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From my Logo Portfolio – Mack Camera Logo Design Process

The Brief

To re-design a logo that is bold, different to the many other camera and video on line-shops – something that grabs your attention, will work in myriads of advert sizes, to be able to compete for attention in busy online websites.

The logo needed to be versatile for pretty much any and all media including web, digital, print, large format, signs etc. There was a chance this logo was going to be placed on the outside of a building, so this was an important factor in the design.

Other than that, it was left by the client for me to choose the path – so plenty of artistic license so to speak.

The Initial Thoughts

This was a clear case of focusing on type treatment, focusing on the name, setting the scene with out giving valuable space to space sucking logomarks. Compact came to mind, helpful in that the name is short, so fortunate there.

The client did request all cap’s but I resisted this from the get-go, and glad I did. Of course I did show a logo version with all-caps, but I pushed for the friendlier, soft but bold lowercase version.

I had ideas from reading the brief, so was pretty clear in my head the direction I wanted to take. I wasn’t too interested in exploring alternatives at this point, as the ‘gut feeling’ was strong. I have learnt to trust my ‘gut’, and if I get a first idea epiphany, it’s hard for me to then create ‘other’ versions. My way of thinking is that if the first idea is strong, why create a choice? Focus on the strong idea.

Fonts

Font choice is always my first stop in a logo design. For me the font sets the scene, the atmosphere, the emotion. Choose the wrong font and you stand little chance of a logo doing what it’s meant to do. Communication. The wrong font can shatter an otherwise decent logo idea.

A few font choices came to mind here, and there was only one clear winner after seeing several of them side by side. It’s slightly ‘bastardised’, in that the ‘k’ has been ‘low chopped’. Thats my technical term by the way.

Avenir Black was used. A true logo font. I love it. Although Museo Sans is now a close contender for my heart.

I opted for ultra tight kerning to create a compact mark. Too much and you would lose character shape, too open and well, it loses the compactness being aimed for.

The quick way to see if the kerning was too tight was to colour all the letters in one colour and see if it was still readable. Glad to say it works a treat. This further adds to the flexibility and usability of the logo – it works well in shades, one colour, reversed out, on dark or light background.

Tag line

The logo needed to be designed with a tag line in mind, as this states the purpose of what Mack is all about. So it needed to be legible and not so much of an after thought. Finding the right balance here – so it didn’t fight with ‘Mack’ and lose – meant trying variations of font weight, spacing and size.

Also, the tag line needed to be changeable and versatile, so other key phrases could be added without the logo collapsing.

Small details like there being no descenders makes for adding a tag line a joy. Add a ‘y’ or ‘g’, and well, I don’t like it when that happens.

A quick chop of the ‘k’ meant I could create a more compact visual, plus better fitment into the eclipse icon.

Colours

Only explored a few options, before quickly settling on a range of blues. Seemed to offer the most versatility on light and dark backgrounds, as you can see from the white and black background. As I previously mentioned, the logo works really well when only seen in one colour which was crucial to the overall design.

Icon

The icon, the ‘arc/eclipse’ proved to be the trickiest to get right. Too fine, too chunky, too wide, too tall, too thin, too tall or just plain wrong.

Really wanted to avoid cliche camera type icons that you come to expect and usually see. I didn’t want to go the plain Jane generic route either. I needed to find a icon that represented the ‘photography lens feeling’ in some way without looking like the millions of other camera logos.

I did go through many ideas, and I did start with cliche ideas to see how I could develop them into something more unsual.

The result was the eclipse, which signifies the lens and is versatile as it is not tied to just photography, but equally at home with the video aspect. So it didn’t alienate one or the other, but in fact complimented them both perfectly and also applies to accessories and what not.

Finding the right balance of size and thickness proved to be tricky, finding that balance was a little time intensive. I tried many many variations of eclipse and positions before settling on this.

The result

Happy to say the client loved it, which is always a bonus. It achieves the brief and more. This was a logo design that came out way better than I had actually hoped for. Certainly not going the cliché route with the logomark was the key here, as well as the font and colour choice.

All elements here combined to make the logo work in a variety of formats, situations and environments.

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