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How Sonic the Hedgehog Inspired My Logo

When I was growing up, I practiced my signature…a lot. I don’t know if this is a normal thing people do, but I remember when I was learning cursive in elementary school; I saw everyone write their names in cursive elegantly and with some pizzazz. However, 7 year old me could not figure out a cool way to write a Q in a signature. I didn’t know anyone else who had a Q in their name except my dad, but his signature was a doctor’s signature (mostly because he is a doctor). [plug a picture of his signature]. I tried a bunch of things, even making my Q look like a 2. However, people in the States don’t often come across a cursive Q which prompted them to read my name as Umer 2ureshi. (read two-re-shi). 

However, people in the States don’t often come across a cursive Q which prompted them to read my name as Umer 2ureshi (read two-re-shi).

Around the same time, the iconic game Sonic Adventure 2 Battle released. (YOu’D OnLY REmEMBeR iF yoU wERe a 90’S kiD). I played that game so much as a kid, even writing this I have the theme song of Escape the City stuck in my head, (take the trip down memory lane I promise it’s a nostalgia high straight to the dome). Sonic was my favorite video game character at the time, Super cool attitude, super fast, and he just looked super sick. It made me super interested in why I liked his look, so much so that I tried to read up on it. At some point I stumbled across some random math lecture’s powerpoint about the golden rectangle and low and behold we had a picture of our favorite 90s era blue video platforming mascot overlaid with the golden rectangle. 

So for those of you who don’t know what the golden ratio even is, here’s the spark notes. There’s this special mathematical sequence called the Fibonacci sequence which you get by starting at 0 and 1 and the sequence continues when you add the previous two numbers together to get the next number, it’s better illustrated with this gif. The key is, each time the sequence grows it grows at a rate of ~ 1.618.

This is how the Fibonacci sequence is illustrated with shapes
This is how the Fibonacci sequence is illustrated with numbers

When you apply this principle with shapes you create the golden rectangle. To make a golden rectangle start with a rectangle with the dimensions 1 x 1.618. Then cut a 1 x 1 square inside that rectangle. The remaining rectangle is now a rectangle who’s dimensions are 1 x 1.618. Mathematically you can do this endlessly, which creates the golden spiral. You can see this principle used in architecture and nature often and this principle is used in logo creation often.

credit for image Zeka Design

Fast forward to 2021 and I’m watching Ali Abdaal talk about how everyone should make a blog and I’m saddled with the conundrum 7 year old me had been dealing with all his life “How am I gonna write my name?!”. Not exactly the same, I’ve made logos for others before and personal logos are usually some amalgam of letters in their name and I immediately began dreading making my own because of that. I started doodling, going through my structured and formulaic method of ideating during which randomly wrote down Q. Q. Qureshi. This post is getting absurdly long right now but long story less long there’s this Bollywood movie called Bunty Aur Bubli it’s about the two main characters going around India scamming people out of their cash. At one point there’s this mark they’re trying to scam and Bubli (Rani Mukerji) dresses up as this super hot boss lady and gets the mark to go all googly eyed over her to distract him while Bunty (Abhishek Bachchan) snags all the cash. In the movie there’s a throwaway line where Bubli seductively asks the mark “Would you like to dance with me Mr. Q. Q. Qureshi”. It was hilarious and also ridiculous that this dude refers to himself Q Q Qureshi, but it was also the first time I had heard my last name in popular media let alone outside my family.

Credit Yash Raj Films

It was hilarious and also ridiculous that this dude refers to himself Q Q Qureshi, but it was also the first time I had heard my last name in popular media let alone outside my family.

So I ran with Q Q Qureshi (and not because my actual name as a custom domain costs $4 grand and that some blogger in India with my exact name SEO’d the heck out of Umer Qureshi on Google). Figured I’d make my logo 2 Q’s.

When making my logo, I made one circle inside the largest circle and then used the swirl to follow along the path of the which would make the tail for my first Q and then I continued that swirl all the way to make the 2 kinda Q. Thus I had Q2 inside a golden rectangle using the golden ratio. I referenced these two videos just to learn how to make it in Illustrator. Golden Ratio Theory for Beginners How to design a logo with golden ratio | Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

You know when you were a kid and you made a drawing you were super proud of and your parents would put it on the fridge and you’d stare at it like “heck yeah that’s me, I made that, bow down” well lowkey that was me when I made this. I was and am just effusively proud of it from a math and design aspect. I’m not 1000% satisfied with this though. The main thing is the tail at the end, I do wish that it extended all the way to the right edge of the triangle, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it while maintaining the golden swirl and not using any straight lines

If anyone reading this has an idea on how to get that line there while keeping with the golden aesthetic, shoot me an email or comment below, I’m more than happy to change my logo if I like it. This is just a random rinky dink blog, it’s not like I’m tryna change the Coca-Cola logo.

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