In this post, I briefly discuss my process for developing logotypes and brand marks in general and how I implemented this process in the work with creating the project logotype for The Cultural Communication Project of Design; a research project attempting to understand how cultural groups differ in their aesthetic judgments.
Creating the project logo
Creating a visual identity for any organization, product or service, for me always begin with designing a strong logotype and/or brandmark. The rationale for initiating a design process with developing a representing symbol has not so much to do with the actual design, but more with learning about the organization, its products, and its marketplace. The more you understand about a market or an organization, the easier it gets to formulate strong conceptual ideas which will guide the production of all marketing assets.
In the following sections, I briefly discuss my process for developing logotypes and brand marks in general and how I implemented this process in the work with creating the project logotype for The Cultural Communication Project of Design; a research project attempting to understand how cultural groups differ in their aesthetic judgments.
1. The discovery phase
The process of creating logos for me, always begin with building an appreciation of the underlying rationale for the fundamental existence of the organization or the product I work with. This process begins with building an understanding of short- and long-term goals and mission. Some of this information can be collected from official- and unofficial statements and organizational documents, but the best insights often come from talking to stakeholders and staff.
2. Defining the thematic
A logo always should be grounded in core organizational values or rationales of an organization or product definition which usually are identified during an initial project research phase.
To visualize the identified keywords and values discovered through the research, the next step is to perform a cluster analysis of these words which then are reconstructed into a word cloud which is an incredibly efficient methodology to understand what terms, concepts, and ideas forming the theoretical construct of a project or an organization. Below is presented the generated word-cloud for this project:
3. Defining the core
The process of developing a word-cloud will generate a number of thematic words founded in the core structure of the project rationale. The next step then is to select three to five words from the word cloud to be used as a starting point for conceptualization. The words I defined for my master’s project were:
A logotype or a brandmark is a kind of summarized conceptualization of everything a company, product or service stand for. As such, when creating a logo, ‘simplify’ is the guiding principle. Working with “seeing” as a core thematic I started with an illustration of an eye, and through maybe 50 iterations I step by step simplified its core visual attributes: the pupil, the iris, and the Sciera. A few of these iterations is presented below:
The final logo
The final logotype which is visible below has a modernist feel and is inspired by the stylistic idioms of Max Bill, Josef Muller-Brockman, Vignelli, Paul Rand, Armin Hoffman and Louis Dorfman.
The brandmark is constructed from the foundational element of visual culture; the eye. It also has a sense of movement and can also be interpreted as a river or a road moving against the viewer, which also well represent the core aspect of the project it represents as a new revolutionary way of working with design.
For the logotype, Paul Rands ‘Univers’ has been used with the rationale that it is grounded in the Swiss style and which speaks well with the brandmark, which as noted above, is grounded in this idiom, in addition to the fact that I personally think this is one of the greatest typefaces ever created.
As with understanding and judging any work of art or design, it might be that my view of this logo as aesthetically pleasing; totally contradicts what you consider as tasteful – or even functional. Interesting enough, this is also exactly the rationale behind The Cultural Communication Project of Design.
Cultures differ in the visual perception of design, and the hypothesis of this project is that differences in perception can be formulated into explicit design guidelines which inform how defined cultural dimensions experience visual aspects such as symmetry, information density, and colour.
It might be that you genuinely dislike this logo. When the model is finished we possibly will understand why.
- 4.parinc. (2017). NEO PI-R (NEO Personality Inventory–Revised). [online] Available at: http://www4.parinc.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=NEO-PI-R [Accessed 6 Sep. 2017].