IndiePhone logo

November, 2013

Indie Phone was previously under the name of Codename Prometheus. When Aral was ready to launch the concept, and his intentions, for Indie Phone, I volunteered to work on the brand with him. We only had a few days before Aral wanted to launch.

Everybody says you shouldn’t work with friends or family, but we spent three days successfully working hard alongside each other, collaborating on the brand and the website. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to be honest with each other, but it’s better when you both know it’s constructive criticism!

Aral had decided that the Indie Phone logo should be a rocket. What better to suggest the advancement of technology, belief in science, and the hope and excitement of space. I went about researching and sketching a lot of rockets, some of which you can see in the progress shots at the bottom of this page.

the skeleton shapes of a rocket

I then started mockup up a rocket in vector. It quickly became clear that drawing a shape that appeared to be 3D in a 2D graphics app was going to be very difficult. Especially getting the lighting looking real.

I had a hard decision to make. In the few days we had, should I slave over making a 2D drawing appear to be 3D, or do I knuckle down and learn a 3D tool in order to create a true 3D logo. I might have been losing my mind, but I chose the latter.

3D model of a rocket

I created the 3D rocket based on the drawings I had done in my sketch book. It was easy to then tweak the shape until it felt modern and recognisable, but still stylised and fun.

The visual style was inspired by the Hannes Bok Rocket Ship, which Aral found during research. We both loved the retro modern feel, and how the rocket stood out in contrast against the planet and the empty background. Aral loved the sweeping curves of the planet, and wanted to integrate a similar shape into the logo.

3D rocket model against a 2D space background

Based on the background and text placement we wanted, I imported a flat image of the text and background, and positioned the 3D model against it to get an idea of how the final render should look

The tricky part was that the render from the 3D software wasn’t good enough to use as a final logo. It had jagged planes which were made more obvious by the realistic lighting. Eventually I may have time to find a good solution in the 3D app, but for now I had to export a render from the 3D into Adobe Illustrator, merging the shapes and recreating the lighting by doing some painstakingly-detailed copying.

a smooth rendering of a rocket

the final “smooth” rendering

Indie logo with rocket. 'Empowering Humans'

the final logo

This project taught me a lot about my role and attitude as a designer. I wouldn’t usually use 3D software, and I wouldn’t always use Adobe Illustrator, but I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish and I had to dedicate a little bit of time to get it done. It further proved that design is not about the tools, and I should always be flexible.

In progress