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Intelligent Designs

For as long as I have lived in this town that we call Perth and for as long as I have been intertwined with this flesh-eating virus we call the Internet, people–and I use the term loosely, for some are very likely to be revealed as Cylons at a later date–have been yammering on about how tough it is to design a logo for a business. Usually their own business.

But you know people, they like to have a drama to star in. Whenever I've heard anyone going on about marketing their business and doing a corporate redesign, I've thought something along the lines of "Why don't you give it a rest, you absolute waste of space, if you say the word 'brand' one more time I'll push you in front of a tram." Sure it's a little dark, as inner monologues go, but as I don't live in a tram city like Melbourne, Zagreb or Toronto, the threat of death-by-streetcar seems minimal.

Recently, I thought it was time that I delve into the world of logo design to see how hard it was. As you will see by the examples below, I found the so-called "art" of graphic design piss easy.

I began with a logo for a hypothetical Lawn Mowing company.

The grass which forms the main image of the logo is to remind potential clients of their own uncut lawns. I chose a Bauhaus font for the business owner's name to indicate modernity and to reflect my own contempt for serif fonts. The "wave" effect applied to the yellow title suggests dynamism and a business that won't stand still and certainly won't be caught behind the shed having a smoko and a cheeky tinnie. The translucent thumb is the subtle suggestion of approval, possibly from our forefathers or a figure like bush poet "Banjo" Patterson.

I then moved on to my next hypothetical logo.

My mantra here was "restraint".  The palette is red, yellow, blue and purple. I don't include white or black, for as Carl Sagan and John Berger proved sometime in the 1970s, during a wild night in Vegas, white and black are not colours. I've used a combination of three fonts to keep the eye guessing and I have made up a word "Sciencetific" in order to suggest there's something a little bit magical yet technical about the services on offer. The way the words "and dojo cafe bookstore" just fall away is a visual index for the relaxation you will feel after a hard workout. Note the little martial arts silhouette dude is kicking out powerful bursts of chi energy. This whole logo encourages one to embrace an ancient traditional art in a super-fun way that isn't boring like much of Eastern mysticism. Is.

And finally, because I was just nailing it, I decided to create a mascot.

I thought an ice cream cone mascot would be super-cute and easy to do–and of course I was right. The name Rumon Rayson is a play on the name of the ice cream flavour "Rum and Raisin" and also a hat tip to Hotel Sorrento playwright Hannie Rayson. Rumon's eyes are raisins, natch, and his ostensibly shit-eating grin, is in fact a facade covering the deep ennui he feels about life. The thought of his degeneration into a puddle of sweetened fat or his untimely death in the gullet of a pudgy first-worlder keep him awake at night. Only playing an old mixed tape on his childhood Walkman can give Rumon the slumber he craves. Night after night he falls asleep to the long-ago grooves of the Style Council buzzing in his headphones. Governments crack and systems fall, 'cos unity is powerful...

So there you have it. Three different designs that I whipped up in less than 45 minutes. All three are job-ready and if I might be permitted to brag, all three are utterly, unequivocally brilliant. So the next time you hear someone sounding off about the difficulties of logo design, send 'em my way. I'll see 'em right.


Phil Jeng Kane


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