The making of the Beringia national park logo

Overview   Process  

The client sends us refused versions of the corporate identity.

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Client: We want the logo to reflect all of the local features: whales, Whale Bone Alley, Chukchi, northern lights, the wildlife, all in purple tones.

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Many-many years ago there was no Bering Strait and Alaska was a single whole with the Kuril Islands. Studying the life of the local people, not forgetting to also look at the Indians thought by some to be the descendants of the Chukchi.

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We get the idea to use a construction kit consisting of three elements: a fish, a whale’s rib and a bird.

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Or a sphere of closely connected animals.

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Moving towards traditional Chukchi ornaments.

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Which we can combine with the construction kit.

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Art director: Nope, not cool. Neither in idea, nor in style.

Designer: Maybe we can use counterforms?

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Art director: We can, but right now it looks a bit evil.

Searching for a common shape, animals should be seen in black and white.

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Art director: No, let’s try some other style.

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Art director: That’s something.

Designer: We can also try this.

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Designer: Or something about whales, seals or mammoths that hold the Earth or are its integral part. Or something about the unity of formerly related peoples of the shores?

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Designer: Ha! Or this!

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Art director: Yep, that we can do. Just add more diversity to the eyes. You can turn dots above the letters i into eyes, too.

Or give each of the animals their own character.

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Art director: Sure.

The type designer creates the text part of the logo.

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Preparing a presentation and showing to the client.

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The client is ecstatic. Getting back a mimimi.pdf file with handwritten praises.

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Client (after some consideration): We want to keep the four animals, add a Chukchi reindeer herder, there also must be a whale as the park’s symbol. Also, remove the mammoth and the penguin.

Redrawing based on the comments.

Art director: Much better.

Creating another presentation and showing to the client.

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The logo has absolutely fallen out of the client’s favor. We need to produce designs with a whale, Beringia outline, Whale Bone Alley and lots of national character.

Art director: Let’s get started.

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Art director: Looks like a ghost.

The designer continues to combine the symbols.

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Art director: Good. Let’s show it all.

The designer prepares a presentation.

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Art director: Nope, now it looks like a joke.

Replacing the designer.

Designer-2: I want the logo to reflect the park’s natural wealth and cultural heritage. And at the same time feature national character. Let’s take two symbols, a whale and some elements of Whale Bone Alley. Let’s combine them, add some sun whose rays might hint at Chukchi and Eskimo national patterns and we have something we can show.

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The art director notices similarity with another logo.

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Continuing the search with the same symbols.

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Art director: Crap.

Trying to inscribe a heart in the counterform.

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Art director: Looks like balls that got caught in a wrench.

Removing all the negative images, making Whale Bone Alley elements more realistic. A silhouette emerges that looks like Chukchi and Eskimo dwellings which can become a good ethnographic motif in the sign.

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Art director: The right one is OK.

Preparing the presentation and showing to the client:

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The client likes it all.

Working on details. Researching whale tail shapes and going with the tail of bowhead whale, former divine animal of the Eskimo.

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The type designer creates the Russian and the English versions of the text.

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Making several variants of the logo arrangement, choosing the best proportions of the sign and text, selecting a color scheme, making versions for the dark background.

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Typesetting a mini guide.

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