The Branding of John Eng Cheng Through The Years / by john cheng

I had a quick conversation today that made me think about how I got to my current logo and it made me quite nostalgic.

The conception of the idea started back in high school when my friends and I drew a lot of stick figures during our art classes together. They were really simple doodles, but I loved them and held them near and dear to my heart. As my friends and I dispersed, I continued to hold on them and they appeared throughout my sketchbooks during my freshman year in college when I caught myself in a rut and without good ideas. 

They appeared more and more and at that point i realized they were pretty much a part of me and needed to render it into a mark of some sort. This was also when I decided to emphasize in graphic design so it's no wonder why making a logo piqued my interest.

In 2007 I created the first vector rendition of my mark. It still very much resembled the stick figure doodles, but I didn't mind. I made stickers and stuck it everywhere I could and branded everything I could get my hands on. 

Naturally, the more you draw something, the more it evolves and because the doodle evolved and wanted to clean up the mark. So in 2008, the vector logo mark was cleaned up.

It is in my nature to continue working at something to the very last minute and be persistent in making changes, and of course when it's your own brand, you're constantly going to try and improve upon it. In 2009, I reviewed my mark and realized that the strokes were too thin, it didn't resize well, and the bun shaped head was no longer appealing to me which resulted in the consistent stroke thickness in the lines and extremely simplified version of the stick figures head.

I had the '09 mark laser cut into the shift knob for my car and had the very giddy feeling of having an actual physical object with my logo on it. But having something physical with my logo on it proved to be detrimental in the end. It meant that I looked at it every day with a fresh eye and it began to morph into two people holding hands rather than the face of the stick figure that I so loved.

As a result of the new image that was now burned into my mind, the logo no longer resembled what I wanted it to be so I had to change it and go back to the basics which led me to lowering the grin of the mark. From there i played with three variations and bounced back between them.

2011 came the moment of truth where I made my decision to be consistent with the face. It was a long journey to get there but for the moment I was satisfied.

To nobody's surprise, I felt the itch again to update the mark. I loved how the face looked but it was still feeling a bit empty. At the time I had been wearing for 2 years the first automatic watch that I had bought with my first paychecks and noticed a few details on the face of the watch that called out to me and decided to include it to my mark. 

The addition of the extra detail felt very shallow and didn't feel, please forgive the irony, timeless. During 2013, I had become accustomed to my niece calling me Uncle John John which is where the addition of the "J/J" came from. It felt very appropriate as my logo was very personal to me as well as the nick-name.

Finally the new year, 2014! I revisited the mark and felt very distracted as my tastes continue to change. Marks that are self contained are extremely appealing to me which led me to place it inside the square.

Before today I hadn't realized how involved I had been with my mark. Looking back, I'm quite pleased with each and every decision I've made and I can't wait to see how it continues to change but more than that, how I continue to change with it.


What a throw back thursday it has been!