Personal Brand Brainstorming – Logo and Illustration

To go along with my other creative endeavors, I want to design a logo and a splash illustration for the intro to my videos. Fortunately, I do have some graphic design experience and have even designed my own logo a long time ago, so this is not quite as much of a skill jump for me as creating a piece of music, but it’s still going to force me to grow in many ways, especially since I’m looking for a more illustrative style.

Thematic Elements

Before I start talking about the particular illustrative style that I’m looking to achieve, I want to describe my personal brand and the elements that I want to include. As a creative and gamer, I go by the moniker of ThirdEyeRose.

“Third Eye” refers to psychic ability, and in this case, my uncanny ability to see the future. This is a bit tongue in cheek because I don’t legitimately think that I have any psychic abilities (well, more than anyone else, but that’s a topic of another time) but I’m particularly good at seeing patterns and extrapolating information which leads to being able to make decent enough predictions.

I also have a predilection towards spaces of transition which often causes me to end up in social constructs which are equivalent to liminal spaces – forgotten, uncomfortable, strange – so I’ve found comfort in those spaces. I’m drawn to witchcraft and the occult, the spooky and the morbid, to death itself – things that people tend to demonize or try to forget about. “Third Eye” is a nod to being a part of those spaces while trying to avoid identifications that solely belong to traditions that are not my own, especially being divorced from my own ancestral traditions.

(And yeah, I know there’s an argument to be made here too, but again, let’s save that for another time. Let’s just say that I have some issues with established traditions completely owning an entire concept, especially when it shows up in multiple other traditions. But closed practices are important – it’s a balance and I don’t know that I’m getting it right. I’m trying though.)

“Rose” is my chosen name and since I chose it, it is clearly a part of my identity. Roses have a long history in my family, from being my great grandmother’s name to the large rose garden that she kept when I used to spend most of my time during the day with my grandparents. The Rose family is an important plant family, known for many of our edible fruits and also herbal properties associated to healing. But a rose is not entirely a delicate plant. It has sharp thorns to deter predators and its brambles can be tough and enduring. As much care as people claim that they need, the rose plants I’ve known have come back year after year without any encouragement from me. Wild roses are so tough and enduring that they’re considered an invasive plant in much of the United States.

I want a logo that incorporates these various elements of my identity – the strange and weird, the soft and nurturing, the sharp and protective, the elegant and the punk.

Artistic Inspiration

I’ve been really taken by the Neo/Traditional Tattoo style for a few years now. I love the bold outlines and the bold color, the simplified shapes, and a design style that feels organic and flowing but very intentional.

There is a sign painter named Iain Hursey who paints signs using a Traditional Tattoo graphic design style:

(I had to clip that example from Instagram since they make it very difficult to link directly to posts when not logged in.)

But as you can see, his sign creations have a heavy use of contrast and bold typographic choices to create designs that look old-fashioned with a more modern color palette. Likewise, I’d love to use bold typographic styles (perhaps leaning towards a graffiti aesthetic more than vintage) with bold outlines and deep contrast between bold colors.

Not only do I find this style aesthetically appealing, but it’s legible and recognizable at an incredible range of sizes. Since I want to use this logo for more than just my splash screen and will probably utilize it as a profile picture in multiple places, having it recognizable is important.

As for iconography, I don’t feel very original – but most ideas are not original, so maybe that’s okay. I love the style of traditional tattoo roses and they happen to be very similar in lots of ways to a mandala which is appealing to me. I have “Eye” in the name and adding an eye to a rose is not a unique or new thing.

I was originally thinking about trying to design a logo that is purely circular – a rose/mandala with an eye in the center with ThirdEyeRose stacked in two lines overlapping on it. But the more I think about it, the more I feel like it might get very lost and muddled at small sizes. Perhaps I should think about this more as a horizontal wordmark where I take what would have been the background design and do something creative like replace the “o” (though I think that’s also probably too small.

Clearly I need to do some sketching and some ideation – but that’s a task for a later day. We still need to talk about the splash image.

Several of the YouTubers that we watch utilize splash images to intro their videos or their streams. One of the YouTube channels that do this in a way that speaks to me is Tyler and Todd who have an illustrated splash screen that you can see in each of their videos:

Their illustration is in a different style than what I’d like, but you can see that the simple illustration that they have really enhances the branding of their videos. I’d love to have something similar to mark my videos as mine as well. If I could add some basic animation to that illustration (by paying someone else to animate – learning to animate is not for me this year), all the better.

I don’t want anything as elaborate as the splash screens for Valkyrae or Fuslie’s streams though. I think they are beautiful and amazing but busy and complicated. I’d love to eventually commission a piece of art like that for myself (though probably less busy and more chill), but that’s probably quite a way down the line when I’ve figured out more of what I want to be.

It could be cool to use a dark texture as a background such as leaves of plants in shadow to be a background for the logo so that it’s not just sitting on a flat color. Maybe something like this but with a dark filter over the top? Maybe more stylized to fit the Neo/Trad vibes?

Photo by sohail nachiti on

Or maybe something that is more explicitly roses? I could probably even take a crop of this photo and alter it/illustrate over it to fit my needs:

Photo by Irina Iriser on

Hm, I’ve definitely got a lot to think about already. Sounds like I definitely just need to dedicate some time to sketching something out.

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