Intro to Graphic Design

Ursa Books Logo Project

The second project for Intro to Graphic Design was both familiar and unfamiliar. We were challenged to create a logo for a fictional company that we would create. We were expected to create name of this fictional company by selecting one category (exhibit or museum, book store, food store, or sporting goods store) and selecting one theme (plants, weather, constellations, animals, countries, or cultures). Given this limited pool for choosing a company name, I decided I wanted to create a logo for a bookstore, based on the Ursa Major and Minor constellations.

Looking up illustrations of the constellations was somewhat less than helpful.

Ancient civilizations had interesting ideas about the anatomy of bears. So I turned to my favorite source for artistic inspiration: Disney animation concept art. I looked up concept art from Brother Bear, the Jungle Book, and Robin Hood to help me decide what elements of a bear are the most iconic and communicate the idea of a bear.

Bears are my favorite animals (aside from birds), and I wanted to draw some downright adorable and cuddly bears. I wanted them fat, I wanted them fluffy, and I wanted them snuggly. My initial sketches were very Disney-esque in their first iterations, which is a good choice for animation but not for a logo. Logos are meant to be iconic, and to communicate an idea without excess colors or shapes. You should be able to hit a balance between simplistic and communicative, which was mainly what I struggled with in this project.

From the initial sketches, we created digital sketches in Adobe Illustrator. Mine were excessively colorful, without a ton of variation in the typography.

We were required to create 16 different variations of our favorite digital sketches in total, which drove me up the wall as I tried to consider different color combinations. Unfortunately, my professor ripped these apart in class, telling me that the bears looked more like an advertisement for a nightclub than a children’s bookstore. He was right…

To gather additional feedback (and avoid nightclub bears), I created several mockups and posted them on my Facebook page.

I loved all of these logos, and it was incredibly difficult choosing between these final four. The responses from Facebook were immensely helpful as I continued my deliberation, and I was so grateful to everyone that replied! I finally decided on the top-left logo, and after editing it, printing it, and mounting it, I had my final project.

Or so I thought. This project was the most poorly received of the semester, with my professor specifically citing the rotundity of the mama bear and the amount of detail within the logo. I’m still not sure that I agree with his detestation of the adorable and chubby bear, but I decided to take his advice and revamp my final logo.

Having to edit my beautiful baby bears felt like a blow to my artistic integrity, but I’m actually happy with the final draft. This logo will be displayed in my portfolio, and I’m looking forward to receiving more feedback on it in the future. What do you think? Do you like the final project or the revamped logo better?

Thanks for reading!

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