David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

WDE brandmark and card

WDE logo design

WDE is an engineering firm in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The company specialises in the rental and repair of forklift trucks, and it was my role to create a new brandmark and card design. Simplicity was the target — an idea that didn’t literally portray the actual shape of a truck, but that bore resemblance.

fork lift truck

A forklift truck (also called a lift truck, a high/low, a forklift, a stacker-truck, or a side-loader) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials. The modern forklift was developed in the 1920s, and has since become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations.

WDE sketches

Sketching is a great way to free ideas that simply can’t flow when using a computer.

WDE logo black

I find it important to eliminate noise from my designs so that no matter what shade of background, the outcome still works. The reversed version also offers a high level of contrast.

WDE logo colours

Green was chosen for its “go” symbolism.

WDE logo typefaces

#1 shows Gotham Black, #2 Gill Sans Ultra Bold, and #3 the favoured Rockwell Extra Bold.

WDE business card design
Photo courtesy of Matt at Factor 1.

If you want to chat about a potential design project, get in touch.

More business card designs here in my blogs stationery category.

My second book on Amazon

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51 comments about “WDE brandmark and card”

  1. Good logo, great card design and excellent article as usual!

    I love the gradient on the back of the card.

  2. Still liking this logo David – good writup of the process.
    I really love the green you’ve chosen, especially on the business card.

  3. That’s really nice. I’ve always loved fork lifts and that logo does a nice job a describing the company.

  4. Well done another great logo. It looks great reversed on the black, very strong.

    However, at first I thought the logo was for a building company resembling a sky scraper… anyone else see that?

  5. I really like this logo. It accomplishes exactly what you said the company was looking for: a simple logo that does resemble a forklift, but not at first. I really like it.

    @Jacob – To be honest I didn’t see anything really, maybe a creative version of a “w”, but then I heard the company made forklifts. Then I saw it, and it all made sense.

  6. David,
    Good work again. I really like the card.

  7. Great work as usual.

    I actually saw the skyscraper as well – I think because I saw the word “engineering” and that leads me to think of buildings, rather than vehicles. Like Jacob, I saw the forklift as soon as I found out more about the company.

    I think you chose a good idea to go with, the other sketch I really like is the huge wheel with the rounded off triangle at the top, I think that’s supposed to be the lift. I think the shading is a big part of it though, so not as simple as the one you went with.

  8. I think this one is very well done. Many concepts (like adding a bit of a gradient) that work for web design also benefit print media. I like the clean design but maybe would have used a bit more of an industrial color (shades of grey) mixed with the green. Lime green is fresh but I feel its a bit disconnected to the area the company works in.

  9. Well, I can’t say much but to agree that this is another great logo which people will remember. This far too better or it can’t be compared with the logo competition (spec) work. Lol~

    Like Jacob, initially I thought it’s a construction/building company. But having said that it is a forklift service company, I had to look at the logo and see the 3d-ish of the logo. And I said to myself, “this is brilliant!”

  10. David I love your logos. As a beginning web designer I appreciate and am thankful for the opportunity to view the process. Now they definitely need a website to match the coolness of their logo! I usually have the opposite situation, needing to convince the client they need a new logo to match their cool new website!

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi David,

    Really loving your work on this one. Nice to see some Northern Ireland companies (in this sector) getting their act together with a more professional image.

  12. Kristarella, I’m not sure why (regarding the shaded sketches). I’d probably improve the process there wasn’t any, focusing entirely on form. Perhaps it’s a drawback from old life drawing classes (loved using chalks and charcoal).

    Jay, I agree, but prefer to use gradients sparingly.

    Thanks for commenting everyone.

  13. (Yet another) solid logo, David: Rockwell was definitely the right choice – more industrial-looking! When I saw ‘engineering’, I saw a screwdriver (the blade, at least) in the motif before the forks of the forklift.

  14. I love reading these and seeing your design process. I was wondering if you have an article (maybe a future one?) on doing product lines. Something along the lines of what Adobe does for its products.

  15. Hey David,
    This logo looks great! I love your work.
    I am thinking of designing logos as a part-time job, but I was wondering if I’d need to pay income tax?
    Thanks!

