Artman/Artman English – Logo Design Process

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London based Artman English is a creative language school teaching English through theatre. To read more about Artman English please visit their website: www.artmanenglish.co.uk

The Brief

Idea behind the business name: Artman came from a Hindu word “atman” our innermost self / spirit / universal soul force”. The link between the individual and universal. The force from which all things grow.

Target audience: people who want to learn English, independent adults, visiting school groups from abroad, individual and business.

Overall message: neoteric, creative, sunny, professional, social.

The client wanted to be perceived by customers as: welcoming, fun, celebratory, professional, connected and creative.

Specific images/influence/inspiration: subliminal echoes of revolution (stars), reggae, unity, celebration, mandalas, japanese symbols and hindu symbols. Client envisaged a capital A within a star.

Color preferences: red, yellow, green, mellow, warm, relaxed and cool.

The logo would be used on digital platforms (web & social media, as well as in print (flyers, posters etc.).

Research, Sketching & Conceptualising

I did some initial reasearch about the industry and competitiors. There were a lot of language schools/courses – usually represented by very generic and ‘soulless’ designs. However what Artman English offers is something unique, being both a language and a theater course, as it has much more to offer, combining learning, experience and creativity. Logo needed to represent business uniqueness and therefore ‘stand out’.

After receiving a  brief from the client and discussing it, I had a pretty good feeling for the business, as well as good fundamentals to base my design on. As per brief a letter ‘A within a star’ was definitely a starting and leading point.

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Sketches in Illustrator

After developing ideas on paper I moved to Illustrator. Some of the designs were strongly based on the symmetry and balance between an ‘A’ and a star, and as such it was easy and quick to expand some of the concepts.

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Leading Concepts

I concentrated on the designs, which the client liked best and just populated different variations. I also experimented with the concept of a ying/yang mandala style of the logo (the designs at the bottom of the page). At this stage I tried to get an overall look for the logo and once the client had chosen ‘the one’, I would check the exact proportions, thickness of lines, etc.

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The client favoured the middle row and just wanted make some adjustments. At this stage we agreed to meet up (as it was faster and easier to make ‘subtle’ tweaks).

Final Logomark and Typeface

I did further ‘live’ mockups with one/both legs shortened. The client commited to the A with the shortened right leg and the widened circle. At this stage we started to look together for a logotype and end up with choosing Splekta Regular font.

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Logo Variations

After choosing the font, I worked a bit more on adjusting its size/position and amount of the space in reagrds to the logomark, as well as kerning – the spacing between letters. The client wanted two variations of logo, one just with a word ‘Artman’ and other with ‘Artman English’. There were two definite winners.

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Logo in Color Concepts

The last stage of design was to put the logo in color. As the color may determinate client’s choice of the design, usually it comes at the final process of the logo development. The brief gave me very good directions in terms of color, after trying different variations we had three leading options. We did a small adjustment to the opacity of the outer circle, in one of the concepts and the final logomark was ready!

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The Final Logo

After adding colors to the logotype, both versions of the logo were finalised.

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Delivery & Guidelines

I sent client client both versions of the logo in .eps, .jpg, .png, and .tif format in black&white, reversed and color variations of each. Along with those I also created a favicon and social profile image.

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Twelve Tribes of Israel – Design & Development

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Twelve Tribes of Israel was my Major Project, which I developed in the end of Print Production course at London College of Communication. I produced a book, about Twelve Tribes of Israel with graphic representations (illustrations) of 12 symbols of tribes, with an insert – collection of postcards. The symbol of each tribe is my own interpretation, based on the traditional symbols of 12 tribes with regards to characteristic signs and colors. My aim was to experiment with geometric shapes & lines, along with patterns of various textures.

Research & Visual Research

I conducted a research in libraries and online to gather a genuine information & various images of the symbols. It gave me the idea what already has been produced & was a good starting point for a development of my own designs.

The symbols of the tribes are by no means fixed as different interpretations may be given to the biblical texts describing the sons of Jacob. In Jacob’s blessing (Genesis 49) each of the sons is described allergorically and symbols for the tribes have been derived from these descriptions, as well as from other biblical passages.

12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL (NAME – SYMBOL / COLOR)

  1. REUBEN – mandrake (flower) / red
  2. SIMEON – city of Schechem (the city symbolized by the tower) / green
  3. LEVI – breastplate of the High Priest / red, white & black
  4. JUDAH – lion / blue
  5. ZEBULUN – ship / white
  6. ISSACHAR – donkey with burden or sun, moon & stars / grey
  7. DAN – balance & viper / saphir
  8. GAD – army camp / grey
  9. ASHER – olive tree / olive green
  10. NAPHTALI – deer / red
  11. JOSEPH – grapes or wheat or ox & antelope / black
  12. BENJAMIN – wolf / all colors of the tribes

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Maps representing how the land of ancient Israel was divided into 11 sections corresponding with 11 of the 12 tribes. Joseph fathered two tribes: Ephraim & Manasseh – his sons, these later became indepentdent tribes. Levites (tribe of Levi) were the priests and they had no territory of their own.

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Creating Patterns for Illustrations

From the inception of the project I had an idea to include natural patterns in my illustrations. Regarding how the symbols are represented I needed patterns of: bricks, fabric, grass, leaves, metal, sand, sky, stones, water, wood & others. I developed patterns from photos, some of them were taken for this project, some of them I took from my home photo library. In the end I haven’t used as many patterns as I initially planned, however some of them can be found in illustrations of the tribes: Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher & Naphtali. Below is my pattern library I ended up with.

