The Warmfront Logo: A DIY Design

I’d like to take you through how the Warm Front logo came to be – it's a story of trial, error, error, error, and a whole lot of how about this?

This post was inspired by Shawn Watson, The World’s Okayest Cyclist, and a big shout-out to Amy Nisenson for coming up with the Warmfront name way back when.  Brilliant.

Back in the day, I was clueless about business, trademarks, and anything related. But, I knew how to find answers. 

First off, I took a deep dive into successful logos, trying to figure out why they worked. I studied colors, fonts, the psychology behind all of it.  That led to the initial Warm Front logo - it was a complete knockoff of FedEx with orange and purple vibes.


I changed it to red and blue, and I even got a graphic designer to throw in a chest warmer over the R.  I thought It was cool, but nobody really noticed that subtle detail.  But it was done, and it was now a thing.  This perhaps was the first  realization that "Perfect is the enemy of completion".  Good enough for a while.  

Also, have you ever seen the Arrow in the FedEx logo?

I also stumbled into the world of branding.  There are color logos, monochrome logos, black and white, on and on - and this wordmark (another new word I learned) didn’t cut it.

Then social media rolled around, and I needed a logo that could fit correctly into a round profile picture. This was my first introduction into the concept of a forcing function, and how limitations can help creativity.

I tried stacking "warm" on top of "front," but it just didn't vibe. Woof.

I tried just the R, but that made no sense!  R-front? 

So, I brainstormed a circular logo and toyed with the idea of a catchy tagline, taking cues from McDonald's and Dollar Shave Club's cool marketing moves.

I played around with logo generators, testing out designs. The first ones were fire colors - to convey heat.  But I saw that variation everywhere from jackets to socks to hand warmers.

Nothing really worked.  I walked away from it for a bit.

Then it slowly dawned on me – WarmFront is a chest warmer.  Chests have nipples. My very cool women friends called it a boob warmer.   The chest holds the heart.  I then remembered "Purple Nurple" from when I was a kid and that sparked creativity and some design momentum.  The Warmfront prevents Purple Nurple.

I should also say I’m not a huge purple fan.  I love Prince and Dave Chappelle, and we have the Rockies, but purple - meh.

That led to the breakthrough.  I threw a purple circle and a heart into Illustrator. I also had to watch a YouTube video on how to draw a heart.  It is way more difficult than you'd think.  I still can't figure out the Pen tool. 

I loved the circle and the heart, but it needed more.  I usually invoke Occam’s razor - “perfection is when there is nothing left to remove” but this needed more.  

Then things got ugly again - see below.  Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is always shit."  I was surprised I event kept this version.


The tagline - “Warmfront prevents Purple Nurple” made me remember the European wrong way signs, and started thinking about stopping / blocking, and the wrong way turned into 2 X’s.  Preventing Purple Nurple actually became a whole thing for this company.  


And the font needed to be updated too.  Lemon Milk was the choice.  And I'm a real font nerd- one of my favorite documentaries is Helvetica - FOR REAL.

No fancy ad agency was behind this – it was just me, stumbling through limitations and requirements, trying to make something distinctive. The WarmFront logo, with its white heart and Purple Nurple theme, is more than just a visual. It's a narrative of persistence, trusting gut instincts, and carving out a unique identity, one step at a time.

So there you have it – the story behind the Warm Front logo. Cheers to creative chaos, frustration, ugly drafts and making your mark in the branding world. 

Let's go eat pancakes.

You may also like