13 Dec 2010
Just completed a really fun assignment to design a brand new logo and mascot for F4 Martial Arts Academy over the pond in Arkansas, USA. The finished result is above, but I thought you might like to see the thought process that went through all our minds as the four instructors and I thrashed through, accepting and rejecting as the ideas evolved.
So let's start off with the original F4 logo:
The guys from F4 saw my War Bee logo and originally asked me to design them a mascot so off I went with my sketch book and 4B pencil. Here's the first mascot idea:
One of the guys mentioned liking a snake, so I scribbled something slithery...but it just didn't seem all that original. I then piped up with the scorpion as an idea. I mean these little arachnids are amazing - deadly venom, glow in the dark (under UV), nocturnal, pincer grip enhanced, armour plated ninja carnivores of the critter world - the perfect jiu jitsu animal as far as I am concerned!
So here's my scorpion sketch:
and luckily the guys seemed to really love the Scorpy theme. But work was needed to get an F and a 4 to gel together - the letter and numeral had to incorporate red, white and black. Here are a couple of early efforts:
But I dunno, they just weren't happening. After a lot of discussion it seemed that taking the best elements of each of the above and crafting the one below, things clicked from there:
I then ditched the triangle, added a circle, and played around with where Scorpy should go...
The above design was just a bit. too Japanesey, traditional martial artsy, for a BJJ club but the F4 boys were getting incredibly excited as they felt that this was the direction to where they felt the logo should go.
Here's another variation (among about twenty I did):
So, the next stage was to add a red outer trim to the circle, remove the kanji and flags, soften up the F4 letters, use a more balanced font for the circular name and build Scorpy up using Illustrator (as he is below, naked).
The final result is the logo as show at the very top of the page. I also dropped in a few variations, such as this poster:
and finally the guys requested I send them one of my sketches, signed, to hang on the wall, so I scribbled up this little effort: