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ncdesigns's picture
190 pencils

Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Logo

...on a side note, I put my personal business card design on the shelf for awhile. I have no idea what I want to do with that...

This is a logo I'm working on for a client. CTA (Cross-Training Academy) is a local martial arts school that teaches Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The owner wanted a logo with a cartoonish-looking scorpion and a circle broken up into white, blue, purple, brown, and black sections to represent the five belt colors. The red triangle is the Grace Barra logo.

The owner requested that I do one with a gray scorpion and black outline, and another one with the colors reversed. I just wanted to get some constructive feedback from you guys.

Thanks, and a very Happy New Year to you all. :)

Commenting on this Image will be automatically closed on February 26, 2013.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

im saying this far too often these days. but when its true, its true - WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH GOING ON!

ncdesigns's picture
190 pencils

OK. Then, if you don't mind, could you explain how it's different from this: http://creativebits.org/last_soap_logo
...because that one didn't get any critiques that said there was too much going on.

Or this one, which got a lot of positive feedback:
http://creativebits.org/rockhill_trolley_museum

Or this one, which we all know and love:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/files/2012/10/starbucks-coffee-logo.gif

Or this one (which I kind of hate, actually):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3c/Juicy_Couture_Logo.png

Or pretty much any military emblem that has a lot of symbolic elements in it...
http://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logos/categories/military

The client has pretty much fallen in love with this concept so I won't be able to make any big changes to it before he has shirts and posters made, but I might change it around before adding it to my portfolio. That's the main reason I posted it here. I realize that it has a lot of "pieces", but so does the Starbucks logo.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

i dont think youre appreciating the full gestalt of the piece.

most of those you linked to all had components of the same general style. here you have a fairly organic scorpion. then there's the geometric elements. then some text (two different fonts). another small logo. some components are outlined and some functionally are not.

id start by simplifying the scorpion. you dont need every segment and every joint represented in order to convey SCORPION.

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

It's a job you can sell - meaning the owner of the ju-jitsu place will probably be fine with it as is. But you're asking for constructive feedback and I do see a lot of problems. It is too complex as WG noted - but it could be easily simplified. The scorpion could be simplified to just the body parts with no outlines and stylized more. The tail is totally wrong - it should have that distinctive scorpion curve to it and it should be fat at the body and thin at the stinger - not vice versa. That is the biggest problem imho - the scorpion looks like some kind of crab/insect/scorpion hybrid.

The color circle could also lose the outlines - I would rather see a complete circle too. Then maybe you could split the text between the top and the bottom or something. It needs to be reworked so it's easier to read and makes a larger impact.

So far as your links...
The soap logo is a reasonable comparison with the basic difference being the parts to the soap logo are more complimentary to each others than yours. The same style, iow.

Trolley museum - that was "printed materials" not a logo.

Starbucks - too complicated for me and apparently for them too because they have been simplifying it over the years. The one you posted is not in service anymore...

http://imjustcreative.com/starbucks-redesigns-the-siren-logo-an-illustrated-history/2011/01/05/

Juicy Couture - too complicated.

Military - not corporate. Two different ideas.

YoungZM's picture
792 pencils

Starbucks is an example of one of those brands who so closely monitors their design that it's actually quite beautiful. They've been trying to change their original mark for years but to maintain credibility they've done it slowly.

@OP, some of the marks you've posted represent successful vs. well designed marks. Ultimately what decides the fate of a brand becoming successful is the amount of advertising pumped into it. Even still, the JC logo doesn't resonate with me- if we want to look at another Fashion brand such as Coach, yeah- there's resonance.

I'll agree with the others about too much happening. While I get that the owner wants the belt system incorporated I feel that is the largest cluttering device at the moment. What's more important here? The ranking system of the journey? or the martial art? Not every training facility uses the same belt system, and not every potential trainee knows that a belt system exists. You want something that will appeal more to those interested without needless questions being asked. Scorpion? Cool, they're strong, they use a bit of grappling to subdue their enemies before they're hit. One of those instances of yes, give your client what he wants but definitely explain to him why something could work better for him. He hired you to be an expert in design and know what looks good and works well, not to be a pen tool he gets to move in illustrator.

Client advice aside, what is the logo between CTA - Gracie Barra? Is that the GB logo? Is there any way to treat that like a sponsor logo rather than incorporating it into yours? This is his logo, it should take precedence. Nothing wrong with respecting the organization you (client) belong to but I wouldn't think it demands logo placement when used in other dojos.

