Giving businesses a signature look

After getting her start in her Computer Graphics class, slowly learning how to use Adobe Illustrator just a year ago, Diamond Bar High School junior Helen Pan now designs logos for companies professionally.

“When I first thought about designing logos, I thought that it was pretty easy, all simple—it’s just words and putting images together,” Pan said.

Pan was introduced to the world of logo creating when she designed her very first logo her sophomore year in Computer Graphics. Using the software Adobe Illustrator, she had her first taste of what designing logos was like.

“It was a wolf, and something in Japanese,” Pan said. “I didn’t know what it was but it was pretty bad though—I looked at it and was like ‘Wow this sucks.’”

Ever since, Pan has been practicing the skills she absorbed in class. Pan’s process begins by first sketching out multiple designs to get a feel for what she wants—which takes around two to three weeks—before actually transferring the designs on screen using Illustrator.

Having practiced out multiple sketches for fun and enjoyment, Pan said her favorite overall design is a dog logo she made for herself.

“I really enjoyed making them for myself, and I thought ‘I have a talent for it so why not make it for others,’” Pan said.

Depending on the style or her vision, Pan generally works with both geometric shapes and typefaces to create the final product.

“I’m so picky, and every single time I look at it, I just thinking ‘this doesn’t look right,’ so you just have to keep going until you find something correct,” Pan said.

Pan’s first commission was for Agouti Trails, a store that specializes in handmade rope and leather leashes for dogs. With this being her first time publicizing her work, she designed the logo for free. Upon receiving her work, Agouti Trails posted a shout out to the dog community on social media. As a result, Pan began to receive similar offers for paid work from the dog community.

“This was my favorite [commissioned] design because I actually remember trying really hard to make it, and it made me happy to see they used my logo in many different ways,” Pan said.

Pan has since made logos for @captivatingk9photography, a dog photography account; @mountaintailsco, which specializes in dog bandannas and @theknittedarrow, which creates handmade dog balls. Individuals have also reached out to Pan for other customized dog logos to put on top of their profile picture.

Although Pan does not plan on pursuing logo design professionally, she hopes to continue it as a hobby.