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How to create a logo Jacob Cass


Who is Jacob Cass? Jacob Cass is the founder of ‘JUST Creative’, a graphic design agency based in NYC,

However, it is not just his work that inspires me but his level success at his age. Cass

although originally set up in Sydney, Australia. After researching ‘Just Creative’, I

holds a Bachelor of Visual Communication with a Dean’s recommendation of

couldn’t decide whether it was one person or a whole company. However, after scrolling

honours (!!) after completing his first freelance job at the age of 16. Now, Jacob Cass

through the hundreds of pages on his site and even tweeting ‘Just Creative’, I got my

has an amazing portfolio and client base behind him, but he is only 25 years old. His

answer. Just Creative is one person; Jacob Cass.

age scares and encourages me.

So what does he do?

How will this case study affect my work?

Jacob Cass specialises in logo and corporate identity design, as well as branding

What I want to be able to take away from Cass’ work is how he goes about

and even web design and print design (he’s the all-rounded candidate every design

creating a logo- what is his design process? I am very lucky in that Cass has

agency is looking for!!). Cass’ work in logo design makes him perfect to study to

documented his design process on his website and so, over the next few pages I

help me to create my final outcome which is ultimatley based on identity and

have followed the steps Cass’ has taken to rebrand ‘RedWave’.





1 1987-1990

Born in Queensland and three years later, moved to Sydney, Australia

2 2006

Left Australia to live and study in Gothenburg, Sweden.

3 2007

Moved to Newcastle, Australia, to study at Newcastle University.

4 2008

Travelled across West Europe and Asia, finishing in Australia. While travelling, he won multiple design awards.

5 2011


Moved to NYC to work at various design agencies, eventually setting up ‘Just Creative’




Entente Business Solutions

What is a brief? A brief is a verbal or written document that the designer uses to create an outcome for the client. The brief will inform the designer of what needs to be done in order to complete the task. A brief can be as short or thorough depending on what the client has already (artwork) or even how important the task is.

Jacob Cass got involved in the rebranding of ‘Entente Business Solutions’ to ‘Red Wave Systems’ after they approached him personally. Above is the branding for

What should be included in a brief?

‘Ententne Business Solutions’.

Background What is the project about? What do they want the design to communicate?

On his site, Cass states the client wanted the new logo to target IT professionals


and executives ‘while reflecting “professionalism, quality, uniqueness & service’.

Who are they trying to target? Do they have a demographic already? Are there certain group they want to avoid? With the audience in mind the

Entente also stated their old logo wasn’t memorable enough.

designer can choose a certain style, certain colours and typefaces etc. Objectives

Why does a logo need to be memorable?

What do they want? Does certain information have to be included? Tities,

A logo needs to be memorable so that as soon as the viewer sees it, it is set into

logos, dates, times? Timeline The deadlne. Internal and external deadlines.

their memory. It needs to instantly memorable so that it only needs to be see once and after that, can be recognised. The simpler the logo, the more likely to be


memorable. This new logo was to be put on all their promotional material and

How much can be spent? Artwork time, operating and finishing times.

their website.



After reading through the brief and make some first initial notes, Cass started research into ‘Entente’. I initially thought, this research would just consist of learning what they do, who their clients are, researching previous artwork, all of which I thought the client would produce. However, I was wrong. This research includes... The history of the company When and where was the company founded? Did it have an original logo? How has it developed over the years? Competitors Who are the main competitors? How do they sell their brand? Where are they going wrong/ right? ‘External’ Research’ If the client allows this, some of the budget can be spent on research being conducted outside the studio (market research). ‘Other logos’ I always try to avoid this part of the research; looking at other logos for a similar brief, on Google. This is mainly because I start to feel a bit ‘jealous’ over the other ideas. However, Cass states this kind of research helps you understand what you need to avoid. The top results on Google show the ‘overused’ ideas, and if you were to create a logo similar, it would never stand out and only ever blend in with other logos.

3 So after re-reading the brief and making quick sketches and notes, the next step is taking those quick thumbnails and producing larger scale drawings to show to the client. Before moving to Photoshop or Illustrator, just drawing and experimenting on paper can develop your ideas quicker. As you can see from the photos, Jacob Cass has started to create a mind map of potential ideas. At the moment, he is not tied down to anything, so can experiment with a few ideas at a time. After mind mapping a few ideas, the designer can either talk these through with the client or go with their own instinct, following the brief still and take one of the ideas on a bit further without direct client input. As you can see, Cass has taken forward this idea of the wave merging with the letter ‘A’. I really like this idea and even though it is still only a sketch, I can see what his idea is without any annotation. I really love mind mapping and sketching, even sometimes on a napkin or scrap piece of paper. Why? Because it takes 2 minutes to get your ideas down and you can do it anywhere- walking down the street, or in the park, where most of the best inspiration comes from.



PRESENTATION Once Cass had enough ideas on paper, the next step was to bring them into Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, Cass chose ‘Myriad’ as the typeface. He has stated he chose this typeface due to how the ‘a’ suited the wave shape after some manipulation. Additionally, it suits the tech industry. However, I would quite like to see other typefaces he trialed; it is very unlikely Myriad was his first choice. On the left you can then see how he explored the multiple options for the position of ‘wave’ idea. As well as the final logo Cass went for, I also really like the second one down from the left. The only thing I think needs adapting is making the wave a bit more obvious. After creating all the concepts, Cass went onto add colour to the final concept. He chose the grey (Pantone 432) as it is the stereotypical ‘tech’ colour. He chose the red (Pantone 1979) to stand out against the grey and for the business name. I really like the final outcome and I definitely appreciate it a lot more after following the process. The logo is so simple and so perfectly executed that it is easy to think it is straight-forward to produce.


J.Cass research test2