In order to complete this design project you will have to complete parts 1 through 4.

Part 1: The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Here at Arbitrary Design, we have spent minutes trawling the internet to discover the best techniques to teach you our favourite design tool, the pen tool. Play these games, learn the tool.

This is the premiere learning app that will help establish your fluency with the pen tool. Since you’ll eventually be using the pen tool to create your logo, take the time to go through at least the first four levels.

Enjoying working with the pen tool and want a bonus challenge? Check out this challenging game. Extra points if you sent the critter along a curved path.

Part 2: Pen and Screen

Now it’s time to put ‘pen to paper’ and use your newfound pen-tool talents in your choice of software. You have several options on which software to use:

Adobe Photoshop is famous photo-editing software. Use this software if you could see yourself editing images in the future!

Adobe Illustrator is Adobe’s design software. Consider this software if you would like to make professional-looking logos and signs in the future.

GIMP is a free version of Photoshop. Consider this if you do not have access to Photoshop, or if you want to support the open source community.

Download GIMP here.

Inkscape is a free version of Illustrator. Consider this if you do not have access to Illustrator, or if you want to support the open source community.

Download Inkscape here.

While considering which software you are going to use, you may be interested in following a tutorial to learn the specifics of the pen tool in each program, or you may also want to skim through the tutorials to discover which program you prefer.


Note: all you need to know ends at around 7:30 when you learn how to add a brushstroke to the path – this makes the path you have made with the pen tool visible when you save the image.


Note: a great and simple tutorial which should establish how you can use the pen tool in illustrator to make your logo design.


Note: a simple tutorial – you’ll need to know how to add a stroke, which the tutorial tackles around ~9:00.


Note: a low-key and simple tutorial – establishes very early on how to add a stroke, which is an important component of this project

Automated transcript:

I’ve been told you have chosen the appropriate workflow environment for your predefined task. Of course, I’d rather not dirty myself with these sorts of details. I have a grand vision that drives Arbitrary Design, and that vision manifests in your creative output. In other words, your scribbles are my profit. Now put pen to paper intern. We don’t work with paper?

Part 3: Beautiful Abstraction at Arbitrary Design

You need to use your chosen software package to create Earthotage Energy’s logo. It must:

1) Be a random scribble

2) Be created with the pen (or path) tool

3) Contain curves (not just straight lines)

Optionally, Earthotage Energy’s logo may also contain text elements.

Your continued involvement here at Arbitrary Design is predicated upon a timely product.

Melissa McCarthy, CEO Arbitrary Design

Part 4: The Power of Persuasion

You’ve created a magnificient bézier curve (pen tool / path) scribble logo. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing… but there’s one problem. You need to persuade Earthotage Energy’s board of directors that it should be the symbol of their new business.

We’ve decided the best way to prepare your argument is through a persuasive paragraph.

We’ll provide you with a few suggested routes to take in order to form your argument, but it’s ultimately up to you how you will convince them that you’ve created something worthwhile.

This argument seeks to describe what your design could symbolize to Earthotage Energy or their clients. Here are some examples of logos and their surrounding brands. Sibelga’s logo for example was clearly created with a similar process to our own. Click each logo for more information.

This argument is considered a challenge. It seeks to describe how the history of the pen tool (bézier curve) is interesting. It could alternatively look at how ubiquitous curves are in design. You could bring home this argument by suggesting, for example, that Earthotage Energy could benefit from the prestige of connecting themselves with these concepts.

Pierre Bézier – 1910 – 1999


Paul de Faget de Casteljau 1930 – Present

This argument acknowledges that you have made a piece of beautiful abstract art. Now how can you describe it so that Earthotage Energy can get on board?

Example of abstract ‘art’ made with the pen / path tool.

This argument is considered a challenge. It seeks to describe how the mathematical (or computer science) definition of a Bézier curve works, and how that makes your design an excellent logo for Earthotage Energy. Here are some articles which may be helpful in crafting this argument.

Alternatively look to thse video explanation:

Example of quadratic and cubic Bézier curves.
Image courtesy of CartouCHe 2004-2007 (Creative Commons)

Part 5: The Executive Brief

You’ve written your paragraph, but Earthotage Energy won’t spare it a glance unless we gussy it up in true Abstract Design fashion. Here is the 10 step process to ensure your document is ready for Melissa McCarthy’s stamp of approval.

  1. A right-aligned header with the date (same font type and size as the body)
  2. A title set to the “title” style
  3. A thumbnail of the logo in question
  4. A caption for the logo
  5. A subheading set to the “heading 1” style
  6. A paragraph (or two) with each paragraph indented. The paragraph(s) should be set to the “normal” style. The word count should land between 100-200 words.
  7. A left-aligned footer, “Submitted by: Melissa McCarthy”
  8. A watermark
  9. Set the line spacing to 1.5x
  10. The document saved with an appropriate title and submitted to Teams, ie. “Earthotage Energy Release.docx”