The design process is not straight forward. A lot of routes need to be explored before you find the right techniques for the project (especially if you love to explore). It's a form of play. Sometimes a highly aggrivating form of play [dodgeball] and it's all shit until you find the single direction that leads forward. Other times you discover really cool things that inspire new projects.
In my current project I'm creating a logo based on the nautilus shell, spiral, golden mean, sacred geometry. These are some of the crumbs from the phase I'm currently in.
The goal is to create the shell using dynamic movement as opposed to a singular stationary object. I initially wanted to create the design in Apophysis, however, the program has limitations. Using Apophysis to create a very specific design is somewhat of an insane undertaking as the work consists of manipulating triangles in a three-dimensional grid (imagine your scientific computer in Calc.) using numbers, movement variations and weights of each triangle in relation to themselves and each other in an infinite number of combinations in search of the perfect sequence that will create the image you want. A very fun but time consuming undertaking. Add in the fact that editing is extremely limited, if not requiring starting all over again, and vector exports* are not an option so designing a logo in the program is complete madness. Being a fan of controlled chaos I decided to create a test version as close as possible to the main idea without eating up an entire day. I can use this as a general style reference.
Another inspiration for the style and movement I'm looking for came in the form of a series of photographs taken by John Paul Singletary as an element of a large composite project. The image was created with a glowing el wire that was moved around during a long exposure. Like the fractal it consists of a combination of transparent and solid, glowing parts.
After toying with various methods in Illustrator I was able to recreate the look, albeit appearing more like a soft tulle with it's texture. I played with this technique and ultimately discovered it's entirely impractical for the level of detail and control required for the design. Instead I turned it into an art brush and used it for handwritten text. It looks great so it's another thing to hold on to for the right project. These are some of the most fulfilling parts of the creative process—these little discoveries which generate completely new and exciting ideas to design with later.
*Vector graphics are the industry standard for logo design. These files allow for resizing to both very large and very small proportions without loss of quality. Vector images can also be output into a multitude of file types without loss of quality (jpg, gif, tiff, etc.).