From our archives – A kid-friendly logo for a water-themed amusement park in Draper, Utah illustrates that even fun logos are serious business.
The logo for Cowabunga Bay Water Park was a cool little project from a few years ago – and I figured it would make a good addition to our ongoing series of case studies, especially with Spring (and then Summer) just around the corner. For what it’s worth, Cowabunga Bay is one of the largest water parks in the world, and boasts as the park centerpiece, the world’s largest tipping bucket, a fact that we’d use in the later stages of the logo design process. The creative brief on this project was fairly straight forward – we were to design a logo that represented the water park, appealed to kids (and their parents) and was to have a fun vibe. Colors were no object, in fact the more the merrier, but the logo had to be adaptable for a wide range of applications – everything from signage, to print advertising, clothing and embroidered goods to traditional business staples. Our designers were given free range throughout the project and started, as with most illustrative logo design projects, with a series of sketches and idea-doodles. In early rounds of concept sketches, we threw around the idea of having a Hawaiian themed character who could be used in various situations and activities.
We played around with adding children to the mix, incorporating the figures alongside the water-slides and tipping bucket. These were nixed in early rounds as being too busy (and would require even more characters added to represent a wider market segment).
The Hawaiian themed character again, this time with a surfboard was considered enough to take to render (below)
The Hawaiian theme was ditched a being too restrictive so we played around with some text only treatments, which were discarded as being too ‘plain’.
And some more.
At this stage, we worked up a graphic representation of the giant tipping bucket (in mid-tip I guess) and worked that design into a series of concepts with appropriate typography selections.
Removing the tipping bucket uprights gave the impression of a water volcano, a neat little graphic touch that would stay with us throughout the remainder of the project.
Here’s a little technical tip too. When using thick outline paths in Illustrator, sometimes the path can get a little carried away (note the ‘W’ in the examples above). That needed to be hand-tweaked and with a few adjustments here and there, we had the final logo for Cowabunga (below).
Even though the logo proper is a fairly complex full-color design, it still needs to be available as a black and white greyscale for instances when color is not available.
For low resolution reproduction and one color printing, we’ll also require a linear version, absent all the tones and gradients of the original. By stripping the logo down to it’s outlines and solid shapes, we’re all set (below).
Even a giant water park needs business cards, so they were on the table as well…
We were also tasked with developing concepts for some of the signage for the various attractions and facilities.
And here’s a nice little video that shows the logo in use at, and around, the water park itself.