Things what I made for other people #1 - 'Put Niels in Goal'

'Things what I made...' - is a recurring feature where I disingenuously showcase my own work under the guise of promoting other people's stuff.  First up, 'Put Niels in Goal'.

Making logos is surprisingly satisfying.  It encourages you to collaborate with some thoroughly decent people and work with their ideas.  Rather than being limiting, this second aspect is particularly helpful if you ever feel creatively bereft; other people's concepts can give you a jumping-off point.

Case in point; a few months back I was asked by Alex Stewart,  journalist, presenter and digital Lobanovskyi, to design a new logo for his blog; Put Niels in Goal.  The remit was both specific and broad; the logo had to pay homage to Niels Bohr (goalkeeper, physicist, Nobel Prize winner and underachiever) but the manner in which this was achieved was open to interpretation.

Having skim-read Bohr's Wikipedia entry, I went with a design that incorporated one of his many contributions to science; the 'Bohr Atomic Model' (below).  I scored 16% in my mock Chemistry GCSE once, so I'm in no position to explain what the shit is going on here, but I've come to learn that you don't have to understand something to appropriate it.


While it's by no means my favourite chemical element (that would be the reggae-infused dubnium) I used the atomic model of a nitrogen atom as the foundation for the logo.  As shown (below), the surrounding electrons were transformed into 32-panel footballs (which are hopefully instantly recognisable as such) and a great big NIELS was shoved into a goal - you know, because of the name of the site.  Finally, I had to resist the urge to ruin the image by over-complicating it (e.g. by having a goal with a net) or drowning it in some kind of vintage colours - a tactic I've been leaning a little too heavily on of late.

For years I've created stuff entirely for my own amusement, so I've had to learn that just because you like something you made, that doesn't mean someone else will, or should.  This is especially relevant when it comes to making logos; the image has to feel right as it's ultimately representative of someone else's work and a form of visual shorthand for what they're all about.

So far, I've had to redo things from scratch, I've had 4 completely different designs rejected by the same customer and I've had people respond really positively to a finished logo only to use a selfie instead.  In short, it's been an intermittently frustrating but necessary introduction to freelancing.  

On this occasion, however, Alex was not only a complete gentleman, but he was happy with the initial design; asking only that the colour scheme was changed.  But don't take my word for it; here's some testimony from the man himself that was achieved through no coercion whatsoever.

""I was looking for something bold and interesting to rebrand my eclectic site.  With a minimal brief, LWIMTH was able to devise something that is both simple and compelling, and incorporates the colours of Niels Bohr's old team Akademisk Boldklub. I feel it's a really considered aesthetic that works brilliantly with what I'm trying to say about what we do at PNIG"

'Thing what I made...' also gives me the opportunity to highlight sites, people and things I like.  So check out Alex's recently refurbished blog; it features original articles, FM-related analysis, book reviews and recommendations - and, in a world of mass-produced, homogenous football content - it's looking at genuinely different and interesting themes.  

For more of Alex's work, I also highly recommend you look at The Set Pieces' excellent FM17 Project, unless you're a recovering Football Manager addict, then you should keep well away.

Are you looking for a new logo or unique social-media avatar? Get in touch: