The Picture in My Head

The Technical University Vienna (TU-Wien) asked me to design several logos for their EcoDesign department. The logos should show important environmental steps within an industrial production cycle. I took my pencil and started drawing ….


The Design Process

All following logos were first hand-drawn and later converted into vector graphics.
I prefer to draw from memory because my mind already simplifies the picture for me. If I would use a photograph as a reference instead I would might end up concentrating on details which are unnecessary for a strong logo. Drawing from the memory also makes me paying more attention to negative space or clean lines. Using an old-school pencil and a rubber gives me fast control over shapes and forms instead of clicking and dragging vector points just to bend a single curve … Also, through the process of hand drawing, the line is a little bit inexact and the drawing starts to “live”.

A photograph normally distracts and causes me to draw the object in a certain angle or shape, which is how I can usually tell if someone else uses a photograph as a reference for his or her graphics, paintings etc. or not. The next time you see a logo, graphic or painting take a closer look! You can often see how important areas are overlapping, hands or faces are showing strange angles, or shapes are more detailed than necessary. In the end, they complicate the drawing. The main reason for this is that when you copy a photograph you unconsciously copy the small “mistakes” too. Those “mistakes” are often serving the photograph well and are underlining the character of the photographic picture, but they are rarely serving a logo …

As a designer with drawing skills, you can pay more attention how your creative work appeals to you and you do not have to be stuck to your photographs. It frees you from your reference and that is where in my opinion the beauty of drawing lies. If you want to skip the whole process of drawing on paper, scanning,  cleaning lines and converting into vector graphics you can use a graphic tablet instead. Most of them have some cool features to fasten your work flow again and they will train your drawing skills too.



TransportResource DepletionPhotochemical SmogResourcesGlobal WarmingNutrient EnrichmentGiftige SubstanzenVersauerungWaste


The Dutch electronics company PHILIPS incorporated my logos in their Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for their Digital Pocket Memo 9600/9620. The concept of an EPD is to provide quantified environmental data and additional environmental information of a product which should illustrate how a company improved their ecological footprint. Below, the meaning of the EcoDesign logos as used in the project:


  1. 1. Transportation
  2. 2. Resource Depletion
  3. 3. Photochemical Smog
  4. 4. Resources
  5. 5. Global Warming
  6. 6. Nutrient Enrichment
  7. 7. Toxic Substances
  8. 8. Acidification
  9. 9. Waste


Comments are closed.