As I mentioned in my first post, Make Anything // 3D Printing Channel was born on a whim. My first video was published on April 26, 2016, the week after my finals at Art Center College of Design. I was one term away from graduating with a B.S. in Product Design, but decided to take the summer term off to recover from the rigor that is design school. During that break, I began making my 3D printing videos as a fun way of staying occupied and combining my passions for art, design, 3D printing, filmmaking, and educating.
My first video was a 5 minute demonstration of these giant custom hair clippers. In it I claimed that the purpose of the video was to prove that "3D printing can be used to create useful, functional things". That has remained one of my goals as the channel grew, but at the time I wasn't even sure if anything would come of Make Anything. Nevertheless, my perfectionist design instinct was triggered and I couldn't post the video without first creating my own background music, logo, and design language for the channel.
The design process for the Make Anything logo was rather accelerated, but still involved a degree of ideation. I immediately began playing around with the initials M and A because I saw the potential in the fact that the letters have similar peaks. I was quickly drawn to the idea of using a repeating shape because it's a perfect representation of 3D printing. I'm also a fan of simplicity and pen drawing, which clearly influenced the design.
The logo I ended up with consisted of very thin, consistent lines, as if drawn with my go-to sketching tool, the Pilot G-2 05 pen. I placed the triangles and text inside of shapes so that they could live on any background, from the default light grey (#F2F2F2) to a complex photograph like a YouTube thumbnail, without compromising it's pure black and white contrast. Subtle drop shadows lift the logo off the screen ever so slightly to add depth and draw attention, a cue from Google's material design guidelines.
This original logo remained the icon for Make Anything through the better part of 2017, appearing in various forms on all of my social media platforms, and of course on many 3D prints. 3D printing the logo was actually one of the main drivers that pushed me to do a redesign, since the thin lines were often difficult to translate into an easily printable 3D model. I often ended up having to thicken the lines for printing anyways, so in hindsight I should have done it much sooner. Also, how in the world did I never realize that the triangles weren't evenly spaced! If there is a design god may he have mercy on my soul.
The new logo isn't remarkably different, but I do think it was a much needed improvement. In its new form, the logo is a more versatile. A thicker line weight means I can shrink the logo down further before it becomes difficult to read (very useful for the watermark in the corner of my videos and little profile bubbles on Twitter and elsewhere). It's also much easier for me to 3D print without making so many adjustments. I even designed a 3D version of the logo :
I'm very happy with the logo now, and I'll be slowly updating everything with this makeover. Some redditors suggested designing a 2D logo based on the 3D version, like the image on the right. I do think it would look neat, but then I'd be backtracking on printability and such... let me know your thoughts in the comments! Oh, and I guess it's appropriate to mention, you can buy merch with both the new and classic logo over at Teespring. Awwww yiss!