Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wood Chips IV

It's February, so you know what that means: fantasy baseball!

Yahoo opened up this year's fantasy baseball leagues in the past week, so my free time has been consumed by making our league's schedule, projecting keepers, mock drafts, and (of course) logo redesigns.

Last year, Wood Chips saw its best season to date, finishing above .500 for the first time, as well as reaching the 100-win milestone. It was a huge success jumping from ninth place up to the top spot by the midway of the season, but falling short of the playoffs and ultimately ending up in the seventh spot after the consolation bracket.

The rebranding of the team's logo was a gigantic reason in boosting team morale, and this year I hope to go even farther with another adjustment to the Wood Chips identity.

First, a refresher of last year's logo:

You can scroll below this post to read up more about it, or be lazy and click here.

Things that were going to stay for the 2015 design were the color scheme and the outer circle with "Wood Chips Baseball." I wanted to de-clutter the inner circle, and stick with a simple, yet bold WC. You can actually get a lot of decent ideas by doing a Google image search for "wc logo," and I connected with this design.

A quick trace in Illustrator, and fooling around with replacing the colors, I had the similar design with the new WC.

Pretty classy looking, a consistent theme from last year, and overall not a terrible design.

But I wanted it to POP, and I was curious as to how it would look with a solid circle and no gray. Well...

Wow, that POPS. It was amazing.

But it didn't scale too well with the text on the top and bottom of the circle. Yahoo blurred my text and cluttered my tiny circle. I couldn't have that. This isn't some amateur fantasy baseball team. This is fifth season of this league, and the sixth season of the Wood Chips moniker. It has to own that name. It has to own that logo. It has to be bold and make a statement.

So I scrapped the words and enlarged the letters.


The Wood Chips are back, with a vengeance. This is the logo that will finally carry the team into the playoffs (either that, or the five draft picks I have in the first two rounds).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Woods Chips III

I never finished the redesign of the Wood Chips logo, and for that I am sorry. Instead, I jumped to the re-redesign of the Wood Chips logo.

You may remember from my previous two posts (or just scroll down to see them) that I have not been doing a whole lot of work lately, and the last three projects have been this fantasy baseball logo. So, a quick recap of the team's identity.

The very first incarnation was the exploding bat. I will admit that it was nothing special; just a decent idea with less-than-decent execution.

This was the intended redesign for last season: a shattered bat where the shards form the letters W and C, for Wood Chips. I got a good bit into the project in Illustrator, but was roadblocked at fully understanding how to read tutorials to make the shards multicolored to show depth in three dimensions. Then the season ended and I lost interest.

Now here's the build up to the new logo. Last week I was pressured (or encouraged, or motivated, or whatever) to get back to work on league logos, so I offered to have a league logo, two division logos, and a team logo mocked up in about a week. One week has passed, and the only thing I haven't touched yet was the league logo.

The two divisional logos are in a good stage, ready to be critiqued by the league. After I produced good-enough projects with those (which might be another post later when they are better/done), I had the new idea for the Wood Chips re-redesign.

Since Yahoo looks like garbage now, it has gone away with square-shaped logos to circle, so last year's logo became obsolete. I looked at the AL West logos for ideas, since every team has its own circular representation. That was my starting point and I sketched a couple simple ideas with minor adjustments.

You'll notice the similar themes in each of those being the text wrapped inside the larger circle, the use of the baseball bat again, and the letters W and C. I really enjoyed the crossed bats (lower-left) and the baseball as the inner circle (center), but I decided to instead incorporate ideas from the previous two logos into this one for consistency.

And here it is.

The ball and broken bat are from the first logo, and the shards of wood creating the W and C are from the second logo. Early drafts of the color scheme had maroon and gold, but I needed something that would blend better with a brown bat. Googling color schemes led me one place, following that led to another, searching for "brown" took me yet somewhere new, until I stumbled on this color scheme.

I loved the blue. I loved the brown. I added the white, and I altered the gray. It was as good as it was going to get.

It is now updated and my current team logo, fitting perfectly into its tight circle. The text is readable on the team page, but not so much on the league page, but whatever. I just hope it adds enough mojo to my team to make the playoffs for the first time.

Keep an eye out for the division logos sometime. Maybe.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wood Chips II -- Teaser

Guess what? I'm posting again!

Turns out that I'll be working on the same thing I last published: a logo for my fantasy baseball team.

Yesterday I was in the office and had the idea just pop into my head, so I sketched it out right quick.

Then I got excited and wanted to share it with a coworker on the opposite side of the wall, but did not want to get up and show it to him. So I drew it in MS Paint.

What you see here is a ball shattering a bat, with the splinters emanating from the destruction to form the letters 'W' and 'C' out of the resulting wood chips.

I drew some more sketches today, but I'll hang onto those and will share them after I get back into Illustrator and work on two of those sketches. This might even turn into a three-parter, as I am also looking into some tutorials that can help me add some more depth into my designs.

Stay tuned over the next week as I get to work on rebranding the Wood Chips, and hope to use the same luck that last year brought to boost my team back into the playoff picture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wood Chips

I was "commissioned" to design logos for my fantasy baseball league a while back. I kinda finished one of the division logos, but quit while working on the other because it became a lot tougher than it should have been.

Last week while our internet was out, I was bored enough to get back into Illustrator and finally whip up my own team logo. I had the idea planned for a long time, actually, and felt motivated enough to create it.

