Open Logo on a Virtual 3-D ‘Light-Stage’

We noticed on his personal web site that Graham Roberts, a graphics editor at the Times, had designed a version of the ol’ flaming-ball U.S. Open logo (which has always reminded us of Gore/Lieberman 2000’s shooting star) for the paper’s Open preview section. It zings! It practically flies off the screen!

Graham doesn’t have strong feelings about the Open logo, saying via email, “It’s fine, I guess. I’m not crazy about gradients.”

He told us, “I made the U.S. Open logo to fit in with the style of the other sports ‘signifiers’ that I have made for the sports section.” [We especially like the NCAA one.] “The sports section deals with thousands of different team logos. They came to me to design something that would give a unified look to all of these disparate images, and to create something that would pop, have some depth, and look modern. I began wrapping logos onto spheres on a virtual 3D ‘light-stage’ that I created.”

“This to me seemed the best way to deal with logos of varying dimensions while bringing them into the same design language. For the web, a sphere seemed to have a lot of potential for little animations of the logos, but I have yet to try that out. I had a little fun with the US Open logo by ‘slicing through’ the sphere to create the lines of the tennis ball in 3D, mimicking the 2D design of the original logo, but as an impossible 3-dimensional shape.”