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Shape and Form

February 14, 2017

Directed Study - Logos:

For the first part of our directed study this week, we have to find 3 'interesting' logos to analyse, compare, contrast, and evaluate. I have chosen the logos for Tostitos, Kolner Zoo, and Circus of Magazines.





This is a food company that specialises in tortilla chips and dips. Their logo is used to represent and promote their product through the way that it is designed. The 'TIT' in the middle of the word has been used by the designer to create the image of two people sharing tortilla chip and salsa (the red bowl/dot above the 'I'). By doing this, the designer has given viewers of the logo a chance to instantaneously understand what the company is selling. This therefore helps to promote the companies identity/brand.


Furthermore, the colours used are very insightful. The warm tones of yellow, orange, and red reflect the hot/spicy thoughts often associated with Mexican food, such as tortilla chips. Additionally, I personally feel as if they are colours often associated with sombreros, traditional Mexican hats. Therefore, this reinforces the sense of what the company are about and sell as products. Finally, the font has a thick outline, which I would say has been used to ensure that it stands out even more clearly from the colorful background. Alternatively, it could be argued that this is essential to make the image of the people sharing tortillas in the logo work. Without the outline, the tortilla would blend into the background, so the message portrayed would be one that is very different from what the designer/companies intentions are.


Kolner Zoo:

This logo is for a German zoo based in Cologne. The first thing that you notice when you look at the logo is the large green elephant. However, when you begin to look closer you can note that there are two other animal featured within the design: a giraffe and a rhinoceros. By including these, this reflects the idea of a zoo and animals being present. Furthermore, the hind legs of the elephant are created using two points. These are used to represent the Cologne Cathedral, which is near by to the zoo. Therefore, from the logo we can already understand what type of company it is for, as well as being given a small hint about the location.


The colour green that is predominantly used could symbolise the idea of environmentally friendly and close to nature. This then links the idea of animals already used within the logo. Finally, the star that is used for the elephants eye is a bit of a mystery. There is no clear reason, but after looking in to what stars can symbolise, I found that they can represent self-reliance. From this, I can only suggest that the zoo are very keen to allow the animal to be themselves as they would in the wild, so are therefore using the star to showcase this idea. The font used is a very clear, san-serif font that clearly illustrates the name of the zoo. The uppercase characters are very spaced out to ensure that it is readable, even from a distance. 


Circus of Magazines:


The final logo I picked was the one designed for Circus of Magazines. This is a company that is an online marketplace for magazines. The logo is quite ambiguous with the main shape first of all looking like several books/magazines or even the pages of a book/magazine. However, on the other hand, the designer has also designed it in such a way to replicate a circus tent with an opening at the front, inviting you in to see what they have in store for you. This is a very clever what to display the name of the company through an image, whilst also hinting at their products. The black and white colour scheme allows them to be very straightforward and professional. Additionally, I believe that as magazines usually very busy and colorful, having a simply colour scheme and layout would allow their logo to stand out on their website. In other words, it contrasts nicely with the content they have. Finally, the font they have used is in title case, which is often used clarity. I additionally believe that it highlights the important parts of titles. For example, here 'circus' and 'magazine' are emphasized, which (when used alongside the image) could give viewers a hint and point them in the right direction surrounding what type of company Circus of Magazines is.


All in all, I think that all of the logos work well to display the information about the companies that viewers expect to know from just looking at them. The fact that they all in someway ambiguous and have a hidden message within them makes them more interesting to me personally, I strongly believe that this would also appeal to their consumers in a very positive way.


Directed Study - Business Card:

The second part of our directed study this week is to design a logo and business card for a company called 'Bright Ideas Design'. We were given the brief that they were a 'young' and 'funky' company and that they wanted a business card to reflect this image.


What I began to do was first of all think about the logo and the name of the brand. I began by drawing up a mind-map taking apart each element of the name and what image they wanted to portray to their consumers. This meant thinking about what each word meant to me and what connotations/representations were linked to the individual words. For example, the word 'bright' made me think of the suns rays, bright colours, lightning, stars, and glitter. The next step was to then consider how this could be represented as an image, so I began to sketch each of the ideas out.

I found this a very useful exercise, as it allowed me to really get the creative juices flowing and thinking about ideas from various different perspectives.


The next step I did was designing the layout of the business card. This involved sketching out various ideas that I had planned out in my head.


The sketches that I did were very basic and didn't include a lot of detail surrounding font, colour etc. as I was unsure for exactly what style of font I wanted to go for and it was the same issue surrounding the colours I would eventually use. However, it did allow me to see what the ideas in my head actually looked like on paper. I did start off with some very straightforward ideas, but then I felt as if they weren't exactly 'funky', which is how the company wanted to portray themselves. Therefore, I then came up with the final idea (right hand image) that was a little more out there.


The final step after the planning was the creating. At this point I just wanted to get on InDesign and Illustrator and make the two pieces of work. I really wanted to see what they would look like and if I could actually create them.


I started off with the business cards and came up with two different concepts from combining a lot of the layout designs I had planned out. It was all about experimenting at this point.


This was my first design. I used a range of colours to reflect the the idea of them being 'bright' and 'funky' through the use of colour. However, I chose to dull them down to more pastel-like tones, as people often associate pastel colours with terms such as 'young'. As this was one of the ways the company wanted to be represented, I thought that this would be wise choice to reflect both ideas. The front of the business card (left hand image) is laid out in such a way to tell the reader exactly who the card is for. Then on the reverse (right hand image) i chose to feature their logo and information so that they could find out more about the company. The one issue I now see with this design is the lack of information about who the company are and what it is exactly that they do. Therefore, to improve this, next time I would include a slogan or a brief introduction about what they produce.


 The second design I did, was based around the final plan that I did. On the front (left hand image), I chose to have the name of the brand repeated across the background to make it fit with the 'funky' image, as one of the words I associated with the term 'funky' was 'different'. Therefore, I thought this would be a different style of design that would make them stand out. To make it clearer and less confusing, I decided to use a bigger font in a bright pink colour that would stand out from the background. The reverse (right hand image) is clearly laid out so that the information is clear and contrasts with the background to stand out. The logo is placed on the left to draw them in. Finally, the 'sparkles' within the logo are places at the corners of the card to reinforce their 'bright' image and reinforce their branding. It also made the reverse side look more visually appealing. 


The final step to the process was the create the logo. I left this until last so that I could gain a better feel for the brand, as I experimented, as well as allowing me time to really think about a solid image that could reflect them.

 This image shows the various different ideas I had surrounding the logo. I kept the same font, 'Brothers OT', to allow for a consistent brand identity. I decided to focused on the 'bright' aspect of the name for the shapes involved in the logo, as I found that I can link this to some of the connotations for the 'young' image they wanted to show. From designing the logo I found that I didn't like the abbreviated versions of the logo as it didn't say a lot about the company. Therefore, I was torn between the top and middle logo. I chose the top one, as I believed that it reflected the idea of being 'bright' and 'fresh' (a connotation of 'young') better than the other. The only factor that I would change is that it doesn't show much of the 'funky' or 'design' elements of the company. However, as I grow and develop a better understanding of the software, I believe that I would be able to come up with ways that I could incorporate these into the logo for the company.


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