David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.
Published on December 5th, 2008
Ecometrica is a provider of carbon footprint services as well as land-use change monitoring. The company also acts as a resource for business and climate change.
View the portfolio entry here: Ecometrica.
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Archived under Identity, Portfolio.
Thanks for this post David. I love you how you break down the design process like this. I think the hinged “e” is especially nice. It’s such a simple but effective effect, but it is striking.
The chosen logo also looks a lot like a butterfly, but that works well with the ecosystem concept.
Did the client ask for the Callibri font at the beginning? Was it because MS Word uses it?
Love it. Keep the posts like this coming!
That’s a very nice logo, David.
I just discovered this website, and it’s helping me during my Graphics course. Great site!
I really like the logo david the three elipses have a really nice balance to them and make a great symbol. I think the logo works really well in black and white as well. The white knocked out of the black background really caught my attention. Good idea using the different transparency settings with the pantone colour to cut the cost whilst still providing a most professional business card. Thank you for sharing.
Love the sketches, those are my favorite part of these things. Interesting to see grid paper used, I’ll have to try that, and also, as Jacob mentioned, all caps. That’s what I tend to write in as well, but I’ve been transitioning to use it strictly for headings, leaving body copy as regular. I’m trying to create some type of visual hierarchy in my notes so it’s easier to read when scanning.
I have to admit, I thought the same thing as Jacob when it came to the originality of the mark, but really appreciate it now that I’ve heard the rationale behind it. It seems to apply quite well.
Also, I was wondering why you chose to go with a blue instead of the quintessential environmental green. In my opinion, it slightly lessens the idea of it being an environmental company.
Very interesting thought process behind the design, nice results too. Thanks for sharing it with us.
hi, David, i really like your designs, they are clean, I like your logo too. it is really cool to find your blog, i will keep reading here.
Brilliant! I really like your logo designs, David. It’s incredible how much time and thought you put into each design before producing the final result, because the results itself look so simple. but behind that casual simplicity hides the genius who knows how to design a timeless logo.
I thought it was a very generic mark with no clear concept however after reading through some of the thought process I can see some of the thinking behind the logo. The use of the 3 shades of blue has been done well however I would like to know the reason behind the client wanting Calibri as the typeface. Will you be designing any of their other marketing collateral? Also interesting to see that you write in all caps, is this something you do regularly?
Thanks Christen. My client had a couple of specific type preferences, due to how they saw them fit with their preferred look.
Jacob, as mentioned in the testimonial, the Ecometrica team had strong opinions on the project — one of which was the choice of typeface.
To answer your questions, I’ve supplied a letterhead and card design, and don’t anticipate anything extra. I’ve used block capitals since back in school, and actually find it quite fast. For letter-writing I use a more personal cursive script.
Zach, using grid paper can help. It can hinder too, if you stick too rigidly to the lines, so I find it best to use both plain and grid. For the colour, we were experimenting with green, green + blue, and blue. The client preferred that exact blue and provided me with the colour code.
Vivien, that made a nice start to my day.
The first thing that came up to my mind about the first option was the Eucatex logo from Alexandre Wollner (well known graphic designer from Brazil). You can see it here: http://desenhografico.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/e.thumbnail.jpg
I loved the final result by the way, very conceptual an clean.
Hi David, like with all your articles about your personal design process for logos, I always scroll down your post and look at the logo and subsequent variations before reading your writeup. I do this to see what I can personally gage meaning-wise from the chosen concept.
In this case, I’m really glad the chosen logo was the one with the three intersecting ellipses. I felt that the alternate version didn’t ‘sit-right’ — the hinge in the “e” seemed too detracting to the eye, or maybe it’s just me.
In my opinion, the chosen logo is a great, simple mark, and given the reasoning behind the concept and brief, works really well. You’ve done a fantastic job. However, I didn’t ‘get’ what the company was all about before reading the article, although the logo did convey one message: that Ecometrica had an environmental stand-point. This is where the communication between this logo and its’ viewer I felt was strongest.
BTW Jacob Cass, I also write in capitals and draw on graph paper, maybe its a British thing ;)
Good job, David. When I work with a client that has “strong opinions on the project” the outcome is never *this* good. You seem to have handled it well.
@Jacob Cass – I don’t know why, but the notice of the ALL CAPS is funny to me. I tend to write that way, too. I picked it up at school while studying architecture (before switching to advertising).
Great logo, David. Your design process posts are the ones I look forward to the most. Thanks!
I am so glad you didn’t choose green for the logo, despite the ‘eco’ connotations. I find green is a colour that is being used too much in logos as of late.
I definately feel like the logo with the three ellipsis is more unified than the broken e. It’s fun to look at your mindmapping / wireframes and sketches. It’s clear how those sketches informed your design. And I just really like graph paper too. From the brief introduction on Ecometrica (I will have to google this term, in the states, we call something like what they do “Econometrics”, but maybe I’m misreading their mission) it seems like they do things that are relevant. I would like to believe that more people would value things like land use, carbon emissions and deforestation, and so perhaps this is a start.
I certainly think the stronger concept was picked, especially after reading the thought process behind it.
