New Logomotive

Published Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 by Mike Erickson in Uncategorized

My Very first blog post is the wonderful transformation of a new identity and a new website.

Logo Motive Designs was started in October 1998. The name came to me by 3 reasons.

1. Being a 3rd Generation of Railroaders ( I was a conductor @UP along with my Dad @SP/Up

2. I live in a Railroad city (Roseville)

3. I’m a Logo designer.

My original website used RR Tracks and RR ties as navigational links, with Logomotive (mark) subtle hints of a train.

This site did me well for the first year or two, but I was asked by many “So do you like trains?”.

I began to wonder if people understood why I chose the name LogoMotive. I started questioning my strategy and wondered if the average viewer would relate why I chose the name and how it relates to my services, after all it does sounds almost like Locomotive.

Struggling with wondering if people would “get it” this lead to me to one of the craziest moves that I probably should have avoided. I had a client that wanted me to design a duck mascot for his business, I believe the business name was “Ducky Deals”, a car dealership. The client did not care for MY original duck and wanted a “cheesier” looking duck. I loved this original duck and thought the client was crazy. So to make a long story short I decided this was going to become Logomotive’s duck. Yes it was a very odd and strange choice but for 10 years this duck did his job and all my clients related the duck to Logo Motive Designs.

old logomotive header

Logomotive duck

Over the 10 years using “Ducky” as a mascot along with my broken down website, I was ridiculed by many of my design peers about my duck and my website. My peers would ask me “why the duck?” and you need a new website. I knew all this and I agreed with everyone of them. The problem was I was so busy designing and tending to family matters that I had very little time to focus on my own identity and website. So life went on…

Around 2009, I decided it was finally time to reconstruct my own identity. So back to my existing game plan of Logomotive the train. During some spare time, which is very little these days raising 4 kids and operating a business, I began my second attempt at branding my Logomotive name.

My Initial concept for this second attempt of my brand was designing a cowcatcher (that front part of a train) that had an L shape to represent a Locomotive and show some creativity and branding potential. The problem was (after asking a few designers),.. very few  knew what a cowcatcher was, not to mention I was not doing any back flips and was not “stoked” about the mark myself. I mean after all I have to be happy with my identity  right?

Logomotive Cowcatcher

LogoMotive Cowcatcher

Back to the drawing board. My next concept came from some rough drafts. I thought somehow I could design RR tracks in shape of an L. this is something that everyone could relate to and understand. While designing these RR tracks I had the most wonderful AH HA! Eureka! moment and I had an immense amount of adrenaline juice run through me. I noticed that these L shaped train tracks I had been working on, sort of resembled an old steam locomotive. YES! That’s it! I made some extreme measures to combine the RR tracks  and the steam locomotive into one.

Logomotive Train Tracks

Logomotive Train Tracks

Using precise execution, I achieved the perfect mark for Logomotive. The icing on the cake was using the negative space of the tracks/train for doubling in concept as smoke or (thought bubbles), this was a great suggestion from my good friend Roy Smith.

Final Logomotive design

Final Logomotive Identity.

Now that I had my new Logomotive Identity, I needed a new website. By Luck and Gods will, Jose Mendoza found me and my identity work and put in a request for logo design. This is what lead to the wonderful transformation of the NEW Logo Motive Designs/ Logomotive.net

“Jose your Brilliant and a great designer, I cannot thank you enough.”

Mike Erickson

  1. Let me say that your site became (since yesterday) a model to our own. We do have a lot in common, as our brand too resemble trains (graphic station) and simplicity and intelligence always guides us.

    Loved the fact that you were able to do layout only using black and blank 🙂

    And lastly, Great article. I always like to know how some designers think.

  2. Guilherma, thanks for your post. Yes there is something in common there 🙂 Good luck with your works.

  3. Danny says:

    Ha, I always wanted to know about the whole brand name / duck icon!

    I will miss the little ducky but as I’ve already said…great new identity and awesome site.

    Who built your site by the way?


  4. Chris Young says:

    Hey Mike,
    The new site looks great!
    It’s always fascinating to hear how businesses arrived at their names – thanks for sharing.

  5. Chris, thanks always nice to hear from other designers.

  6. Danny, thanks. Yes I will miss ducky too but am glad I made the change

  7. Mike,

    So glad to see your new site! It’s a great look to go with that awesome new logo and mark. Looking forward to more of your blog posts in the future. Great job.

  8. Hi Leighton, thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate that and means a lot.

  9. Raja Sandhu says:

    Wow – nice to see all this Mike! Great site and work. I will be popping in more often now haha.

    But, long live the duck! That was how I first discovered you, so I understand the sentiments.

  10. Hi Raja, thanks for the comment and more than welcome to pop in every now and again.:)

  11. Hey Mike the impact of your designs is really awesome. The logomotive logo is fascinating. What inspires you to do all this? All in all great work.

  12. Prajyot Thanks a lot, I Answered this question before and I think it’s Negatives and Positives inspire me, that can be a double meaning in the design world. Really just get inspired by others and everything around me.

  13. Jonny says:

    I really like your work Mike, it’s crisp and clear.

    But it took me a while to realize that your not this guy: http://www.jfisherlogomotives.com/

    I did think the style was completely different…

    I too will be popping in frequently.

    All the best,

  14. Thanks Jonny, yeah we have coexisted on the internet for a while now.

  15. Fabian says:

    Wow…that duck has some history! Great new site Mike.

  16. Hey Fabian, Yes the duck truly does have history 🙂 Thanks bud.

  17. Minesh says:

    Very intresting mike & i would suggest one thing please categorized the article its Uncategorized 🙂

  18. LumaVine says:

    I didn’t see the tracks, but I did see a halftone printing pattern. Neato.

  19. Ali says:

    Nice story Mike… I had seen you’re work even when you were a ducky :D..still it was great!

  20. Greg Coates says:

    Love the new site Mike. Still a big fan of your work!

  21. Hi Greg, Thanks good to hear from you. Hope your business is doing well.

  22. It’s best brand, but i was all the time misslead that you Jeff Fisher LogoMotives? You now him?

  23. Thanks!, Too long of story to explain. Yes I KNOW him but not NOW him.

  24. Norman Chan says:

    Had the pleasure of admiring your new website over breakfast. Your work and design ethics are an inspiration.

    You are all it’s ‘quacked’ up to be! 😉

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