Logo design for fabulis

posted by Veerle Pieters
23 March 2010

Today a new social network web site called fabulis, launches its first (beta) release, which is only a limited version of what the site will offer once it's fully finished. The design of the 'full launch' is still in full swing, and so we thought the timing would be perfect to talk about the process of the logo design.

What is fabulis?

According to our client, founder of fabulis, Jason Goldberg, it is...

"A website and a mobile service that helps gay men discover and share where to go, what to do, and who to meet. It'll help you figure out what restaurant to go to, which shop to check out, which bar everyone is going to tonight, who you can meet while visiting another city, and much more. Basically, it's the gay take on life. Spotting trends. Making plans. Meeting people. In other words, fabulis will be the network that connects gay men with great experiences down the block and around the world."


Our first meeting was face-to-face here at our offices in Deinze, Belgium. Jason came all the way over from New York to discuss the project and our working relationship. We were immediately on the same page and the connection felt really good. Once Jason explained the whole fabulis concept and its service, we knew we had to look for a contemporary, modern, stylish logo that reflects this community, and was worth its gorgeous name.

Ideas & doodles

One of the thinking paths I always follow when I start a logo design, is analyzing the name purely from a typographical perspective. Thinking about what is typographically possible. Secondly, I was thinking about the web site and its purpose. There are 3 elements that play a central role: places, people and things. Only, I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to focus on this aspect in the logo design.


Trying to find the right direction in terms of color, typeface and general style.

I tried out a few different angles in terms of typographical styles. Then, I also suggested a few typefaces, although, my intention was to tweak the cursive ones into a regular font as I don't feel an italic typeface would suit. I never had a preference for oblique fonts, because when you compare them to italics they look as they are skewed.

When doodling, I tried to come up with some general ideas for the site's design as well, trying to find a suitable color palette and other general design ideas such as colored lines blending from the logo into the page design. This was of course all very experimental.


While doodling for a logo design, I was trying out a color palette proposal and thinking about some basic ideas for the site as well.

One other thing I tried out, was splitting up the word into 'FAB' and 'ULIS' so it would fit a square and have the style of a label. Next, I was looking if a very round script typeface could work or even go as far as overlapping the characters, but that clearly resulted in a ineligible logo.


The client didn't really like the square icon concept too much, nor the cursive fonts, but the Dessau Pro Regular font really caught his eye. What he liked most about this was its clean, modern, yet slick look, which was exactly why we chose it. Just like us he saw its potential and could already see his logo in action on t-shirts, on the web site... There is also this special shape of the letter 'a' which we thought would be interesting to work with. As far as the thumbnail sketches for the sites, I should make sure it comes across feeling more modern, not so much floral.


(1) And so I started experimenting with the fabulis characters in Dessau Pro Regular. (2) After just typing the name, it felt to me that the letter 'f' could use a bit of tweaking so we get a different aligning with the letter 'a'. Next, I was thinking what I could do with the counter of the letter 'a', and so I thought it would be cool to turn the dot of the 'i' into this shape .


Experimenting step-by-step starting from Dessau Pro Regular. Tweaking the letter 'f' and 'a', and the dot on the letter 'i'.

(3) Next thing I tried out was rotating the counter of the letter 'a', but it only got me this far, and I knew I wasn't there yet.

First proposals

We shared our thinking process with the client by showing some initial proposals. We played with the letter 'a' trying out dots and stars, which was clearly in the right direction, but we still weren't there just yet.


Experimenting with the letter 'a', with the idea of creating an icon for the logo. Trying out dots and stars.

Icon experimentation

We felt that a star would be nice and suitable for the logo, although a regular star didn't feel interesting enough. It was missing uniqueness, and so the next thing I did was some icon experimentation starting from the shape of the letter 'a'. Below is a picture that shows my entire process:


After a lot of rotating and duplicating, I ended up with a star that felt like a perfect fit for an icon, the star being a representation of something being fabulous, as the service will let you decide if a place or an item is fabulous or not.

Final proposal

And so we ended up with this logo design (see picture below) which got approved and has been printed on t-shirts and other *fabulis* gear so far.

More about fabulis

fabulis will launch later this Spring in its full version, and on the iPhone. We are proud to be part of this excited project. We should mention that we didn't do any front-end coding at this stage due to having our hands full with the design part. So far we only did the front-end coding of the holding page.
Stay tuned!


  1. 1 Carlos Yabar Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.52 pm

    Nice final proposal, also I saw a couple of good ideas in the sketches

  2. 2 Raja Sandhu Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 04.56 pm

    Very nice - always great to see into the mind of a fellow designer. The end result is, well, fabulous!

  3. 3 Peter Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07.08 pm

    Awesome, awesome post. I just found your site and I’m not a designer, but I love the depth of your posts and your description of the process. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. 4 Dan Russel Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07.14 pm

    The best bit about this post is the part where you show the experimentation phase and reveal how you got to the star in the letter a. Fascinating to see that process. Never would have thought it all started as a flower. Clever!

  5. 5 Daniel Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 08.24 pm

    Wonderful post, it sounds like a really interesting project. I agree, the best bit for me was seeing how the font developed and the evolution of the star. Great stuff, as always=)

  6. 6 Patrick Clarke Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09.13 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed seeing you sketches for concepts within your posts, but I really love the Icon experimentation you have for this post.

  7. 7 julie Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 07.02 am

    That is amazing.  I love how you can get an awesome <a >logo</a> starting from just doodling.  I really like the end result.

  8. 8 Lee Fri Apr 9, 2010 at 12.14 am

    i think the storyboarding of logo’s is art in itself, especially the examples you show above, a true artist at work

  9. 9 andrew Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 06.55 am

    Excellent. Great work on logo design which really impress anyone.