The AZ DIY Guy Logo Redesign - It's About Time!

Here's one of those rare updates on the blog itself. DIY Content will be along shortly, but some of my readers are curious about the behind the scenes stuff, so forgive the detour if you're just here for the sawdust and screws. It's been nearly a year since the last update about the blog, when I launched the new, revised website and moved from Blogger to Squarespace.  (Post: New Website)

Family Room Remodel circa 2012

Family Room Remodel circa 2012

I've been telling my goofball DIY stories for 5 years now. Originally, it was just to friends and family on my personal Facebook page as I plodded through the Family Room Remodel. (Which I later ported over to the blog)

When originally launched AZ DIY Guy to the public, it was just a microblog on a Facebook page. I wasn't sure I wanted my face shown, so I had my son snap a quick photo with my phone, and I rolled with it as the AZ DIY Guy Facebook profile picture.  It became my logo as the blog launched and remained in use, virtually untouched for 5 years. 

The original photo was a fuzzy mess...

Probably taken on a Samsung Galaxy S,   the original one, in 2012

Probably taken on a Samsung Galaxy S,  the original one, in 2012

It's been good. I applied some filters and tweaked it with some Photoshoppery here and there over the years. 

I called it "The Gun Slinger"

I kinda liked the gunslinger. I had fun with it here and there.

Although the Gunslinger logo isn't the neatest, most professional image, it's been a unique identifier for me and the super powerful, AZ DIY Guy Online Media Empire. Maybe "Media Empire" is too far, for a dude plinking away at an old tract home and pecking out blog posts on a homemade lap desk.

No one has contacted me to bellyache about my logo or anything. I have managed to attract some outstanding brand partners and sponsors to the blog over the years. So the logo must not be total chump's-ville.

Still, I've wanted to upgrade for a long time. I can't exactly put the speckled, gradient-filled logo on a t-shirt or reduce it to a black and white line drawing.

Feedback. The Final Straw

I've also used free user testing software a few times over the years. If you have a website, check out Peek. They offer a free, video based review of your site, performed by random, average people. It's really insightful. More than once, random Peek reviewers commented about the logo, wondering, "...what's up with this headless guy?"

Headless guy.

Time for a LOGO change

It's long overdue for an upgrade. I've fiddled around with it and haven't been able to create something I like. The crazy thing is, I actually have an degree in graphic design. I never used it professionally, life took me other ways, but damn, I should be able to create my own logo. In school, and some freelancing a few years following, I cranked out bunches of logos. 

It turns out, I'm just too close to my own "brand". I've had logo creator's block, a bad case of it. 

As luck would have it, one of my recent  blog sponsors paid me through Paypal. Rather than pay their fee's and cash it out to buy home improvement tools and materials or pay for my hosting, I decided to plug it right back into the blog itself.  I decided to go all Millennial on this logo thing and jump feet first into the gig economy. I decided to get a logo crafted on (yeah, two "r's"). 

I poked around, did some research and chose a well recommended designer, Mike from Actual Review Net. I sent him the style sheet shown above, and description of what I thought I wanted, but gave him full creative license to explore. I was pretty sure I wanted some connection to the original gunslinger image, I didn't want an overly goofy or overly serious cartoon, but I did want a mascot type logo with words I could remove.

Based on what I wanted, full license, vector art, a complex cartoon mascot, the ability to remove wording, a library of sized images, options and revisions etc. he sent me a custom quote that I accepted. I answered a few more questions: 

3 Concepts

Here's what I got back a few days later. Pretty awesome for starters. Lots of really good components that I was immediately sold on. Which one? What parts? That took a couple days. 

That grin on #3 is a little disturbing huh?

That grin on #3 is a little disturbing huh?

With the consensus of my family and a couple people at my full-time job, I decided I liked Concept 1 the best, including the smile. I'm not a toothy grinner anyway. 

Revision 1

I asked for some small tweaks, that probably minor details that only I'd notice in some of the line work. I also wanted to see what hair looked like, instead of the blue cap. Perhaps a crew neck t-shirt would be more DIY'ish than a polo too.

He sent a screenshot back:


I popped it into Photoshop and did some super quick versions of my own. 

Yep. Just bring back the smile from Concept 2 and drop the eyebrows. That's what I was thinking. 

Revision 2

Although our deal was for 3 rounds of revision, we got there in just 2. He sent me a proof that I blessed as the final design.

The new AZ DIY Guy Logo

Here it is. What a fun experience too. It was like unwrapping a present each time I got a concept or revision back.

Back to DIY soon friends. I thought some may enjoy this behind the scenes blog stuff.  I'll start sliding the new logo in, here and there in the near future and phasing out the Ol' Gunslinger.  In fact, I did a quick sneak preview, with AZ DIY Guy dressed for Independence Day. Maybe you spotted it, if you were lurking around Facebook on the 4th instead of chomping BBQ.