DRS Logo Evolution

This is a general summary of my process developing what would become the DRS logo - and by extension, the logo of the Demon Renegade Pirate cartel.

My original plan was to have a separate logo for DRS and the Demon Renegade Pirate cartel. The very first idea was a bloody claw-slash which I toyed with for a while before shifting direction to the Lightning Bolt motif. A vestige of the claw-slash remained in the three small bolts in the lightning logo. The lightning & crescent logo was the long standing DRS symbol until the site redesign in 2010. The lightning logo is still used in altered form on my Klingon fleet, representing the "House of W'ked".

The skull logo began as a typical cliche skull, with demonic horns added to emphasize the "demon" of the Demon Renegades.

Not quite satisfied with a simple skull, I borrowed the crescents from the lightning logo, and attempted resurrecting the claw slashes by adding them to the skull's forehead.

Taking a cue from the Terran Empire logo (among countless others), I added a sword through the top of the skull. This would block the middle horn, so I duplicated it and positioned one each over the eyebrows.

Still not satisfied and feeling it was too stereotypical, I sent my logo to Atolm for a second opinion. He agreed with the basic idea of a skull, however didn't feel the traditional approach I was taking was going to work. He promptly doodled a very rough logo in MSPaint and sent it my way - the above is the actual size and resolution of his original!

One of his sources of inspiration were the creatures from the classic DooM games - his graphic looking very much like a game sprite. We're also both fans of westerns, where the cattle skull is a common theme and symbolizes desolation and rogue-ishness in equal parts.

As such, I felt it was a huge step in the right direction.

With Atolm's sketch, I took to redrawing a higher resolution version best suited for graphics applications. I retained the crescents and sword of my earlier attempt.

Continuing on, I added the twin forehead horns from the earlier version to further the alienness of the creature it represents.

Ultimately, I would end up removing the sword altogether and creating a vector version in Adobe Illustrator which allows me to reuse and resize the logo without loss of detail. I also removed the textures and effects, shifting away from a stylized graphic and more towards the versatile logo it should be. I retained the crescents, but resized them and placed them behind the skull to make them more integral to the design. I then modified it to have "gaps" between the overlapping elements so that the form would be easily defined when placed on backgrounds and textured surfaces.

Still, I felt the logo was missing something and that it wasn't quite as balanced or form filling as it could be. Through many attempts, ranging from the obvious to the ludicrous - including "texas stars", ovals, octagons and a range of other add-ons, I fell back to the original concept. Taking the crescents I had used from the earliest design, I rearranged them into a spiral pattern which fills in the empty parts of the logo while being simple and unique. The impetus for this approach was the iris of a film camera and the swirling vortex of many a myth and legend.

The final part was to add the "DRS" acronym underneath the other horn, creating a symbol that draws the eye from one side to the other without being obvious.


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