We are in the process of rebranding and redesigning our beloved opensource content management system called FarCry and wanted to explain the process involved (specifically the logo design) and invite your comments.
"What is a far cry anyway?" you say. I'm glad you asked. The name orginates in ye olde times from something along the lines of...
A "Near Cry" was something a herald or town crier might make to inform the local populace of some new tidings. However, if news had to be sent across the entire kingdom, such as a Royal Proclamation, special riders would be sent out to spread the message to the farthest reaches of the domain. This was known as a "Far Cry".
First things first, the brief. When capturing a brief of any sort I like to jot down keywords associated with any initial ideas I may have - essentially 'brain-storming'. It doesnt have to be a highly scientific process.
In this case I consulted the team to work out what FarCry means to us. What are the brand qualities? What is unique about it? What does it do well? Why is it an important product? How can it improve an online publishing experience?
The result is a list of 'idea seeds' (figure 1) that get the creative process ticking and you can start visualising how you can communicate those brand qualities.
I then started to sketch some ideas (figure 2). What I'm trying to do at this point is just get the idea down. I'm not worried about the fine detail. Its amazing how many ideas are born from an idea that you managed to get down in sketch form that then evolve into something else bigger and better. Discarding ideas mentally, before they get to paper, may mean further resulting great ideas are never uncovered.
The next step is often to create a vector based version in a program like Illustrator or Freehand. Again, i try to work pretty freely and quickly. The whole time I'm continually refering back to those original brand qualities (figure 1). If I'm veering off-track, I'll ditch it and start again.
Only once I start to feel like I'm covering ground I've already looked at do I start going back to refine some of the stronger concepts. Nearly always, I find the trick is in removing as many elements to the design as you can. Simplify, simplify, simplify (figure 3).
With logo design its important that it can work at a small size. This is potentially even more critical for an online brand. At times you may only have 100 pixels to display your logo so a simple treatment is key to its survival once scaled down.
At this point we've arrived at a solution we are happy with (figure 4). Its our modern little guy spreading the word about FarCry far and wide. What do you think?
Posted by pot at 05:54 PM | Permalink