So, our client came in… He is head of our university’s Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences. His presentation lasted around a half hour long, and we had quite enough to work off of for our logo designs.
The department is a recent merging of multiple departments at Southern, and the new overall focus is on coastal and marine studies. Prior to this, the department had no logo at all. They want a logo that they can put on hats, shirts, brochures, and the like. Their work is field-based, hands-on, and is all about research.
The client is looking for a logo that successfully merges aesthetics pertaining to what they do, with elements relating to two particular locations in New Haven. It must be rooted in what the department specializes in, and should not connote any kind of political message. Text can be used, and like any logo or design, it must successful convey something when you look at it.
The color scheme they are looking for? Southern’s blue, along with greens, and browns. Rocks and coastal studies are the main things to consider when thinking of the design. The logo must not be over-stylized, and the fonts being used need to be san-serif fonts.
Our client said he personally preferred minimalism, though he did specify that this was merely just his preference. Most importantly, he emphasized the importance of the “play-space” of the logo. This refers to the area where the department and their affiliates are all based, hence the inclusion of New Haven-area places. One is Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, which is accessible to Southern’s own Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies. The other is the 700-ft tall rock overlooking the city, West Rock.
An overall coastal New Haven flavor was also brought up. The Werth Center has a logo of their own, which focuses heavily on Long Island by using a map and only two colors: Southern’s blue, and white. The two colors, in fact, fit because I believe they give the logo a subtle nautical feel. The oval shape adds to this greatly.
Due at the end of the month, our first task is to brainstorm and come up with roughly ten preliminary logo designs – in sketch form. Nothing is to be done digitally just yet.
Here are twelve sketches that I came up with, all scribbled in my sketchbook with various notes…
As you can see, I’m focusing heavily on the New Haven-based elements. West Rock is in nearly all of these designs, in very inaccurate scribble form of course, but that’s a general idea of what the rock looks like. Long with a slightly-rounded top, though the sketches – I apologize – make it look like a mountain range. I also tried to incorporate the lighthouse, which isn’t a tall lighthouse like one would expect. I felt that confining it to a small circle could mesh well, though I’m having second thoughts about it and the pentagon and octagon logos. Perhaps it works better with the circular ones, or the more text-based ones.
Being someone who is really fascinated with logos, I’m very excited to tackle this kind of project. It’s exciting to make something I’m fond of for a well-established group!
After these designs are looked at, I have to create three stronger designs that take from the best of these.
… and from there I will narrow it down and find the right design…
UPDATE: My professor looked at the designs and felt 3 and 9 were the strongest. From there, I will design three logos that take from those and refine them.