The Benefits Of Starting Logo & Brand Side Projects | Graham Smith


by Graham Smith

Work can get so intense that one benefits from side projects or hobbies as burn-out can hit you quicker than you can say burn-out.

I am eminently qualified to say this as some of you know I had a breakdown five or so years ago, and I am also eminently qualified in the managing of my work and personal life as much as one can.
When you are working as a creative you are super privileged to be able to work on the feeding of your soul as well as working for clients. Both can benefit your monthly earnings if you play it right.
Side projects are so important as they provide balance. You may really enjoy your job now and can’t even imagine ever getting pissed off with it but it can happen, and I would say it is likely to happen rather than not.

I have significant periods where I feel utterly fed up with the thought of having to spend another day on the Mac; these are the days that you need to try and plan for and create a preemptive plan to reduce their occurrences.

Unevolved Brands

Unevolved Brands was my first proper side project which turned out to be such a fun thing to work on. I had no idea it would take off as it did after I posted the first few unevolved brand examples on this blog.

Seeing those first few comments inspired me to knock out a few more which then lead to creating a dedicated Tumblr for it which then created a monster and it soon spiralled upwards and outwards. Unevolved Brands subsequently being featured in many of the main line blogs and websites including: Gizmodo and Fast Co Design.
As with anything like this interest starts to wain and things end up just ticking along. It still picks up new visitors, and I still keep unevolving a few new brands each week. One of the biggest lessons with Unevolved Brands was not totally appreciating the level of traffic that a popular project can generate, and not to mention all the back-links and references.

Had this been on imjustcreative I would have benefited from some real link juice so this is when I decided to transfer the project from Tumblr to a sub domain off imjustcreative: With the project transfered I could then redirect the domain away from Tumblr, and direct it to the sub domain.
I had missed the boat on this one but I did have plans for other projects so my thinking was to create a series of sub websites much like Undersconsideration with Brand New, FPO etc.

Should I ever find a great new project recipe I would not miss out on all hose back-links and site visits.

Financial Motivation Helps

Part of my motivation to start these sub websites was based on being part of the BuySellsAds network: Adpacks, and I really wanted to keep them happy with healthy stats etc.
The best way to keep an advertiser happy is to increase overall site visits whilst maintaining a valuable and interesting experience without dropping post quality. It’s not just about volume; overall variety and frequency is crucial as well as the consideration of both advertisers and website visitors. Treat them as equals.
Realising I needed to find a new project to run along side Unevolved Brands I did consider a few options. One of these was Font Fuddle but I have currently put this on hold for the time being. Font Fuddle is more a quiz than a side project but it does take time to create each fuddle and subsequent answer, and let it known I do actually have client work to fit in.

Inspired By

In the world of logo design rarely is a seemingly unique idea totally unique. A truly unique idea can happen but for the most part we live in a world full of examples and inspiration that we can’t ignore, and much less hide from.
Much of what we do is inspired by the work and styles of others, and the same can be said of the music and art world. My next project was inspired by a number off creatives who have explored the world of logo and brand design; some of which are shown below.
Unevolved Brands
was inspired by one example in Los Logos Compass. In the book is a small picture of the Google logo is simplified to just round circles, and this was something that really caught my interest. Expanding this concept to cover as many brands as possible was totally on the books.

I was recently intrigued by the large scale work of WeAreDorothy who produced a number of illustrations based on popular brands minus the wording in a project entitled: You Took My Name.

Just as recently a prolific designer going by the name of Viktor Hertz came up with the quirky logo project: Honest Logos where the brand names were replaced with tongue-in-cheek statements or wording based on alternative perceptions.
Logo mash-ups are not new and have been around for some time. In 2010 JohnsonBanks posted some curious logo mash-ups such as the Gügle one below whereby popular brands were halved and sewn together to make hybrid brand names.


To Read More about “The Benefits Of Starting Logo & Brand Side Projects” please visit Graham Smith‘s website. Click here.


Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (

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