To start building my identity, I decided to design myself a logo for branding.
To present who I am by a logo, I begin to destruct my given name: Sang（桑）means mulberry tree in Chinese. I looked up for how “Sang” looks like in different eras of Chinese history:
- Oracle bone script: The earliest version of a Chinese character. It stands for a whole tree: an integration of roots, trunk and branches from bottom to the top. To my surprise, it represents the unique origin of itself. Since Chinese character about trees are often comprised of two parts: one component to indicate that it is planted; while the other component acts like pictophonetic factors. However, the oracle bone script version of “Sang” has no pictophonetic component at all; it is merely hieroglyphical.
- Small Seal Script: The second typeface iteration is the Small Seal Script invited during 221 to 206 BC. At that time Chinese calligraphy was standardized by the Emperor of Qin. Therefore the characters were conceptualized by the Prime Minister Li Si, for the convenience of carving on the surface of bronze or stone. We can see that the branches are redesigned as three horizontal pitchforks.
- Contemporary typeface: I like the top triangular and the bottom tripod structures, and I also love a Chinese dissection puzzle called “tangram,” for its creative affordances. Hence I tried to combine the formation of modern typeface and the tangram to create the wireframe of this logo, just as Li Si redesign the calligraphy two thousand years ago.
For picking the color palette, I got inspired by the pink of mulberry fruits, the coal of soil where the tree rooted in, the cyan of mulberry leaves and the cream of silk generated by silkworms after they consume leaves. After choosing the four colors, I filled them in my “Sangram” as if I am painting a coloring book. Voila, a logo of mine is created!
Looking back on my design process, I want to note that how precious our legacies are. I have been through a self-identity hatred stage; now I see the complex as ridiculous. Our heritage is lying in our names, our daily lives and every breath we take, with great inspirations for us to draw on.