No matter what the field (but especially engineering), visual communication is a must for conveying ideas that words alone cannot describe effectively. Graphics, drawings, and sketches provide a universal language for design. Whether you're working with an international manufacturer, or a close coworker, the interpretation of a well thought out drawing shouldn't change. These principles also apply to your company's marketing and outward presentation. This small project goes through my process for creating a simple amateur logo for Ascent Concepts and Technologies.
Sketch on Paper
It starts with a hand sketch. I am quicker with my hands and ink than I am with any computer program. This method provides a quick way to produce several iterations and ideas, and I like drawing anyways so this stage is fun for me. I wanted to do something that would incorporate the business’ function: vintage electrical test equipment sales, and also somehow incorporate the fact that it's at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Parametric Layout in SolidWorks
Most people at this stage would use a vector-based graphical program like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, but I am not proficient in those programs. However, I have made thousands of sketches in SolidWorks, which provides me the tools to precisely place, dimension, and constrain the elements of the logo, while also allowing me to export everything as a vector should I need to.
Detail in AutoCAD
SolidWorks will really only get you the outlines you need to complete the logo, so I exported it as a DXF file and opened it with AutoCAD for finishing. I was then able to make changes, quickly add color, and view iterations all at once to compare. This was also good practice in using AutoCAD since my job is usually focused on solid models and not layouts.
This final logo meets the needs of looking slightly retro, incorporating a mountain, and including aspects of electricity by the appearance of a printed circuit board trace. Color can always be added depending on the medium, but for now this layout will work for letterheads, web pages, email signatures, and more.