  16. Very nice! I love it.

  17. Wow. Thanks for posting that. I’m not a creative person – at least not in this way – so it was interesting to be taken along through the process. I really like the logo you ended up with and I love that color green. All-in-all, very interesting and informative. Thanks! AMVA

  18. I like it! It’s a very nice shape. I don’t see the skyscraper unless I look for it. I think it’ s a very good interpretation of the fork.
    I’m not that sure about the font. It makes the logo look a bit classic.

  19. Will: You would need to register as self-employed with the Inland Revenue. You still pay tax on what you earn even part time. The only difference is you don’t have to pay National Insurance if you already pay it via your employer.

    That is what I did until last year when I left my job and freelanced full time. It’s a great way of earning extra money and gaining experience at the same time.

  20. Hey David, really cool stuff man. Like the logo. Quick question, noticed you have the image above the text WDE on the green side but on the white side with your company details you just have the text “WDE” without the image above or the wording “engineering” underneath and wondered why not?

    Nick

  21. Thanks very much, Richard. The only issue I have with Rockwell is how the W creates much more of an angle than the E, leaving some careful adjustment needed to the ‘engineering’ tag.

    revy, I’ll keep that in mind, and appreciate the suggestion.

    Will, Shaun has kindly answered your question. I suggest moving to the Cayman Islands or one of these tax havens if you plan on keeping all of your hard-earned cash.

    Shaun, how’s the self-employment going for you?

    Nick, there’s no need to show the complete logo on both sides of the card. The symbol or monogram can be used independently. I consider the green side to be the front, which would be handed facing upwards, and the contact side the reverse.

  22. You got it absolutely right. Colour, typeface, symbol
    Good explanation of the process too. Great job ! W

  23. David: It’s good thanks yeah. Very hectic though, i’ve been desperate to redesign my business site for ages but paying customers keep making demands and it gets put off again and again!

  24. The logo design process can’t be shown too many times, every logo and designer has something a little different to add. I really like seeing all that sketches on graph paper for some reason.

  25. I’m with Jacob and Kris above… saw the skyscrapers and then when I saw the forklift picture immediately saw that, too, when I looked back at the mark. I really love these logos that have double meanings in their forms.

    Showing several alternates that you explored makes the one chosen obviously the strongest option. I particularly see it with the font choices. The bold slab serif says sophistocated, traditional and reliable. Amazing how much the font choice affects the overall logo!

  26. Great execution David!
    Love the simplicity and how besides having the iconic portion of the logo represent the “forklift” it also speaks to the shape of the ” W “.
    Having a logo work on various levels can only help the cause. Great work!

  27. Great execution David!
    I’ve sent an email to you…
    yes… i’m the argentinean who speak english very bad =D
    just I want to know what typography you put into 404 error page… (that say “sorry.” with a little dog).. I search that font long time ago but I’can’t find it…. if you can helpme I will thankyou very much =)
    Good jobs… I like every logos that you do.
    bye

  28. Nice logo, sir. Glad you didn’t use Gill sans, but I think my hate is born from having to use it as the font of choice in a retail catalogue. It just lacks character… completely underwhelming. The thick serifs chosen give it a strong, builder/trade feel, though I might have checked out Lubalin if you had it on hand.

    It seems like you’re getting quite a community here, David. Have you ever thought about expanding by including a forum or critique section?

  29. William, Umberto, Leandro, thanks very much.

    Shaun, excellent to know. It can be easy to put personal design work off when clients are taking up your time. Better to be too busy than not busy enough.

    Sketchee, the graph paper helps with proportions.

    Lauren, interesting that you saw skyscrapers, and glad you like the slab serif. Thanks.

    atomo, I’ve considered a forum for logo/graphic design critiques, although there are many out there already. Good ones, too (even though I use them less than I once did). I’d not have the time at present, but yes, it’s crossed my mind.

