I was recently asked why I have a backpack as the logo on my website and thought it was a question worth explaining in a blog post. While the answer, I like backpacks, is certainly a valid answer for me, I thought I would explain in more detail why I enjoy the symbol and function of backpacks enough to make it my personal logo.
I have always found the idea of a backpack intriguing. They are designed to carry exactly what you need without any excess. During my time as a Boy Scout (and after achieving Eagle Scout), I learned the value of traveling with just what I needed without packing anything extra. If I carried more than I needed than I became uncomfortable with the extra weight and find less enjoyment on the trail. Similarly, when I go on trips with a backpack full of camera gear I find myself questioning why I chose to bring ALL my lenses when I knew the likelihood of me using more than one was slim. These instances of not enjoying the trail because I am distracted with the weight of my gear or missing photographic moments because I am trying to carefully drop my backpack are not welcome or appreciated.
The designing of the logo began when I was at work feeling locked behind my computer. Inside the office there are no windows, humming florescent lights above and the blue tint of and LED computer monitor in front of my eyes. I wanted to distract my mind I grabbed my creased and worn Field Notes book and began to sketch. There was no plan, no goal, I just wanted to get my mind off of work for a while. I sketched a couple little backpacks. After filling a page of these small sketches, I decided to sketch another page all in a different style, then another, and still another.
Before long I had sketched out 60 little backpacks, spanning a total of 10 pages with 6 sketches per page. Each was unique in their own way. It was not until later that night, when I reviewed these sketches, that I considered turning one of them into a digital logo. The next day I met briefly with a professor of graphic design and told her about my plan to turn one of these sketches into a logo. I got her thoughts and opinion on which sketch would make the strongest logo. That afternoon I spent my time creating digital backpack logos and eventually developed the clean logo I have now.
The symbol and function of a backpack is to carry only what you need without any excess. In a physical sense, this will lighten your load and allow you to appreciate the world around you without being concerned with the amount of equipment you are carrying. In a creative sense, it is very freeing to not carry every option for every contingency with you. Give yourself limitations and see what you can create. As with most things, simplicity is the way to go.