For today’s Daily Logo, I thought we’d take a look at a fun little project for Goblin Offroad – a manufacturer of racing products, particularly their own line of after-market dashboards. We ended up with a fully illustrative logo featuring a nifty little goblin character – pretty well determined by the company name (while being ever mindful of the Spiderman character of the same name). Like all our illustrative logo projects, this design began with a series of simple pencil sketches and doodles as we tried to focus in on a direction for the character.
The first doodles were discarded as being a little on the menacing side, but after several rounds the character had softened up enough to be non-threatening, while remaining slick enough for the market segment and products that would bear the design. We centered the concepts in on the goblin’s head, so that the design didn’t become overwrought with detail, especially when reproduced at a small size, on low resolution media or in pre-cut vinyl decals. The character was ‘built’ with a racing slash speed theme in mind – goggles with wind-swept head and ears were early additions. Through several ‘evolutions’ our designers began to ‘tighten’ up the crude drawings until they became more graphic, and ultimately more ‘logo’ friendly. We ended up settling with the versions seen below, which were taken into illustrator and rendered into vector artwork (below right) and subsequently, the final logo. The client had given us the okay to work in full color – despite the added costs that might be incurred in reproduction of various marketing materials – so using blends and gradients, we gave the character life-like eyes, while keeping the rest of the logo fairly flat and graphic.
One of the hazards of developing a funky illustrative logo like this is the aspect ratio and footprint of the final design, and their impact on working a company name into the artwork (the entire point of the exercise). If we’re not careful, the type may appear that it’s been slapped on as an afterthought (which, truth to tell, it sometimes is) and not part of the overall logo. During this project, we mucked about with several fonts and layout variations (below) until we arriving at the finalized variation shown.
Whenever we design stationery – business cards, letterheads and envelopes – as part of a design project, we often begin that part of the project setting up the business card artwork. Often times, business cards are the graphic equivalent of ‘the tail that wags the dog’ and once we’ve settled on a design, our designers can ‘reverse engineer’ the letterheads and envelopes into the theme. As we had the luxury of working with four color process, we went to town on the cards, presenting the client with numerous, and fairly elaborate design treatments, using both the front and back of the card layout.
The cards were designed to be printed on a very glossy card stock (UV coating was added to further enhance the color vibrancy) and full use was made of color – spot colors be damned. Here’s a close up.
Once the client had settled on a favorite card design, we worked up the remaining stationery around the general design theme. What resulted is, in my opinion, a fairly attractive stationery package. This kind of presentation isn’t suitable for everyone – the four color set up of the designs, as well as the bleed, equates into a hefty printing premium).
Once we had finished the logo and stationery portion of the project, we were assigned several other design tasks. The first, an ad that heralded the new logo and product line, had to be created for off-road magazines. We managed to cobble the ad shown here using client supplied photography and a few lines of copy copied from older press releases. We only had a few production hours to complete the work, in two different sizes, due to the tight deadlines involved.
The second project was to deconstruct the logo into a simple linear version. The client needed a vinyl decal that could be distributed to potential customers at an upcoming trade show and the full-blown color version, for obvious reasons, wasn’t appropriate. In order to manufacture the logo in a plotter-cut medium, we had to line art version of the design (what some people still refer to as camera ready), eschewing all the detail and blends for a simple monochrome treatment. This version was also added to the client’s deign assets – it can be readily used when four color process printing is not available, or for low resolution media like faxes, checks and newspaper ads.