  30. Beautiful work, as always. I love the color choices and the simplicity of the logo.

  31. Hey David,
    I like the green gradient on the front and how you chose it. My first impression of the logo was ‘something to do with skis or skiing’ but after the forklift put everything in place and I saw it immediately. I think you have done a great job. It’s great to see the sketches and the whole design process.
    Szabi

  32. Great design, I really like the green. Those cards look sharp…

  33. As others have stated, the gradient is the defining element, and in my eyes, makes the card.

    The devil is in the details…

  34. Excellent work as always, David. I love reading the process behind each design and especially enjoy the sketches. And, I love the green on this one…

  35. The green was a funny choice considering it’s a company from Ireland. I really like the cleanliness of the design though. I can always enjoy simplicity in designs and I find they turn out far nicer when kept simple, especially for a business card.

    Nice design for sure. I’m new here but my name is Scott and I hope to be able to come here more often.

    -Scott

  36. That’s a really great looking design. I’m sure your client was thrilled. I really like seeing the process that someone goes through from the start of a project, to the end.

  37. I never sketch, I always design straight onto the computer for everything, even illustrations.

    However, one day my pc was crashing and I really needed to get some work done, so whilst I was waiting for repairs to finish running I did some sketches for a logo design.

    Well, it did work, and I did come up with a concept that I liked – which I then executed on the machine once it was working again.

    However I don’t know how your sketch pages are so neat – mine was like the messy scrawlings of a mad woman! I would scruffly etch one idea, then scribble amendments all over it, then rush to the next idea and scribble all over that one repositioning things and what not.

    All randomly placed all over the page, rather like the mess one creates when doodling when on the telephone. Nothing like your neatly ordered images, all lined up and such like.

    Now, I’m interested. Is that the real ‘1st sketch page’, or is that the ‘improved version’ you present to us here because the original is shockingly messy ;)

  38. Amanda, I’d say it’s definitely the latter. The sketches look a little too well planned to be first drafts ;-)

  39. Ha ha, thats what I think …we’ll have to wait to hear what he says ;)

    It must be quite a bit of work re-doing the showing the sketches in neat format that can be understood, and then showing all the drafts as well.

    I’ve thought about doing it (showing ideas and drafts) myself on my blog, but the workload is putting me off – saying that it’s not that quick to write an article type blog either is it.

  40. Amanda, Karl, both of you are right.

    Those sketches were purposely chosen as the neat ones. My thumbnails appear on anything from bus tickets to pieces of tissue, depending on what’s available. I need to record thoughts almost immediately, before I forget, but I think it makes sense to keep these portfolio entries a little neater.

  41. Hi there, Great job on that. I haven’t really had the time to read through all of this, but was wondering, is that 2 Pantone colours you have blended there to create that effect on the Bus Card? Ive seen it on one of your other designs and it looks very good. Could there be any complications of blending 2 Pantone colours?

    Gaz

  42. Hi Gaz,

    Yes, spot colours were used in this project. You shouldn’t expect any issues when blending two Pantone colours. If you’re ever unsure about ink before a job is sent to press, be sure to ask your printer.

  43. Hi David,

    Where do you get your business cards printed?

  44. Hi Phil, I had replied to your email, directing you to my personal card post. Details are there. Cheers.

  45. I really like the Business Card David especially the layout for the contact details, very nice.

  46. David – I love the simplicity of your business card design. The heavy color on one side is nicely complimented with the white space on the other side. Nicely done!

  47. David, this logo great!
    When i first came across this page is stood out to me as a W. i didn’t actually read any of the explanation but when i saw the forklift picture i knew what it was straight away.

    i can see where Jacob is coming from, after reading his post and staring at it saw 2 building (the forks) from a high perspective with their shadows.

    great work though, even better to see your work process and how you got to the final logo.

  48. David,
    I love the perspective of the forks, I love the simplicity of the design. This is one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” designs.

  49. Love the design and the font choice was perfect.
    what is the typeface used for engineering underneath the WDE?
    Cheers

  50. Hi Hugh, the typeface is Verlag from what I remember. Thanks for commenting.

  51. Really nice designs. I really like the way you have photographed your work, I was wondering what type of camera/lens do you use and do you use any specific lighting?

Anything to add?

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