This blog will allow you to follow my creative journey

  • Kim Burke

29/ Branding & Logo design

Updated: May 3

Deciding a few weeks back with Fraser that I wanted my product to take a heavy lead in branding and design communication meant that I planned to take my time over the branding and design of the logo. My aim was to ensure that I was delivering the concept clearly and efficiently and that I had a strong marketing and a brand for the product. Not that I was totally steering away from the technology behind the product, as I still want to explain this through boards, but I am focusing on my strengths and communicating the narrative well. (Read more about my plan for this in blog 27)

A quote that I like to use that I feel relates to this is;

“Don't half-arse two things, whole arse one thing.”

Beginning by searching for some parallel products and branding inspiration, I created a mood board and used various quick sketching techniques to develop my brand and product name. The name generation took some time, but eventually I stuck with one that I was happy with and communicated the function of the buoy as best as possible.

I introduce to you 'See Buoy'.

Communicating clearly that the aim is to 'see' the buoy, whilst having a play on word 'sea' works nicely. Say it out loud, it works better than me trying to explain it!

My aim for the logo was to keep it visual yet simple. I wanted to make a slightly modern touch on the logo, due to its modern technology, through simplicity and the use of narrow line, as the product is quite sophisticated compared to your regular marker buoy.

Whilst it is a tad sophisticated and a little bit pricier, I did not want the branding or logo to be daunting or off-putting for fishermen to pick up the product or feel like they couldn't afford. Through my research this was something that I had always kept in mind and I was told on numerous occasions that:

'fishermen are notoriously stingey'.

So most importantly, I do not want the product to be financially out of reach, and this is why the technology has been kept as simple as possible to reduce costs.

See some logo/brand inspiration below:

This was a various collection of branding, shapes and logos that inspired me. Bold colour and line was definitely a reoccurring theme that I aimed to take forward in my design.

The following images were a bit different to my style, however I really admired 'goCstudios' graphic style and liked how they had created section views of the sea, through a combination of photographs and digital graphics. The image themselves were rather powerful I felt. Their logo image on the right also stood out to me as it tied the product and brand image together nice and sharp.

The beginning of the logo development!

This loose sketching featured below was the beginning of my logo development. The 3 key things I tried to communicate in the logo were, light, waves and the buoy. I particularly liked the unique shape of the buoy to be a feature in the logo and highlight the light through line or shape.

Alongside sketching out initial ideas, I generated a mood board to get a feel for the ethos of the product and develop a colour scheme and theme that I would carry forward.

With a colour scheme established from the products environment, I began generating digital sketches of the logo.

Through experimentation of shape, line, colour and various design iterations, I narrowed down the style and colour scheme of logo that I felt best communicated the nature of the product I was trying to deliver. I decided to use the buoys unique shape as a feature within the logo and also the name of the product. (See outline of buoy in text below). I felt that this tied the product together nicely and created some unity across the name, product and logo. It will be good to have both a unique logo and text, so that I can use each where appropriate.

Narrowing down the final logo by seeking feedback on some final (ish) design iterations on Instagram, I got some feedback that I was glad to receive! I chose and the public chose logo C. I made some small alterations and finally settled with a design, shown above.

I intend to use the logo across branded documents, including the booklet, website, boards and ofcourse the final model.

If you haven't seen my previous blog post, I shared lots about technical stuff and my recent CAD development. Here is a sneak peak of the model with the logo placed as a decal on the side. Nice to see it all coming together!

Note: The logo will be moulded into the polymer, during manufacture. The material of the form of the buoy is going to be Recycled Polypropylene! Check out blog 31 for more detail on materials and manufacture!

For now, my next steps are to develop some more iterations of the CAD model and do some illustrative boards of the technology behind See Buoy. But in exciting news, I can now begin applying branding across the website and booklet!


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