City Listings logo

October to November, 2012

Last year, Rob Mayes came to me asking if I could design a character logo for the site he was working on, City Listings. Rob wanted a character that was a rat but looked more of a “cheeky chappy” than something creepy or evil. While the character itself could be used in colour, the personality and features of the rat needed to be strong in silhouette, as that’s how it would be used as part of the design on the site.

I started out sketching various rat character faces, inspired by cartoons I found online. I then picked my favourite and started making the rat into vector. Every time I did a version in colour, I did a version that was flat with no colour to see how it worked in silhouette.


version 1 of the rat drawing; part sketch, part vector

Version 1, part sketch, part vector

This character had a slightly donkey-like face, so I developed it to look more ratty.

version 2 of the rat drawing;  vector head and shoulders with a striped tie

Version 2, vector with a tie

As this the design progressed, I decided it was time to add a full body. This added more character to the rat.

version 3 of the rat drawing;  full body vector with a suit, umbrella and striped tie

Version 3, full body with a suit and umbrella

The suit and tie started to make the rat look more schoolboy and more formal than needed, so I changed him to wear a more casual suit. The outline was also more detail than necessary, so I took it out of the next version.

version 4 of the rat drawing;  full body vector with a casual brown suit

Version 4, vector with a more casual brown suit

Finally I worked the rat into a silhouette, which I think works well. For the smaller versions, I tweaked it slightly to make the detail more obvious when scaled down.

version 4 of the rat drawing as a black vector silhouette

Version 4, vector silhouette

Rob, the client and I were happy with the results, and you can now see it with Rob’s lovely design at City Listings.