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Sketches & Development of 12 Symbols

Each symbol was developed separately, starting from rough sketches on the paper and then moving to Illustrator. My intitial idea was to experiment with shapes & lines – a crucial factor was to use symmetry and keep balance in each individual design and all twelve altogether. Once in Illustrator I used Rulers & Grid options to help me maintain the symmetry & straigh lines. Each time, before I started to draw in Illustrator, I created  a layer – called ‘middle’ – I draw a vertical line through a page and a circle (both having the same middle point), and I used it as a reference point through a whole drawing process.

Each tribe has its own color, which I decided to use for the background in the illustrations. After the first printed color/pattern check I needed to change some of the gradients to plain colors, as they didn’t print well.

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SIMEON – I used an outline of the land of MANASSEH, where the city od Schechem was, and placed a symbol of the city (the tower) inside the map.

LEVI – the name of the tribe was engraved on the stone. One stone is corresponding to one tribe. The arrangement of the stones on the breastplate is 3 across and 4 down, as instructed by God (Exodus 28). There is a debate over what these stones may have actually been. The ancient names of these stones many times do not translate to gemstones that we recognize today. The stones were lined up with the birth order of the tribes and were written from right to left as written in hebrew.

BENJAMIN – as Benjamin represents all colors of the tribes, I placed the color of each tribe, in order, on the ‘rainbow’ above the wolf.

 

Frame Design

I started the design of the frame at the same time what illustrations, as it needed to cooperate with all of them. It was a sensible approach, as I could checked/matched it along the way.

Years ago I bought a lovely wall calendar – Illuminations: The Kennicot Bible: A Jewish Calendar from the Bodleian Library: 2005-2006 – which I still keep. When I was looking for symbols, which I could integrate into frame I came back to the illuminations from the calendar. Illustration (below) is marking the end of Chronicles MS. Kennicott I, folio 352 recto from the Kennicott Bible. I redraw this image and used part of it as a detail in my frame.

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I wanted the frame to be gold, however it’s hard to achieve it with a digital printing (and with no budget and limited printing facilities available). Once I finished sketching the frame in Illustrator and experimenting with colors, I printed a color proof which I was pleased with. I used a goldish color for the frame and its lighter value for outlines in the illustrations, as well as a color scheme for the book.

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Book & Postcards

As half of the pages in the book were illustrations I decided no to use too many colors for the pages with the text. There was a one page with text for each tribe with the name of the tribe in English & Hebrew, symbol of the tribe, a text in a frame with basic characteristic of the tribe and a related citation from the Bible – Jacob’s blessing (Genesis 49) . I design a simple drop cap for this text. The color of the circle in the drop cap represents the color of the tribe and is the same, as the background color in illustrations.

I designed a cover for the book, which was also used for a set of postcards.

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Final printed book and set of postcards.

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E-Rework – Logo Design Process

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E-Rework was a new to be business offering various services in three main areas: IT, SECURITY SYSTEMS & ELECTRONICS. The client was very specific about the design/elements of the logo and colors, so after receiving back a Logo Design Brief and the first meeting with the client I’ve already had some concepts in my head.

 

The Brief

The client wanted to be perceived by customers, as a business offering ‘reliable and professional services’ and logo needed to reflect this concept. The name of the company E-Rework came from Electronic Rework (name of the process of electronic repairs). The client required an illustrator made ‘icons’ corresponding to each area of the business and specifically for ELECTRONICS – hot air gun, soldering icon & microscope arranged in a cross, similarly like an emergency services logo. The prefered colors were R (red), G (green) B (blue).

 

Research, Sketching & Conceptualising

After researching competitors, client’s business and the industry, I’ve done some visual research for each element of the design. In a way logo was already complex, as it needed to communicate clearly three different areas of the business and at the same time work us one design. Also I wanted each of the icons to work separetly on its own if needed. I experimented with obvious concepts for IT – computer & keyboard, SECURITY – lock, key & CCTV camera. For ELECTRONICS the client was very detailed about the design required, on my side I needed to do more in depth reasearh escpecially about shape & components of hot air gun & soldering iron, how they would intersect with each other, as well as with the design of a microscope. The microscope was already a fairly ‘busy’ object, so since the initial sketches I’ve tried to simplify its design.

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Sketches in Illustrator

I moved to Illustrator and once I had all concepts on one page it was much easier to identify the designs , which could work together. I showed it to the client and we discussed his favourite concepts. I decided that it would be better to consult the designs at this stage, as if there would be one element, which clinet doesn’t like then it might influence the others and overall the whole logo.

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The client came with the idea to add a laurel wreath to each logomark, as a symbol of competition & victory. I embraced the idea, as it would connect each of the designs & its cicrcular shape would ‘frame’ the elements. Below are some experiments. It was sensible to try how it would work with electronics symbol, as it had the most ‘akward’ form, also I wanted make sure that the angle of the bend of miscroscope and wreath would match. Consequently I’ve used the bend from the miscroscope as a starting point for the design of the wreath.

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Completed Logomarks

I’ve send to the client completed logomarks with wreath, in grayscale, solid black and reversed versions – they were approved.

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Type

Having all three icons ready, I started to look for a font which would be in a way unique, look professional and what’s the most important ‘blend’ with other elements of the logo. I chose XSCALE REGULAR, as some of the letters have a rectangular-like shape with round edges, which work nicely with bend edges of the computer or lock.

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Logo Variations

I showed four variations with type (still in black & white) to the client.

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The Final Logo

Finally I added the colors, how client wished – RGB and the logo was ready and approved!

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