That looks awesome. I love seeing your process.
i love seeing your process. one thing i fail to do sometimes is to give my rationale for each design. i need to start doing that so they can see what i was thinking.
Andrew, no, I don’t find it detrimental when the logo doesn’t explain the company. That’s not the primary aim.
Julia, green is the obvious colour. An alternative can help with industry differentiation.
Jeff, working with such clients is a plus, just as I enjoy non-profit work.
Melek, that’s one thing you need when offering a proper critique — the rationale. It helps show the bigger picture.
It’s great to get such a complete look at the process of another designer. I love how symbolic your ideas are.
hi David,congrats,another beautiful work
personally I actually like the form of the broken “e” and the colour is more lovely,but the separation doesn’t fit the concept of sustainable business very well for sure.
a question here is after seen so many business cards here done by you I find they r kinda like dealed with a very stereotype or formal way,do u see it is a sort of time saving or practical way,or what ever else
anyway thanks for sharing
Hey David, I’m venturing through a fun identity project right now and found your post to be a refreshingly creative kick to the groin (isn’t that how we get inspired?). Anyways, loved the article and might post my own process for a science college’s new identity. One thing I was hoping you would have elaborated on was the mind mapping doc. It looks like a map of ideals that describe the brand and the company and I could see its inherit value to your process, but how (specifically) does it translate to a creative direction.
Cheers for sharing your process!
Very nice, as always. I enjoy seeing your design process.
Great post David. Its always cool learning about the process of creating a brand identity.
Climent, I present a range of layouts/designs. So you’ll see the client preference featured here. In this case, the limitation revolved around the single-sided design.
Rob, I hope the kick wasn’t too hard. As for the mind-mapping, you’re not the first to ask, so I’ll see what I can do to further explain the stage.
“I certainly think the stronger concept was picked, especially after reading the thought process behind it.”
I agree with this. For some reason, I didn’t even immediately realize the first logo was a hinged “e” – it just looked like a broken circle to me, and focusing on the broken ozone layer/atmosphere concept and aligning it with the company’s name seems to somehow imply that they are behind the destruction. The other logo works great.
In any case, this was a great post. I’m really glad I found your blog, especially as I’m in the middle of helping my girlfriend work on identity for her consulting company. Insight into a professional’s process is hugely useful.
I’ll be back often!
I’m a fan of design option #1.
I understand the reasoning for picking design #2 after reading the explanation, but the problem with that is almost everyone who views that logo in their business’ lifespan will not have the luxury of reading why the logo is what it is.
I do, however, like how it sits on the business card in the lower right hand corner.
Thanks very much, Chris. Good luck with the identity project you’re working on.
Jordan, the story behind #2 will make it a nice piece of info for the Ecometrica team to relay. Logos are primarily used as identifiers — not to describe what a company does. I’d say the majority of effective designs won’t immediately describe a product or service.
Thanks for sharing your design process along with the actual finished product. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, and when you get to see the process behind the work that you create it provides a good deal of inspiration :)
Do you ask your clients for testimonials? If so, when and how do you do it?
That’s right, Matt, I do ask for testimonials at the end of the project, once I’m fairly sure I can do no more to help. It’s straightforward, “Would you mind offering a few thoughts on our working relationship?”
I hope that helps.
I’m thinking I need to start doing that. I know if I were seeking a designer, testimonials would be very encouraging.
Thanks for sharing your working methods, it’s very instructive for me, working as a web designer but inevitable asked to ‘come up with a logo’. As pointed out by Yury above, it seems with simplicity comes the problem of potential repetition; I was asked by a client to come with a logo for japanwordservices.com as a result of our mutual ideas and discussion ended up with a very similar result to #2.
Before I read this post, I swear!
No worries at all, Luke. Similarities are bound to occur with simple logos.
good job man
wow… esp love the mind mapping method… got to learn so much more than just designing a logo….
Great work David, always read about your articles, those are very good. Let me ask you. What is the reason you use the midmapping to conceptualize your logo designs. I’m a Graphic Designer from Colombia and I would like to know how to maximise my work in the process like Designer.
It helps me focus on keywords around a specific topic, Oscar, leading me in directions I may not have otherwise considered. All the best.
Thanks for sharing this and for sharing the system you follow. Having a system takes the thinking out of the design process and allows us to think (if you know what I mean).
I have a question for you about the way you use the Mind Maps. In the free chapter of your book that you have on your site you share a number of your mind maps.
I notice they are drawn in a single color and have no images on them. I know you start looking at the sketches later on but I wonder whether you had ever considered doing your mind maps in color and adding some little sketches at that stage.
Speaking from a mind mapping purists perspective, doing that will stimulate more of your brain and can only enhance the creativity and association work you are doing at that stage in your process.
I wonder whether it was a conscious decision of yours not to or whether you had just not considered it as an option?
Hello Michael, you’re very welcome. The image above is a black-and-white scan, but I often highlight important words. Sketches sometimes happen beforehand, but I usually wait until I have some ammo.
Comments may be edited or deleted if I don't like the cut of your jib, but that's quite unlikely.
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Self-employed since 2005 // Thanks very much for reading