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Brief Case Study | Takmo Logo

The Takmo logo has been the most efficient logo I have ever designed requiring just two options and two proofs for the client to choose the design. My brief amounted to a simple logo with TAKMO and the kanji written below and he emphasised to stay away from a "checker flag or a wheel doing a burnout". This will make for a very brief case study but I thought it would be interesting considering its brevity.

I wanted to create something that nodded toward Japanese tuning companies like Nismo whilst taking inspiration from The Designers Republic's artwork for the playstation game Wipeout. 

What I ended up with were two logos.

My client sat on these for a month and came back with one simple change; to swap around the kanji on the first logo. I was stunned at this point as I'd never had a logo go through so quickly but he felt that this fulfilled the brief perfectly and had fallen for the first option after his thirty days of consideration.

I switched the kanji as requested and increased the character spacing a little to tidy the logo up and here we have the final piece. Not all logo designs are long drawn out processes. Sometimes a little trust between client and designer, and taking the time to think and consider the logos you've been shown can lead you to settle on a design efficiently. It's still a logo I'm very proud of for its simplicity and the clients reaction.

Brief Case Study | Big Wall Graphics

Final Big Wall Graphics Logo

Final Big Wall Graphics Logo

This was a relatively open ended brief with the client unsure of exactly what image they wanted to portray with their logo at the beginning. My brief amounted to essentially "create a logo for a large format display graphics print company". From my perspective that's great as a place to start as I can really experiment with some different ideas and over the course of the project hone what we have so far, or move in a different direction without fear of running away from the original vision. It also allows me as the designer to shape the brand more completely and to help the client realise a little more about how they want to be portrayed. There may be a few more proofs than usual but there's a certain freedom that comes with a brief such as this.

With this in mind I began with a broad and varied approach designing some logos with a youthful and bold style using hand written fonts and others feeling a little more mature and restrained using a mix of serif and sans-serif. Keeping in mind that the clients business revolved around large format printing, bold and bright colours were used to echo this sense of scale or to bring emphasis to the subtler logos.

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At the end of this stage the client liked some ideas, and some very nearly went through but I sensed he wasn't completely sold and so we went back to the drawing board and once again provided another board of varying designs.

This time I opted to present in mono as the client had shown a bias toward certain colours causing him to discount logos entirely that could otherwise be in favour had they been in a different colour. I asked him to pay attention to the shape and form of the logo and clarified that we could determine a colour scheme after based on his preferences.

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Once again a few stood out to the client, but this time he was more positive. In particular the logo situated left middle appealed with its bold text and frame evoking a large format print. It was now time to introduce some colour and refine the logo. We again opted for bold, bright colours to stand out and emphasise the large format graphics, but moved away from the magenta and teal used initially and giving a few new options.

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At this point we were getting much closer to a final design. I removed the lower solid bar within the frame and opted for one solid colour for the logo and another solid colour for the background.

The colour choice of the Slate Grey and Mustard Yellow balances between a serious, mature and rather smart tone and a bold, confident, youthful exuberance. It also allows for two colour schemes with an inverted logo and background colour giving flexibility in point of sale material and exterior building graphics depending on where the logo is to be viewed.

We now have a logo that stands out easily with a punchy colour scheme and that has a shape and design that echoes its name and trade perfectly. It's bold and visual, yet smart and businesslike.

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The client was very happy with this look but wanted to see how it could work across a range of stationery so flat visuals were created showing a letterhead, compliment slip, envelope, business card front and back, a pencil, USB stick and potential front page of a mobile website.

I can't emphasise how useful it is to display your designs like this, they really pop off the page and show the potential of the logo. This is where a logo design becomes a brand, unifying everything with a consistent look and feel. My client was immediately sold and with a few tweaks to the layouts of the letterhead and compliment slip, we arrived at a final logo design and brand.

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Broken Bones

It's dark and it's very cold, I'm kneeling on the hard ice by the rear wheel of the BMW with my frozen fingers covered in dirt and snow. The snow chain is as best fitted as it'll ever be tonight and I take the small Maglite from my mouth that I've been using to try and help light the area we have to work with and slip it into the breast pocket of my snowboarding jacket whilst thanking the kind passer by who's gone out of her way to help us fit them. 

Less than twenty four hours later and I'm lying on my front in the snow, winded and in pain. I've fallen face first after catching an edge and face planted the snow hard. In any normal situation It would be fine, but as I unbind and get hauled up by my friend, my hand falls to the pain that's emanating from my ribs and to the hard little Maglite that I'd absentmindedly left in my pocket the night before. It lines up near perfectly with the offending rib and it's not long before we put two and two together. This small, seemingly innocuous decision has now ruined my snowboarding holiday.

