Building Visual Branding with Joshua "Lejit" Thomas
By: Cattie – Nov 14, 2022
“Branding is such a unique space in that there are just so many avenues to express a business but only a few solutions that feel just right. Branding is so rewarding in the way that when something clicks, it just makes sense. I feel like that's what keeps brand designers coming back, haha, that design high you get from finding the right solution for a brand,” - Joshua ‘Lejit’ Thomas, the mind behind Liithos branding.
And today, the first of many, Liithos would like to introduce to you that are helping bring the Liithos vision to life. Josh is the owner and operator of Lejit Designs, a graphic design studio specializing in branding, illustration, and murals. Josh loves basketball, video games, anime, and reading. He lives with his wife, Kasey, and their weenie-dog, Bennie, out in Liberty Lake, Washington.
Let’s jump in and see his thoughts on gaming, Lejit Designs, his process, and Liithos future.
I own every current gaming system right now, as well as all the indie handhelds like the Playdate and Analogue Pocket (basically a really high end Gameboy that plays all Gameboy, NeoGeo, etc.). I play anything! I’m really excited for the new Ninja Turtles game by Tribute. I play Rocket League, The Last of Us, EVERYTHING. If it has an interesting premise, I’ll play it. I just really love the medium in general.
The Birth of Lejit Designs
Haha, Lejit Designs was born in middle school. Back then, I had aspirations to be in the NBA (who doesn’t, right?). So I was thinking to myself, “What would my shoe be? Do I go by name or do I go with a moniker?” That’s what I came up with, spelling Lejit using my own initials. Once I was ready to start my own brand, I just ran with it! It has really grown to embody what the brand and my work encompasses, but it wasn’t on purpose.
The Draw Liithos and Ashfall
For me, it was the authenticity that Michael spoke with during our first meeting. I could tell he really believed in what Liithos could be and I find the best clients and projects come from people that believe in their mission and are excited about what they do.
It’s an intriguing thing to take this idea and attempt to make it something worthwhile, not a gimmick or a cash-grab. I won’t lie to you. I was wary of the project at first and thought, “Is this going to be another cash grab?” I have been approached by NFT projects in the past and turned them down. After some discussions with Michael, I could really see that he has a clear vision on how to use Web3 to build something new. I really look for authenticity when I speak to people and Michael’s authenticity is what won me over.
The Logo Design & Process
Michael came to me with this idea and concept. Liithos, a word derived from the Greek word ‘lithos’ meaning stone. He pitched this idea of taking something that seems impossible, like a giant slab of marble, and slowly shaping it until it becomes a masterpiece like Michangelo’s David. It really gave a clear brand vision from the onset and that gave way to creativity.
I think the inspiration/conceptualization phase is so so so crucial for me. Being free to explore different avenues and just allow my mind to wander to different concepts is so valuable to my process as a whole. Without that stage, I feel like the rest of the project just lacks life and originality. For Liithos, I started with the thought of taking a giant slab of stone and creating a masterpiece and what it could be. I took the ideas of creativity, longevity, etc. and put together a few different brand options. Liithos ended up deciding on the first concept I had pitched; taking a consistent grid and building piece by piece from that. The idea of taking a big block and knocking out specific elements to create something that will hold longevity and continuity. Linking in both the Pie symbol tie in and using the negative space to create a hammer was really conceptualized from the idea of sculpting in a 2D space versus a 3D plane. That is what birthed the Liithos Grid.
And the upside down smiley?
That’s so fun. One of my favorite parts about design is you can show a design to 5 people and everyone will see something different. That part of the process is so rewarding. You know, sometimes it’s not always the great, happy accidents. Sometimes your design makes it into the wild and people see ‘unfortunate’ symbols. But then, there are moments like this when there’s a happy accident. Pun intended, the symbol wasn’t. It opens up the logo and brand down the road to not take ourselves too seriously. We are in entertainment after all!
The Future of Web3 and Liithos
This is my first Web3 client I’ve taken. Previous potential clients have pitched items like simple NFTs or PFP projects, but this is the first I’ve taken. I think it really breaks into a couple of parts: 1. digital scarcity and 2. ownership. The digital spaces are moving in that direction, whether it is VR or AR, we don’t know, but the idea of owning something, proving it, and using it. To be able to create more skins, cosmetics, items and then house it in the community and share and store it in those spaces is so revolutionary.
For me, it’s the idea of building a Minecraft house and then selling it. I built this thing and that is my brain child. Now, I can mint it and sell it to someone who wants to utilize the blue prints and do more. Michael has a clearer vision of getting people more involved in the creative aspect of the creation VS the surface level that is the current Web3 market.
As for the future of Liithos, what a loaded question!? Personally, I feel like Liithos could really shift what the gaming space could be and what entertainment could be. For me, right, is what it seems like Michael is trying to do for gaming what Apple has done with hardware. Whether it’s from your phone to computer to TV to speaker, you’re integrated into the ecosystem. Michael is trying to accomplish that with gaming as the vessel because it hasn’t really been achieved in that space yet. The sky's the limit for Liithos. That is where gaming is headed.
So remember the next time you see the Liithos logo, the awesome mind behind it and the potential it holds. Special thanks to Josh for taking the time to let us write this piece and chat about his process. From impossible to inevitable, the Liithos brand will continue to grow and develop. Till next time! See you in Discord and on the socials.