Friday, February 24, 2012

Life of a Logo

I am a founding member of the 'Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail' and we are now organizing for our fifth year. Check our website here to see what it's all about.

At one of our first meetings it was decided to ask the members to submit designs for an official logo. It would be our 'calling card to the universe', so it had to be clear, simple, meaningful and memorable.

Turns out my rough design was selected as the one with most potential as a logo for the Artists' Collective 'Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail'.

The logo had to be very legible so I decided to only slightly morph the initials slightly.

Here is a rough approximation of the design process that I went through at the time:

( I started with a passel of pencil sketches obviously...I have no clue if I saved them or not.)

The basic idea was to somehow integrate the 'S' of Spirit and the 'M' of Manitou into a flowing design. At first I thought it might look good as a sort of 'trail' or path design...

Then I tried the idea of building up the trail design to make it look like a dike or berm with a walking path on top. This idea ended up in the trash. The 'S' and the "T' were becoming LESS legible, which is a bad thing.

The 'aha!' moment came, finally. I realized I could mate the 'S' and the 'M' together to take on the appearance of a 'thunderbird' or 'Great Spirit' when you look at the 'negative space', ie: the WHITE as a shape.

With the addition of an additional layer of graduated gold ( for a total of only 2 colors in consideration of replication costs and simplicity) into the background of the design, and just a hint of drop-shadow for a 3-D pop-up, the logo was camera-ready.

When you go here you will see the latest incarnation of a 'logo' that I designed over five years ago now.

It is a link to 'Sask Culture'. They have built us ( Spirit of Manitou Artists' Collective ) a dedicated redirect page on their website which includes, you guessed it, this logo.

Of course the logo appears on the masthead of and also on our brochure.

We printed it on directional signs that every member will be posting for the weekend of the trail.

This logo is really getting around. I couldn't even begin to guess how many eyeballs have seen it over the past five years.

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