Final logo. Click for larger version.
This project is from the same client who I'm developing the Xipwire logo and website for - he might describe himself as a "serial entrepreneur" (an admittedly overused term), as he's developed several web-based businesses over the past few years - including five we've worked on together.
TuxScout, which is no longer in operation, was a web-based resource for Linux developers. If you're not familiar with Linux, it's an open-source operating system, and its mascot (all OS's should have a mascot) is a penguin. Therefore, most products and services having to do with Linux incorporate a penguin in some way. It's not necessary, but in researching the project it felt like anything non-penguin would be a mistake.
My client, who would be programming the website himself (as he always does), asked me to design a logo and website layout for TuxScout, with emphasis on friendliness. Here's what I came up with...
As you can tell from the top of this post, this was ultimately the winning concept. I was going to attempt to be dramatic and show this one last, but instead I decided to present the four options in the sequence the client saw them. It usually turns out that the first concept I show is the winner - I wonder if that has more to do with me showing what I perceive to be strongest first, or a client's predilection toward what they see first?
Regardless, the client liked the speedy quality of this one best, but he had some change requests: a little more of a 3D look (like the second concept, below), removal of the rear fin (for streamlining purposes), larger text and repositioning the text away from the penguin's belly. The dimensional effect definitely took this away from being a typical corporate logo (as you can see above) and into more of the friendly mascot/character realm (as you can see at the top of the post) - I still don't know that I prefer it either way, and though I often fear that the subtleties of a 3D version might be diminished in other uses (like when printed small on a business card), it wasn't an issue here as I don't think any typical corporate collateral was ever created.
On to the unused options:
This was even more of a mascot, and damn - he's fat. The font is fun (maybe too fun) and the gradients throughout give this one a CGI-generated look. The client liked that look, but wanted it applied to the more dynamic figure and pose in the final option.
A departure - an old-school pixel-based character. This might have appealed to the Atari-loving Linux developers, but ultimately my client thought it wasn't totally representative of the look and feel he was going for. I did find a use for it, eventually, which I'll show at the bottom of this entry.
And this one - a completely 3D isometric view. Maybe I was playing Zaxxon right before I came up with this one? I think the client liked it more than me, only because it was so different, but in the end its odd angle might have proven too difficult to integrate into the website, so it was not selected. Looking at it now, I feel like I should have kept all features cubic - those round eyes and conical beak are just too different from the rest of the shapes.
Once the tweaks were made to finalize the logo, I developed a website layout that my client put together himself. This was the sixth and final iteration, though it's not a screenshot of the actual site (which I don't have), so all the text was just temporary to give a feeling for how things could look. From what I recall, the final site didn't stray from this layout very much - the text size may have been reduced a bit, though. "Friendliness", again, was the theme here.
And so the site went live, had a lot of activity in the beginning (especially in the Job Market area, which was the meat and potatoes of the site), and then it slowed off and eventually died, and my client took it down. Such is life in the internet world. It's a pity it didn't really take off so it could still be around today, and I could post a link here. Now you just have to use your imagination.
When looking through the unused logo options, I really thought I could make use of that pixel penguin. I actually posted it to Zazzle but used "Linux" as a keyword tag, and they deleted my product. That was dumb of me - I've considered re-posting it without the tag, since the image alone has nothing to do directly with Linux (I just wanted to attract those developers), but I didn't want to get in trouble again (they may keep records of such things) so I instead posted it at CafePress and Skreened, now targeting the many penguin lovers of the world. I know they're out there... somewhere...
Pixel Penguin shirt on Skreened