My girlfriend catches up with us and is an absolute star in buoying my sinking mood. It's soon clear that I'll be out of action for the rest of the week, unable to bend and do up my bindings properly without intense pain let alone the movements of my body required for boarding I'm truly disappointed; but Charlie reminds me that I still have my camera and my mountain pass. I spend the rest of the week in awe of my surroundings, camera in hand (carefully) chasing after my friends. I can still hop on and off the gondolas and even the chair lifts with little problem and the pain is easily ignored when your surroundings are as beautiful as those in the three valleys.

So a trip ruined by a split second decision but salvaged by my love of the mountains and the camera in my hand. I've had it worse.

Windswept West Country

There's something to be said for going somewhere with other creatives. There's an electricity you often don't get with family or friends; a desire to push a little further, explore a little more and inspire each other. If they happen to be your friends as well then that's even better.

Tom contacts me a month prior and suggests a trip with Glenn. Any excuse to get away with these guys is worth it, even if it's in our own back yard. We're all photographers and the self proclaimed romantic adventurous sort. It's a toss up between rugged coast or majestic mountains and after some brief deliberation we settle on the furthest tip of Cornwall; mainly as Tom's working on a short film and needs to get some shots on location and it's also quiet this time of year. I'm not overly keen after a solo trip down the month before to exactly the same location, but ultimately it's the people that will make this one and I'm sold with little persuasion. 

Turns out it's worth it in every respect. The weather mostly holds and we are graced with a dramatic wash of light and colour the entire weekend. Clifftop walks, warm (for Cornwall in November) beach shoots with pounding surf, the windiest and most dramatic sunset I've ever witnessed; rainbows over whitewashed farms, secluded coves and icy, deserted harbours and generally that wild, blustery and remote feeling you often get from western Cornwall. The Mavic Pro even makes it out for a few flights and impresses us by flying in winds we can barely stand up straight in. 

As I predicted, being surrounded by two other creatives pushes me that little bit harder and the luck with the weather results in some of my favourite shots in a long time. When's the next trip guys?

SWISS DIVERSIONS

The Mont Blanc tunnel is closed, ‘2Hr delays’ I am told. We’re already far too many hours into the drive, so many hours that I’ve lost count with delays at the Channel Tunnel due to alleged heightened security checks being the problem (although we weren’t checked once on our way into France strangely).

I’m secretly delighted about the tunnel closure; technical marvel aside, a chance to avoid 12km of straight road under the tallest mountain in Europe and head overland via the slow, twisting roads of the Swiss Alps is a much more exciting prospect to me. Not only that but it’s fresh and bright, with blue sky and a smattering of clouds ranging from brilliant white to foreboding grey. Thankfully I’m the navigator with the map and my camera in hand.

I trace the winding route east of Chamonix and notice another pass, suggest it over the walkie-talkie to our second vehicle and within minutes we’re back on the road again, winding this time to Martigney and then sweeping down to the Grand Saint Bernard Tunnel. I don’t mention if it’s technically the right route to the others or if we should search for a better one, all I’m thinking about is what I’ll be able to frame through that lens whilst my fatigue gradually melts away, replaced by the wonder that the mountains always inspire.

CUMBRIA

With little holiday left this year and a desire to get away one last time before the Christmas rush sets in, we opted for a long weekend in the Cumbrian mountains of North Western England. It’s been a while since I last visited properly and the weather, despite forecasted rain, turned out to be one of the warmest weekends in the last few months allowing us plenty of time to explore and some fantastic light to photograph.

Signs of autumn were creeping into the landscape and bright sunshine mingling with moody mists and cloud made for some interesting lighting. I find mountains so incredibly powerful, a notion not uncommon of course and that many others share around the world, and combined with the serene beauty of the lakes at their feet it is a visually striking place to photograph. Now I have Norway and the Alps on my mind, roll on the new year and some fresh holiday to use up.

END OF THE ROAD 2015

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Fresh back (if you can associate that word post festival) from End of the Road Festival 2015 and what a great first EOTR experience.

The atmosphere was unbelievably relaxed and easy going for the entire weekend. I really think they’re on to something there and no wonder it sells out so fast. The location, Larmer Tree Gardens is not only a beautiful place, but a visually interesting setting with Victorian monuments and winding pathways hedged with laurel. The art installations compliment all this and the festival achieves a sort of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel; quirky and fun and ever so slightly surreal.

The music and beers were also pretty good.

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