Could you recreate your company logo, exactly, from scratch?


You’re about to present a logo design to a client when all of a sudden an EMP blast (detonated by a corporate spy) wipes every electronic device in your building.

Your meeting is in 30 minutes. If you don’t win this client, your business goes under, your other half will leave you and your kids will disown you.

Can you recreate the logo, exactly, from scratch without the ability to measure, or trace over your old design?

I often have nightmares like this. What would happen if my hard drives and cloud drives were suddenly wiped? I hardly ever print…

Designing a fully-developed corporate identity, only without a product.

Two weeks before Christmas I was approached to design a logo for a new startup. 2020 was obviously tough for everyone, and as a freelance brand designer I’ve certainly felt the pinch. So I was over the moon when a serious client, with actual money to spend gave me the go ahead to bring their brand to life.

My pricing structure has been thrown out of the window this year, and I agreed to do the job at a quarter of my usual rate. Beggars can’t be choosers. …

As I transition into specialising in logo design, it’s time to redo my 5 year old logo.

When I first went freelance in 2015, I often worked alongside Wordpress developer Andy White. He would hire me to design websites, which he would then build for his clients. When I sent him over my first invoice from my new company… he burst out laughing.

“What the f*** is that?!”, he said.

It’s 4am. My phone buzzes as an email arrives from WebGazer Alerts with the subject, “Heads up: is down”.

I spent way too long making this gif

I visit wp-admin, the Wordpress backend, and the favicon in my browser tab just spins. I’ve got no way into my own site. I drop a message to a friend of mine, a back-end developer and ask for help. When he wakes up, he tells me, “Hmm, I’m struggling to connect to your box via SSH”.

U wot m8?

This happens all. The. Time.

Someone has hacked into my site either via an outdated Wordpress plugin, or is trying to brute force my Wordpress password and has subsequently crashed my site by overloading it with traffic.

I once logged onto the homepages of all of…

[This is a wrap up of a screen printing course I took with The Print Club London. It’s mainly so I can remember what to do next time I give it a go, but I hope you find it helpful too!]

I got my start in graphic design as a digital designer, working for the website arm of a magazine in London. On the job, I picked up the basics of print design, largely by shadowing a colleague.

I quickly realised how satisfying working in print can be. When I could actually hold my designs in my hands, I found…

While checking Instagram and walking home in London last year, two guys on a moped mounted the pavement and yanked my phone out of my hand.

As my earbud headphones came popping out of my ears, with what felt like half of my brain, I blurted out some mindless expletive and pitilessly tried to chase them down on foot. As they were speeding away in front of me, blocked from getting back to the road by parked cars, I managed to memorise their license plate.

Running home, chanting the plate number out loud as not to forget it for the…

[EDIT: It’s live on Google Fonts! You can find it here.]

One Day Builds

I’m a huge fan of Adam Savage’s One Day Builds. At the beginning of the day he starts with a pile of materials, and ends up holding something that he once coveted (this one is my favourite).

So with this in mind (and a day off from work), I set myself a challenge…

Create an entirely new font, from scratch, and submit it to Google Fonts in under 24 hours.

I had a couple of letters already sketched out in an old notebook. I wanted to create a tall…

Blink and you’ll miss it: How a two-day design project went by in an instant

I recently completed a short project for the Sky Atlantic series The Tunnel, “a British-French crime drama”. With the third series Vengeance soon to be released, Toby Welch (friend and producer of the show) reached out to me. He needed help filling some gaps in post-production

Usually (in Britain anyway), if a brand is used on a TV show, then the makers have obtained express permission to use it. I once met a graphic designer who worked on a well-known ITV soap. …

My dad researches our family history in his spare time. For his Christmas present this year, I decided to turn his research into an A2 family tree. Here’s how I went about it…

I’d call Ashley (dad) Barnard an amateur genealogist, but when you trawl through birth, death & marriage certificates, search church records for baptisms, marriages & burials, hunt down newspaper entries and even look through church yards for grave inscriptions, all for the better part of twenty years, I think the title ‘amateur’ is a little unfair.

James Barnard

Freelance logo designer, formerly of The Daily Telegraph, Bauer Media and Hearst UK. Portfolio →

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