13 Dec 2010

F4...creation of an academy logo and mascot

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:
I drew a hog because Arkansas's adopted state animal is the Razorback - the nickname given to a feral pig - pretty vicious creatures they are too! But although they loved the look, it was too closely associated with the University razorback logo, so we went looking for another creature...

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):

The logo above was definitely what the F4 members liked the most but just needed to remove and tweak a few elements for perfection.

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).
Scorpy was coloured all sorts, from tan to blue but we all agree grey worked best and red, somehow, made it look too lobster like!

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:

This project was such fun to do and an honour to be part of a new academy brand creation. Good luck to the F4 crew, I wish them every success in the future and trust the fighters will wear their Scorpy F4 patches with PRIDE!


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


fenix said...

Interesting stuff. I do all my dabbling with Photoshop, but I might just have to start playing around with Illustrator.

Thanks for posting.

Liam H Wandi said...


Anything more advanced than a clickity-pencil is too advanced for me. Very impressive dude!

Meerkatsu said...

Wow, thanks!

André said...

That last one is absolutely great.

Steve Spencer said...

Seymour, your logo's are absolutely sick (and I mean sick in the good way :)

Stunning creativity, even at just the pencil sketch stage. I have considered trying to do a little bit of logo work, but after seeing your work I am so utterly humbled I don't know if I can work up the effort to try :)

I'd love to know how open you are to doing contract logo work. Just stunning!!

Meerkatsu said...

Wow Steve you're so kind with your comments, I'm really flattered. I'm certainly open to considering logo/mascot project ideas. My schtick is the whole angry/mad/cheeky animals theme, which luckily for me, most MMA and BJJ academies seem to like adopting in some form or another. So sure, if you have contacts, send them my way and we can split the fee. You have my email.

slideyfoot said...

Very cool: I wish I had that talent for drawing, and indeed logo design.

I'd like to see more wimply terrified animals in BJJ logos (e.g., like this logo for the SBG Estonia fight team). BJJ anthropomorphic animals always seem to be scowling and trying to look tough, which doesn't really fit how I see BJJ, squashed underneath side control. ;)

Meerkatsu said...

Well I can do smiling animals too, but scared..hmm gonna have to work on that one.

Junior Familia said...

verrry nice seymour!
you are a pretty talented dude!


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