If you need an e-sports logo (or something in that style), graphic designer bayuRIP is your man. His use of bold colors and thick lines are quick to catch your eye—and the spirited characters that fill his work give brands instant personality.
In 2012, the Indonesian designer kicked his career off on 99designs after graduating from design school. When he first started, he mostly participated in contests to build up his skills and portfolio—and the investment paid off. Today, he’s a fulltime freelancer with a strong roster of clients who are happy to send new projects and referrals his way.
In this designer spotlight, Bayu walks us through his creative process and shows us step-by-step how he develops his logos from the ground up. He’ll also explain how to add high contrast but cohesive color palettes to his work and share his advice for recharging, staying inspired and cultivating creativity.
Name: Bayu Risna Putra
Specialty: Bold & graphic logos
Tell us about yourself and where you’re from.
Hi, I am BAYURIP. My full name is Bayu Risna Putra. I’m a full-time freelance designer from the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I am also a father and husband. Every day, I spend my time in front of the computer, drinking lemon water (not coffee). I love playing games and watching movies in my free time.
I started my design career in 2012 by attending a university for design. I’ve been a full-time freelancer since I decided to work. I learned what I know about design from my friends, community, university, and personal experiences.
I always work on 99designs and bring my clients here, because it’s easy for me to collaborate and a safer way for me to get paid.
You’ve been on 99designs since 2012. What’s changed for you since then?
In the past, I submitted designs to many contests. Joining contests actually helped build my skills and my portfolio. However, now, I do more 1-to-1 Projects than contests.
I can see that my skills have improved greatly from when I began in 2012. Every day, I’m practicing and working on 99designs… I’ve learned so much here.
I have many clients from 99designs. Some of my satisfied clients hire me again and some clients refer me to their friends. I always work on 99designs and bring my clients here, because it’s easy for me to collaborate and a safer way for me to get paid.
Do you use the site the same way you did in the beginning?
After joining 99designs in 2012, I almost forgot about it. The website has improved a lot. It’s very attractive, modern and easy to use. When I peruse contests, I rely heavily on search filters. I use filters because it makes it easier to find specific kinds of contests.
I usually look for Blind contests, then I filter the contests with the fewest entries first… I open each contest one by one to find the most interesting, clear and simple brief. Then I start working on it. I prefer cartoon, illustration, mascot and e-sport logo contests because that kind of design work is the easiest for me personally to develop and stand out in (rather than a simple or minimalist logo).
Sometimes, I’ll join a random contest just for the experience and a challenge. But, as I mentioned, now, I spend most of my time working in 1-to-1 Projects.
Combining cute characters with a bold design style is fun for me. That’s probably why I like working on e-sport logos and gaming mascots so much.
How did you first get into design?
I’ve been drawing since I was born! [laughs] But, basically, I got into design by going to and graduating from graphic design school.
I started my design career on 99designs. From the first time I logged on until now, I’ve been working here. So, thank you!
You’re able to create a variety of stylized logo characters. Do you have a personal style that you use normally in your free time?
I am able to create both “cute” and “dark” designs. I think both are my style. Sometimes I make cute designs, sometimes I make edgy designs, and sometimes I combine both.
In my free time, personally, I love making unique and even weird character designs. Combining cute characters with a bold design style is fun for me. That’s probably why I like working on e-sport logos and gaming mascots so much.
How do you balance your natural style with what the client wants and needs?
Basically, I have two methods of designing: Design with clean line art and design with bold, shaped lines (often used in e-sport logos).
I always start by asking clients what they are looking for before starting a project. I generally ask for their design style and some design references. If what the client wants fits with my style, that’s great. For those projects, I just need to apply my style to the client’s brief and can often give their design my own personal touch.
Sometimes, I receive project invites for designs that are different from my normal style. If I think I can create something in that style, I will take the project. But if I can’t, I direct the client to my portfolio. If they think my style will work for them, we can move forward. If not, then I say sorry because we won’t be a good fit.
What does your creative process look like? Do you have any tips to offer other designers?
Of course! Generally, keep it simple to start. Sometimes using only a mouse and a keyboard (no drawing pad/tablet) can help you get your idea out, then you can add details later. When making a detailed design, first, you need to focus on the main concept.
For example in this design (below), we need to focus on the main concept—the deer:
1. First, you should make a sketch of the main image. Sketching is an important part of the design process. Focus on making the design have a good layout and balance (no details yet). You can use a drawing tablet or just a sketchbook and camera. Don’t worry if your sketch isn’t perfect, you can fix it later in the digital process.
2. Develop your sketch by adding unique elements and details. Make sure the design still has a good layout and balance.
3. Trace your sketch in a vector program. Focus on the outline only, adjust the line thickness until you are satisfied and add more detailed elements again. This step should be precise, make sure the layout looks balanced and good in this step. If there is a weird shape, fix it.
4. Convert your lines to outlines and group the lineart. Save the line art as is and then use a copy of it try out a few color versions.
5. The last thing is to choose your best color palette and add shadows and highlights to it. Use your creativity for this step. This step is important to make the design seem more alive and eye-catching. You can also add more details and final touches if needed.
Color is a big player in your work. How do you choose each palette?
I always experiment before choosing colors. I look for color references in Color Hunt, for instance. I try various color combinations, then look at my options and choose the best.
To make the design bold and high contrast, first, we need to set the design’s dark and light parts. For the dark part, I usually use line art to separate the shapes and color. For the lighter parts, I just use lighter-colored shapes. Then I choose the main colors. Usually a set of 1-3 main colors is good, but you can add colors based on those main colors if needed.
With this process I know I can see when the color is enough. For bolder and high contrast designs, I will continue processing the shadows and highlights after deciding on the basic color. This process is easier because I already have the main color.
How do you stay creatively charged? Is there a place you go to for inspiration?
I can find inspiration in people, websites, places, or activities—anything really!
The first thing I do when I need inspiration is open design websites like Discover on 99designs, Pinterest, Instagram, Behance, etc. If I’m still stuck, I may need to take a break for a while and lie down or take a bath to help refresh my brain. It’s important after staring at a computer for most of the day.
If I’m still stuck after resting, then I need to go outside and ride around town to see everything I can see. I’ll also buy myself a cup of bubble tea ice to boost my mood. (Bubble tea is great! She is my best friend.)