A logo that moves smoothly

20 Dec

This logo is designed for the inaugural Empire State Marathon as part of their logo competition (go ahead and vote for it! #37  Some submissions are more poster than logo so we’ll see what happens).

Design Strategy:

I really looked towards all the quotes and info about the marathon I could find for design inspiration. Through that, my focus was on the idea of a, “homegrown race needs a homegrown logo.” The sentiment of grown immediately shifted my brainstorming towards plants and produce. In Central New York (NY State as a whole even), no singular piece of produce simultaneously hits on the ideas of homegrown, local and autumnal better than an apple.

Visually, an apple lends itself well to utilizing the concept of positive-negative space (i.e. “cutting out” from an image to create visuals) because we’re used to seeing their definite shape altered through bites.  I thought utilizing the letters along the edge in this manner could be an effective method (ultimately I moved “Empire” and “State” in however on the letterhead) but an apple with simply the race name didn’t convey a marathon enough in my mind. The classic running symbol (the winged foot) made a lot of sense for this since the foot would protrude well into the apple for an interesting visual and the same positive-negative concept.

On the business card/envelope, I wanted to utilize another gestalt and only take a portion of the apple (allowing viewers to piece together the entire symbol).  This allowed for a nice two sided business card so the date of the race could be included on the back (an easy update to make in the future).  The logo project was my weakest during the semester, so this opportunity allowed me to make a few of the changes suggested to me during that experience. On the letterhead, I increased my margins (particularly on the top) and reinserted traditional mailing information. On the envelope, I decreased the side of the main text (from an 18pt to a 12pt). With the business card, I limited the amount of information included to allow for better visual hierarchy and more white space. Overall, I tried to let the logo speak for itself when applicable and not repeat its information through simple text.  I also utilized illustrator to draw my visual rather than staying photo-based (though the apple color is pulled from a fall foliage picture I took).

Font wise, with the apple being drawn in Illustrator instead of using a photo, I wanted a sans serif that to stay within the more playful, modern aesthetic. The logo competition initially ended on Thanksgiving, so to ensure I could submit on time I initially designed on Photoshop/my PC. Tw Century MT was the ultimate choice because it reminded me of Futura and fit the criteria I set.

Style Sheet:

Business Card: Margins – 6p6 (Top) | 3p4 (Left) | 3p2 (Bottom) | 0p7 (Right)

Envelope: Margins – 2p (Top) | 1p8 (Left) | 20p5 (Bottom) | 43p6 (Right)

Letterhead: Margins – 5p (Top) | 4p (Left) | 5p (Bottom) | 10p (Right)

Body Margins – 11p4 (Top) | 7p (Right)  | 15p6 (Bottom) | 7p (Right)


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