How the Indulta Logo was created

I created Indulta’s logo while I was incarcerated. Indulta’s logo took around 48 hours to complete. This creation is the first logo I ever made from scratch. Indulta’s logo will be one of the most critical, iconic and recognizable logos of the 21st Century.

As I sat on my bunk late one night thinking about Indulta, I knew I needed a visual symbol to go with the organization. I never hand drew a logo before and didn’t have any experience. However, none of that mattered. The best piece of advice I got from a friend was, start! Start drawing, start! Everything else will come.

And that’s what I did.


This first doodle, my mind wanted to stylize the " I " and then spell out the entire " Indulta " name. I knew I was on to something with this stylized "I"

What was the why and meaning behind the logo is the first question I asked myself. Indulta means clemency; I wanted to show that in the logo by using broken or cracked prison bars. See below.

"Cracked Prison Bars" Maybe that could represent freedom, I thought.

Trying to draw the amazon logo from memory.

"Broke Prison Bars" Break out? Too many criminal justice organization have bars in their logo. I wanted to do something different.

Notes from books.

Trying to remember Instagram's logo

More generic prison bars? No, thank you. I was not feeling this direction where the logo is headed.

I reached deep and pulled from my memory past TED talks about making design great. Those TED talks were:

  1. Roman Mars – Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed.   
  2. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action.

I recalled Roman Mars listing the five basic principles of flag design. The first principle was to keep it simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory. I wondered if you could apply the principles of flag design to logo design?

Reddit's Alien




Twitter lol



As you see from above, the most iconic logos are simple to draw from memory. I forgot to mention Nike, Apple, Beats by Dre, and more.

I started to look through magazines from inspiration and I came across Nat Geo Eyes wide open .

Nat Geo Eyes wide open editon
Experimenting with incorporating different animal eyes for Indulta's logo.

At this point, I still wasn’t sure how I wanted to style this “eye”.

Simon Sinek‘s voice came to my head, “Start with why, Virgil”

I wanted the logo to resemble the letter "I" for the first initial of Indulta.

"quis custodiet ipsos custodes" is Latin for Who is watching the watchers.

The middle bar has a double meaning—a bar for lawyers and a bar for the incarcerated.

Lower arch = Lower self.

Higher arch = Higher self.

Almost Complete.

I didn't end up using the lines or measurements I drew. I can't remember why 🙁

This sheet of paper is the scrap paper we get for free. It's an old itinerary for the inmates of the prison unit I was staying in.

Showing myself how simple the "power button" symbol is.

Once I answered the why behind the logo, the rest the design was automatic. Below I perfected the logo by hand. I enjoyed this challenging part.

48 hours later.

I looked at these drawings every day, and I couldn’t wait until I was released to put the finishing touches on the logo.

Thanks Adobe Illustrator!

People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.

Simon Sinek

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