Home Site Origins and Logo History

Site Origins and Logo History

by Stuart Charles Black

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  • 1/17/19
  • 1/16/20. Added the 5-Year Logo. Article cleanup.

3,012-word post, approx. 5-6 min. read

Hi friend and Welcome aboard!

Before we get into the history of this site and its logo, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!

Image Coming Soon!

What I will bring you in this article

  1. From Humble Beginnings
  2. A True Artist
  3. “Banksy with a Canvas”
  4. The Origins of Home Studio Basics
  5. Concepts
  6. Thumbnails
  7. Batches
  8. Concepts explained
  9. Gallery Timeline
  10. 3 Year Anniversary Logo
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

From Humble Beginnings

It has long since been my dream to work from home doing stuff that I love to do. I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember, and it’s been a part of my life from a child growing up.

Back in the day, I would visit my Grandma and Grandpa in Smithtown, Long Island. My Mom, Dad, and I would take the 10-hour drive up I-95 North from Raleigh, North Carolina.

These were some of the best times I had growing up, and I will always think fondly on road trips during the summer and winter months. We would visit at least twice a year, for Christmas/Thanksgiving, other various events like Family Reunions in the summer, and just to visit in general.

Back then, my Grandma would buy different types of cereal like Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Razzle Dazzle Rice Krispies, Apple Jacks, and Honey Bunches of Oats which is still my all-time favorite. My Grandpa loved Lucky Charms! 🙂

Before we left to go back home, I would always draw a picture of the kind of cereal she had at that particular time. One year it was the Crunch Berries variety, one year it was Froot Loops, one year Rice Krispies, etc.

She always loved the pictures, and until the day she passed away, she told me I was an artist and had a great gift. “You’re a natural!” she would exclaim. That encouragement from such a young age was much needed in my life, as I often felt like I never fit in with the other kids. It seems as though I always stood out in some way, even though I would have preferred the opposite!

It’s funny how our mindsets change as we grow older. Nowadays I’m grateful that I was always the oddball.

Who’s that nerd with the bright blue colored shorts on? Oh, that’s me. Lol.

A True Artist

As far as art is concerned, I wouldn’t even call it a passion of mine. It’s just hard-wired into me and it’s who I am. My name is Stuart after all 😛 I like most forms of art including drawing, painting, graphic design, making beats, playing guitar, making/editing videos, taking/editing photos, sculpture/woodworking, etc. Really anything that can be considered artistic, I’m all about it.

I suppose I just look at the world in that kind of way. A right-brained person if you will. The funny part about it is that I’m also extremely analytical and methodical in the way I make art (and in general), so in that sense, I’m also a bit left-brained as well.

I think about situations, events, and the world in a very conceptual way, without really trying to. There is meaning behind everything you see, hear and experience, and I like to make art in a way that describes this through anything ranging from a play on words to simple nostalgia, to irony, and everything in between.

Sony MDR V6 Review

A recent design I did using Sony’s MDR V6 in place of the V8

Some Graphic Design examples of this:

You may think some of this is stupid and that’s okay. For me, making art isn’t about being perfect or getting it right all the time. It’s simply about making art and not really giving a crap who likes it or doesn’t like it. Some ideas work, others don’t and that’s okay!

“Banksy with a Canvas”

Communicating ideas in bizarre, strange, and clever ways is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. When I was in college, a guy who was in my Painting II class (around 2012) called me “Banksy with a Canvas” because he liked the way I conveyed my thoughts through the medium, and from a conceptual standpoint, he thought my ideas were brilliant.

Before I left my last retail job back in 2015, I wrote a letter to my managers saying “I’m a creative individual trapped in a corporate world.”

In December 2014, my Grandma came to visit and I told her I didn’t want to work a 9-5 job anymore and that I was going to do something about it. She and my mom were skeptical, but I stuck with it and in 2017 I was finally able to leave my job and pursue marketing and graphic design full time, while also launching another website Painterly Stew for the conceptual/art side of things. That site has been on the back burner for some time, but real work will begin on it in the near future.

“Cheney’s Got A Gun.” This painting of Dick Cheney with a machine gun won 1st in class at my college.

As far as this site?

The Origins of Home Studio Basics

I stumbled into marketing completely by accident. I was heavily into making beats at the time, and because I had done it for so long and felt my work was good enough, I began searching for ways to market myself and sell my work online.

In searching, I came across a program called Wealthy Affiliate, which is a marketing platform designed to help bloggers create websites about things they are truly passionate about. If you’re interested in turning your passion into a full-time income, WA is the place to be!!