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

Two ways to look at the Starbucks issue - your way, or the "they should have done it years ago" way. I see your point on slow change, but I would have never done it like this. Just make the change and be done with it. People adjust a lot faster than we sometimes believe.

YoungZM's picture
792 pencils

Well the huge gaps between changes isn't exactly reasonable imo, they could change it much quicker than prior but they also seem to not only be simplifying it but modernizing it which is only possible using time-sensitive art styles. I guess they/ their customers are waiting for the right style to jump in on before they touch their collateral? Either way, I like how this is becoming more and more a proper logo than the illustration it started with. However, Apple's branding still represents the quickest "illustration to vector" change I've ever encountered with successful multinationals. It may be "visually updated" but the core shape (heh heh..) and concept is still the same. The change was drastic but wholly for the better.

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

IMHO, one of two things is happening... either the CEO is so in love with his old logo they're basically prying it away from him one step at a time, or their agency is bleeding them by claiming the change has to be slow and gradual. It's very expensive to remake a corporate logo in such widespread use as Starbucks - a rather young company, btw. So every change means their napkins, cups, vehicles, ads, etc... etc... have to reflect that change. That's one reason why logos need to be iconic and based on classic design principles rather than the design fad of the moment (web 2.0 anyone?) - because it's very time consuming and expensive to change.

So far as examples of quick drastic changes? Here's a much larger company making a much more dramatic change...

http://www.beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/bell_logos.html

YoungZM's picture
792 pencils

I find it marginally funny that they've pulled back to the '77 typographic branding too. It looks nicer.

Yes it does cost a lot but drastic changes like the one GAP made that didn't serve their brand hurt the company and waste just as much money- all agreed? The importance of focus groups here and really knowing your market I guess.

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

If Gap was seriously trying to redesign their logo - and not just get their name in the paper - then they f+cked up. Bad design is bad design. They have the cash to hire the kind of professionals who never would have let that logo hit the streets in the first place.

However - that brings up the obvious point - why did the logo NOT hit the streets? They never started the actual change - putting it on the stores, clothes tags, etc... Seems to me it was either a trial balloon (doubtful) or just a way to stir the media storm around them and get some free publicity.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

overall, the whole thing also just looks way too cartoony.

when i think "gracie jiu jitsu" i think of kind of an (and i hate to say this word) but "affliction" look...
grungy, distressed, angry. more "kick-ass!" - just more rough.

this looks like something id see on a saturday morning spider man / super friends cartoon circa 1974.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

it also seems to me that your image is suspiciously reminiscent of this:
http://sporeflections.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/scorpion2.gif

we all use web imagery for inspiration some times. but come on... dont make it THIS easy

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

Good catch, WG!

ncdesigns's picture
190 pencils

The client actually wants it cartoonish instead of grungy, I'm not sure why, but that's the look he asked me to go for. He sent me an image of a scorpion that he liked (the same one you posted, wg) and I did a rough sketch of it and then forgot about it. It may sound idiotic of me, but by the time the client got around to looking at the sketches, I had gotten distracted by a bunch of other things and had kind of forgotten about the image I drew my sketch from, and also didn't realize that mine was identical. I'll re-work it.

The client is set on the cartoonish look, an image of a scorpion, and the belt colors/sections. He's not set on having the GB triangle logo in there, though he did ask if I could fit it in there and wanted to see what it would look like. He likes it that way, but I don't think he's got his heart completely set on it. I'll see what I can do about changing his mind on some things.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

sometimes clients just get fixated and dead set on dumb ideas. you have to ask yourself whats best for where you are in your market / career:

1. continue to try to change their mind
2. tell them that you refuse to do bad design and they should find another designer
3. just give them what they want. cash their check and move on to the next client

the downsides of each are (in order)
1. getting a reputation for being hard to work with (as well as throwing away time you may not be able to bill for)
2. getting reputation for being a primadonna
3. becoming known for producing hacky design

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

#2 should never happen for any reason. I wouldn't even consider that option.

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

ive done it about 6 times in 20 years. several of them came back to me within a few months

Art D. Rector's picture
2970 pencils

So then it's true... you're a prima donna. :-)

wgzn's picture
1947 pencils

i have my moments ; )

qwertyale's picture
1943 pencils

the type are too small... there's no focus on main name, I expect something BOLD...

there's no need of another circle if you paint the scorpion's tail each segment with all that colors =)

—

yes I'm brazilian xD

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