The COVID-19 pandemic left me with quite a lot of time on my hands, as I think it did for a lot of people. Where I might be traveling or spending time with friends I was now confined to one place and overdosing on screen time. With little else to do, I decided to redesign my work website and logo.

Ethical web developer

I started MELT, a web design company, back in 1997. In financial terms, it didn’t make me rich, but over the years it afforded me the freedom and opportunity to spend a great deal of time traveling and filling my life with stories and adventures from far-flung places.

I generally don’t think my logo is very important. I was never going for world domination or brand loyalty. I wanted my customers to relate more to me as a person rather than just another logo from some company they ultimately don’t care about. With that in mind, I always put more into building relationships rather than logos. I still have customers today that I had in the late 90’s!

MELT always had a logo. It was on my invoices and on one set of business cards I had printed in the very first year of business. The thing is, I never really liked any of the logos I designed for MELT, so while the world was locked-down I decided to fix that.

I’d been using a kind of ‘Batman’ style M logo for a while and I wanted to continue with the M, but I wanted it to be colorful. People often think the stories I tell are perhaps a little ‘colorful’ because surely this thing, or that event, didn’t quite happen like that, did it? (Yes it did actually!)

After months of tinkering with various designs, I eventually had three concepts that felt good to me (below). That was late September 2020. All I needed to do was settle on the design. But then Google unveiled their new logo for Gmail in October.

MELT web studio

When I saw it I was annoyed. If I went with any of my concepts people would be reminded of Gmail, and while I accept that logos can often be similar, I just didn’t want to look that similar to Gmail.

At the same time of creating my logo I had been designing the new website, and feeling a little fed up I decided to just keep the ‘batman logo’ for the time being. The site was finished at I was cleaning up some of the typography late one night when I decided to change the color of the period marks to yellow.

melt logo 2020When I refreshed the page to review the change the idea came to me; what about adding an M to the yellow dot? I opened photoshop and created a simple yellow circle then added the black letter M. I looked at it for a while, then thought; how about adding a period mark to the circle, which had itself come from a period mark.

It was probably 3 AM and I remember sitting back in my chair, looking at my laptop screen and saying out-loud, “Yes!”

Sure, nobody cares, my customers talk to Simon, they don’t talk to MELT, but this logo, that effortlessly fell together in little more time than it takes to create a circle in photoshop, just felt right.

I like it, I’m happy with it, really for the first time I’m happy with my MELT logo. I also moved the website from its old UK domain to the new address which also feels right.

The new site is working too, and I’ve started to talk about being an “ethical web developer” with a view of moving toward using technologies that don’t abuse people’s privacy or trust.

That last bit is a little harder. Being an “ethical web developer” is a bit like being a “pacifist executionist.” But hey, it’s a start. It’s a new start.

MELT web studio

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