Designing hex logos

I am curious about your experiences designing hex logos, whether you designed one yourself or requisitioned someone else to do it for you. I would like to improve the ones in my packages.

I'm not volunteering @taras for the job, but he's the only one around here that I know has gone through the process personally (with his wife, I believe).

I'll move this under Package Development, though it's admittedly a little bit tangential.


Does anybody know when hex logos were invented or, at least, became a thing people bothered about?

I blame Max Ogden, though I appreciate that he probably didn't start it all.

Hexbin is Max's work -

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I appreciate the mention, @nick! There was a bit of extra time on our hands a few months ago, and my wife and I took a stab at a few logos. Blogdown got adopted. rstudio::conf had a different one in development...

Currently probably won't find time for an extra project, but maybe in the future.

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@thomasp85 makes some awesome hex stickers for his package so he may have some advice for you

I don’t know how much advice I can give. I enjoy photography and graphic design so logo design is a break away from coding that I enjoy. If you are not interested in doing graphic design then that equation don't hold anymore...

In general I think it is easy to be lured into the feeling that you need a professional logo for your OSS projects, as they are prevalent, but many of these are backed by companies with funds to hire designers. No logo or homemade logo is always a fine alternative.


I maintain my stance on the true initiators of the hex craze…


Thanks everyone for the advice! Maybe I am paying too much attention to logos. My own graphic design skills are poor, but I do enjoy drawing hex images, and that is usually enough. This one was particularly fun. But with this one, something looks off, and the package itself is so important to me that I want it to improve it.

@thomasp85 and @taras, how did you learn your graphic design skills? Did you receive formal training, or did you just practice a lot on your own?

As much of what I do my graphic design is completely home-trained, and may at time suffer for it - still I do it for myself, not for others, so I'm only pursuing the design for as long as it is fun...

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If you're interested in tools that can be used, I used Inkscape. All of the Business Science package logos were created with it. It requires a bit of rewiring of your brain for controls / shortcuts on a Mac, but it is free and pretty powerful!

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I do a bit of graphic design on the side, so I'll chime in on my thoughts on this one.

My take on this is that you've got too much going on. When working with logos you want something that can both scale up and down with relative ease. Because of the details in this logo, the eye has too much to choose from.

I would try removing the text, making the anvil larger (and removing some of the detail on the edges), shrink the hammer a bit, and also play around with negative space. What I mean by that is to make the hammer and anvil white, and the surrounding hex space a solid color.


I completely agree about Inkscape. I'm still a beginner with it, but I think it's the ideal tool.

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Thank you, @jessemaegan! You just removed my mental block, and I am eager to try your advice.

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My ethos on life.

Beyond just magpie syndrome, and liking brightly-coloured objects, logos (in general) give you a nice visual hook to whatever you're revisiting. That's why I take so many screenshots— it's much easier to remember things when you've got that extra little bit of info!


Of course there's always the option of paying someone on Fiverr or somewhere to do a hex logo for you. There are a lot of great artists, illustrators and logo designers on they're who'd be happy to help for a small fee.

sorry to disappoint you @mara, but @maxogden was in full hex storm craze long time ago :wink:

More often than not, simple is better! People tend to overestimate how much they can cram into what's about an inch and a half of on-screen real estate. Here is the logo for my package I created in about 15 minutes: image. If you ever plan on printing your logo out, remember that small details and raster images often won't turn out well when printed.

Most recent attempt: Needs color and a better font, but I am optimistic. Thanks again @jessemaegan for getting me unstuck!

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whoa, that's a massive improvement! I'm excited to see what you land on - it looks great!

montserrat is my go-to sans-serif font choice - it may work well here in one of the heavier weights.

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