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Designing The Bar Logo

Patrons have said they like The Menu Bar podcast logo. I take this as a huge compliment, particularly as the design did not come easily. Whereas the idea for the show/bar emerged quickly and organically from an IM chat, the logo proved very squirrelly and for many iterations it simply made no sense.

The very first designs took the name very literally and focused too much on the OS X side of the term.

 This design was unintelligible and made almost no sense. With the File Edit text it made it more recognisable, but it also drew the eye. Very confusing and didn't at all communicate a cool place to hang out.

This design was unintelligible and made almost no sense. With the File Edit text it made it more recognisable, but it also drew the eye. Very confusing and didn't at all communicate a cool place to hang out.

 Next I tried putting some more emphasis on the "bar" side of things. A half drunk whiskey glass and an iPhone? Seemed a pretty good summary of what we wanted to talk about. And get it... It's IN the Max OS X menu bar ... Still no good.

Next I tried putting some more emphasis on the "bar" side of things. A half drunk whiskey glass and an iPhone? Seemed a pretty good summary of what we wanted to talk about. And get it... It's IN the Max OS X menu bar ... Still no good.

 Again, exploring the alcoholic beverage side of things I messed around with stock footage of bars, drinks on tables, etc. The thing we kept coming back to is we didn't want to emphasize either interpretation of the name so much that people wouldn't "get it". Too alcoholic and we might miss the tech ppl, too much about OS X and people might think it was an apple support video.

Again, exploring the alcoholic beverage side of things I messed around with stock footage of bars, drinks on tables, etc. The thing we kept coming back to is we didn't want to emphasize either interpretation of the name so much that people wouldn't "get it". Too alcoholic and we might miss the tech ppl, too much about OS X and people might think it was an apple support video.

 Then finally… brain wave! 3 words & 3 icons. These could represent what this bar for our friends would be all about.

Then finally… brain wave! 3 words & 3 icons. These could represent what this bar for our friends would be all about.

 Getting closer. I don't know why I liked the idea of a bevel and drop shadow. The flat UI police would have executed me.

Getting closer. I don't know why I liked the idea of a bevel and drop shadow. The flat UI police would have executed me.

 Adding the wood immediately breathed some life into the logo, but again I tried to add depth to the text and icons.

Adding the wood immediately breathed some life into the logo, but again I tried to add depth to the text and icons.

 A bunch more twiddling, fiddling and tweaking and voilà - the final logo.

A bunch more twiddling, fiddling and tweaking and voilà - the final logo.

It gives a sense of the atmosphere of the show. It's rich and textured and pops out in the iTunes Store. It also has the feel of a carefully crafted, clean, well lit place - like if an Apple store and a bar were fused into one.

But best of all it explains the whole point of the bar.

Alcohol. Technology. Talking to Friends.

by @andrewjclark