama

Some of my creative process on creating my personal logo. Circa 2012.

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