KARL O’LEARY – Logo and Stationery design


The brief was to provide logo and stationery design solutions for the client Karl O’Leary a programmer, consultant and project manager. His name and profession were to be included in the design but a unique and personal mark should be the prominent feature and be the ‘hook’ of the identity with a strong reference to his work as a programmer.

Researching Karls profession, and background produced varied directions and sketches until arriving at a point where I could take three main ideas, refine them and present them to Karl.

The Keyboard, Binary & HTML  proposals. Karls response to the 3 proposed designs was positive and initiated interesting dialogue when i explained the ideas behind the designs.

However it was evident from the outset he preferred one design in particular which we both agreed upon.

Presenting the keys used to type Karls name as a feature, 2 of which are blurred to indicate that they are used twice. Even though he liked this idea and thought that we could have some fun with it, different colours, animating the buttons etc,. he preferred another solution.


Binary numbers.
Substituting the ‘LOL’ for ‘101’ in his name to show that his work is physically part of him. Typographically it worked in this unrefined state but unfortunately 101 has a negative connotation thanks to George Orwell’s ‘Room 101’, a nd was rejected. I also did a version of his name in full binary code and although it looked good it was thought to be a bit ambiguous.

As programming languages are part of Karls everyday life this solution came from HTML itself. His name as it appears between the ‘title’ tags on is web page, <title>Karl O’Leary</title>, was the inspiration.

Reducing the tags to their minimum form surrounding Karl’s initial and presenting this typographical solution in the form of a keyboard button was an instant hit, as it encapsulated everything he was about and was clean and contemporary.

After a few tweeks we settled on a balanced layout and a monochromatic colour scheme which I applied to his stationery.

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