I drew up the idea on a scratch piece of paper (remember that phrase? Scratch paper?) and then scanned the image onto my computer and went along with tracing it in Illustrator. Tracing and the pen tool are essential skills in Illustrator.

I layered the explosions, the bat, the ball, and the text. I played around with maybe a half dozen different fonts, and settled on the one you will see below. The orange and yellow are also just quick selections, made light enough so that the black text doesn't disappear in the tones. The ball wasn't as tough as before, since last year I did a similar technique when designing a tennis ball.

Well, here you go.

I've played around a bit with different colors, different stroke widths, and a few more fonts, but I keep coming back to this initial concept as the most solid. I might reshape it into a more squared-off shape so it has equal height and width, so it can be used without getting the sides cut off.

Also, I want to point out that the week I designed this logo, I also went 10-0 in my matchup in our fantasy league and jumped into first place.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Besides watching a Star Wars marathon and listening to some music, I decided to play around a bit more with Photoshop/Illustrator. I don't know how I came to the decision that I'll try to make a silhouette of my headshot, but I decided that I'll try to make a silhouette of my headshot.

You've seen this picture before, it's over there ---> to the right. It's the headshot I sent in to the job that required me to be clean shaven everyday. I like this picture, because my beard looks good and my hair flows perfectly. This picture would make a simple silhouette because of the amount of contrast it already presents.

I searched for a tutorial of how to do silhouettes, and then followed some steps that got me to just the black and white image. It essentially what I was aiming for.

We get that, just the black on white. It required some touching up of the hair, and if I spent some more time on it, I could get a better representation of how wavy and flow-y my hair can get. But I really wasn't aiming for that. And I don't really have a mouse/setup that could help my precision in that matter.

My next idea was to personalize it a little more, and add some glasses. That led me back into Illustrator where I can easily work with the all-mighty pen tool. The background was the last touch, and I went with some gray of sorts. It's gray. I like gray.

And that is what I ended up with. The glasses look a little too sharp, I think. But if you were to just look at that silhouette without previously seeing the original or knowing who it was, could you guess it was me?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

6th Annual Barth/Wing Bonspiel

Adam and I have gone curling every year since the Winter Olympic Games inspired us back in 2006. We started off with just six people on one sheet and the Annual Barth/Wing Bonspiel has grown ever since. I suggested we make t-shirts for last year's event, but Adam shot that down.

Something he wouldn't be able to stop, however, was an official logo for this year's event. Yup, a semester of training has made me good enough to start making official logos for big-time events. I even did this pro bono.

I had the image in my mind of what it should look like, and I started there. It was just a simple square shaped image, and I wanted text on the top and the side which shared the common "B" from the title. Then I would place the image (which hadn't been decided on then) in the space beneath.

Google is a big help when it comes to images. Searching "curling" or "curling stones" or "that one curling girl that posed nude last year" yielded many results, but still not as many as I would have preferred...

Well I stumbled upon a good enough image of a couple of stones in the house and decided to use that as my template for tracing my own stones in Illustrator. After the primary stone was finished, I was happy with the result, but wanted to see what I could produce with adding two more stones into the mix. I didn't like it as much.

So I balanced out the text and the images into what worked best, and have a black border around the whole thing to help simplify it and keep it together.

You are waiting for what it looks like, eh?

Ta da! It's my first work in Illustrator as a college grad. It helps to keep these skills in order, because that pen tool can be a tricky little fellow to master. I hope you like it and that it inspires you all to go curling!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here you go Heidi

Dear Heidi,

I'm updating my blog.


P.S. Here is the actual post:

I (re)drafted my fantasy hockey team tonight. It was magical. For the 433rd straight time, I have drafted Roberto Luongo as my number one pick. Lots of iffy moments in the middle, and pleasantly grabbed Michal Neuvirth with my last pick. Yadda yadda yadda, I expect to defend my championship title and go back-to-back this year.

What else? Well, I've been unemployed and living at home for the past month. I'm looking for jobs, of course, and aiming high. Specifically I'm trying to keep with what I had done this past summer and I want to get into media relations in the sporting world. Ideally I want to land a spot as a media relations manager/coordinator for a sports team. What sport? What team? It really doesn't matter. There are two really great sounding positions that I have applied for and still waiting to here back from.

I've been willing to go anywhere in the country, and I've been looking for anything. After traveling over the southeast region of the country this summer, I really enjoyed adventuring to places I had never been before. I am positive I will hold that same sort of enthusiasm for wherever I might end up, too.

Is it because I want to finally become a productive member of society and step foot into the real world? Probably. Or is it because I've been unemployed and living at home for the past month? A little bit of that.

What is great about being at home, though, is the time I get to spend with my nephew, Oscar. I didn't get to meet him until he was three months old AND I was away all summer, so I think I am making up for all of that time now. My sister definitely loves to have another set of helping hands here, and really enjoys that I get stuck changing poopy diapers.

Moving forward, I still haven't really unpacked a whole lot of my stuff here. It took me about 3 weeks to finally pick cloths out of a hamper and put them into a dresser. I still have cloths all over the floor, and a bunch of other things just laying in boxes. I think it might be because I am hopeful of getting a job and moving on soon, so I don't want to have to pack everything that I've unpacked.

As a result of that, I just revert back to my boring self and sit at my computer for a big chunk of the day. I might also be playing four or five different video games simultaneously. I might have been looking for a reason to bust out the word simultaneously. And spell it correctly.

I've also run out of worthwhile things to say right now, so I'll go back to watching late-night anime.