Because I have always loved music and had a lot of knowledge concerning the small home studio, I began a website teaching people how to start their very own studio at the lowest cost possible. The guide is simple, straightforward, and costs around $1000-$1500 of investment.

  • Check it out here! I do update it from time to time, so please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make it better!

After the guide was finished, I began blogging about beats, and my experience over the years with different people in the Hip-Hop community. The rest is history as they say. 500+ posts later, I am still writing articles and making recommendations. Right now it’s mostly in the headphone realm, as I’ve garnered a lot more experience with different types of audiophile-grade headphones, Amps & DACs, and the like. I also have experience with audio interfaces, studio monitors, turntables, microphones, MIDI, and much more.

I pride myself on making recommendations to the best of my ability, and would never tell someone to buy a product that I myself wouldn’t purchase. The testimonials (seen on the front page as well as this page), emails, and comments that I get attest to the integrity of this site, and I will challenge you to a duel if you think otherwise. 😛

Once I began work on the site and had a solid backbone to work with, it was time to come up with a good logo.

Logo History

I had found some old thumbnails from around October of 2015 and thought I would share them. Being that the site is celebrated its 3 year anniversary in December of 2017, I wanted to show you my thought process and how the Home Studio Basics logo came into being.

The site has now also celebrated its 5 Year Anniversary, and for 2019’s logo I decided to go minimalist and clean. I think you’ll like it!

Because I have a background in Graphic Design, I like to come up with my own ideas and ways to brand myself. Though my logo for this website is quite simplistic at first glance, a lot of thought went behind its creation.

I wanted the logo to be iconic yet simple in nature, but also be clever in some way. I wanted it to stand the test of time while also being immediately recognizable. When people look at it, they should instantly associate it with me, my brand, and my website. Incorporating meaning into my work has always been a priority, and I strive to tie in some sort of concept to go along with almost everything I do.

The concept here was simple:

  1. Create a logo that represented the “Basics” in Home Studio Basics.
  2. Use shapes as identifiers and symbols.
  3. Tie in the “Home” part in a subtle way.

So I got to work. Try not to laugh at these thumbnails. Hehe. No one ever said the process was pretty!

Click to see!

Batch 1.
Batch 2.
Batch 3.
Batch 4.
Batch 5.
Batch 5 continued.
Batch 6.

Batch 1

My brainstorming started with trying to come up with an eye-catching design. I wanted to use the lines to create an abstract shape that incorporated a roof, and a house with a door. My first thought was to see if I could make the logo resemble something you would see on the chest of a superhero or something that you could dip in ink and stamp.

Batch 2, 3 & 4

In batch 2, I started experimenting with the basic shapes while also making them into various pieces of equipment. The rectangle is a studio monitor, and the circle being a record player. In Batch 3 you can see me trying to incorporate the keys of a piano somehow into the mix, but I wasn’t feeling it. I tried once more with a drum pad sort of look in batch 4, but it wasn’t coming together.

I came to the conclusion that using the shapes in that manner was a little bit too literal for what I was going for. I even thought about a 3-d look, but of course that went against my K.I.S.S. philosophy as well, so I moved on.

Batch 5

You can see that it’s starting to come together a little bit, and I’ve really decided on simple shapes with some text. The idea of a circle as a record button is kind of cool, but I didn’t like how it turned out in Illustrator so I scrapped it.

Batch 6

This represents just about the final product. Here I start to tighten things up and think about where I want to place the text. The thumbnail on the middle right is what I settled on before I took things to Adobe Illustrator.

The Concepts

Concept 1 (from above)

Use basic shapes in reference to “Home Studio Basics.” I chose a rectangle, square, triangle, and circle. My philosophy here has always aimed to explain things in a way that’s extremely easy to understand. When I research something or read reviews, I never want to get confused. I want to get to the bottom of it at all costs. You could say “Well, no one wants to be confused!” True, but how many times have you read an article about something only to be more lost than when you started?

I’ve found over the years that techies love to speak in jargon, using foreign-sounding language that makes zero sense to the average reader. I don’t want that here. My goal is to help you make sound decisions in a clear and logical way. I’ve found that it’s possible to understand complicated topics at a rudimentary level if you can frame things with everyday meaning while organizing your research into manageable chunks. This allows you to grasp advanced subject matter a lot better as well if you know the basics and your notes are organized. There’s nothing wrong with layman’s terms!

My Resources page is about helping you understand things in this way.

Concept 2

Use the basic shapes as symbols and identifiers.

The circle represents:

  • A record button
  • Any knob.
  • A turntable/vinyl.
  • A microphone grille shape.
  • A power-on switch.
  • Any sort of audio jack (3.5mm, 1/4″, 2.5mm, 4.4mm, etc.)
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