YouTube cooking channel logo and identity design

May 15, 2016

I was so excited when my wife Karen told me over our morning coffee, that she wanted to start a YouTube cooking channel - La Cocina de Karen - and wanted my help to build an identity for her. Her channel would be a Spanish language cooking program in which she creates recipies from scratch as well as share stories and anecdotes about Ecuador, her country of origin. I love ethnic food and often binge-watch cooking programs when the personality of the show's host is quirky, funny or charming - and Karen is each of those! At our first informal discovery meeting, around the kitchen table, she told me she wanted an identity illustration that would capture her personality and as well YouTube TV and banner artwork. I felt that it would be best to begin with the illustration as it would lead the look and feel of the remainder of the work. 

 

I did a few sketches and we agreed upon the following rough illustration (shown right). Karen wasn't happy with the hair as designed, however that could be changed during the clean-up and finalization process. Now it was time to bring it into Photoshop to begin creating a vector illustration (I personally prefer Photoshops tools over Illustrator's as it also allows me to quickly comp a variety of versions within the same organized file).

 

Unfortunately my very old Wacom Intuos pen and tablet had recently broken down, so I was forced to create the path illustration using my laptop touch pad. This was definately more tedious than if I could have used a tablet, but the result was exceptionally clean and well-suited for a variety of formats and sizes. 

 

The pen and path tools in Photoshop are similar to Illustrators tools.

 

As you can see below, it is a time consuming process to create a vector illustration as each outline must be plotted using a point and each point must be manipulated to create the resulting curve. With experience and practice this process takes less time and the results are worth it.

During the initial illustration process, I had the feeling that a less serious more authentic brand identity would be ideal for her casual personality and the type of YouTube show she was trying to create. This led to choosing various hand drawn fonts and elements for her logo to match the illustration. 

(Source: PalbergWERX illustration archive)

 

When I initially begin design a logo or word mark, I always work in Black and white. I feel that this helps me conceptualize the identity without being distracted or influenced by color.  In regards to the illustration, Karen had a number of change requests regarding the figures color, shape and - as I've mentioned - the hair. Accommodating the change requests were fairly simple, but the real challenge was the hair. Every variation was rejected until we finally agreed upon the final illustration.

(Source: PalbergWERX illustration archive)

 

After the logo was finalized, it was time to consider the YouTube channel artwork. YouTube will display the artwork differently depending on the device accessing the channel (shown below - details can be found on Google's support page). 

 

The initial photo was taken in the morning light in our kitchen, with a strong beam of sunlight across the surface of the display food. It was further manipulated within Photoshop to create a light and airy image. The logo text was used in a white reverse to be both legable and readable enough to see over the color background image.

 (source: PalbergWERX photo archive)

 

Some final adjustments to the bangs on the hair and the final logo shown below. 

 

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