Science fiction, fantasy, & horror - web design, graphic design, interactive media development by greententacles

Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror - Web Design, Graphic Design, Interactive Media Development by Greententacles 2019-09-22 GMT


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The Nuketown Logo Design

~ by N. E. Lilly (August 2000) ~

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At the beginning of the site redesign for Nuketown, it was decided that they needed a logo for marketing and branding purposes. At the time Nuketown had never had an honest to goodness logo.

It was discussed that the logo should be able to be animated. That the logo should be designed so that it would be cost effective to print it. And that it should look good on screen as well as in print.

Source materials [fig.1] that were collected for possible use on the web site were also considered during the design of the logo. Everything and anything that had to do with either a small town atmosphere or nuclear technology in some way were brought together.

The style of the web site was discussed, and once that was confirmed, we went on to work on the logo.

It would have been too easy to use the fallout shelter icon. Nuketown required something with a little more thought put into it. It was decided that the site would be more abstract, because following too closely to the small town analogy could lead to difficulties in navigation. Eventually we went with the concept of an atom, without relying too heavily on previous stereotyped icons. Protons, neutrons, and electrons were created to be the basis of the logo design. [fig.2]

The first attempt at a logo design was too complicated and did not display well at smaller sizes. [fig.3] Scientific research was done and it was discovered that the atom would not exist in the real world.

That was almost considered a plus, especially since Nuketown was a science fiction site. However, since the bulk of Nuketown's readers were relatively devoted to hard science, it was decided that the logo should be as accurate as possible.

First we examined radioactive elements such as plutonium and uranium, but these were much too complicated. Hydrogen and Helium were too simple. Lithium and Beryllium were just right. [fig.4]

The lithium atom [fig.5] was seen to have the most pleasing shape, and was still recognizable as an atom icon with its three particles orbiting the nucleus. The logo was then checked against the colors black, white, and red to make sure that the logo would look good on the variety of backgrounds.

Finally, a version of the logo was animated. [fig.6] Animation variations are eventually to include the atom being blown apart, the individual particles shrinking to nothingness, and the black particles orbiting the nucleus as shown.

Overview: The design is complete. A well designed logo is distinct and easily recognizable. It also lends itself to minor alterations that surprise and intrigue the viewer. The Nuketown logo will, hopefully, give all of Nuketown's readers a common banner to fall under. A single image that the readers can use to say, "I belong to this."

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