December 7, 2013


Here are the final three logo iterations, depending on the format, any one of the three could be used.


December 2, 2013

Below are the four close to final logo layouts for Global Coral. I’ve emphasized Global Coral on top as this is the organizations web address:  http://www.globalcoral.org with Reef Alliance on the bottom. The coral shape is a natural in the “O” in coral. I’ve repeated it again in one iteration below the NPO’s name. I believe given the circumstances of where and how it will be used, either iteration could work.




November 22, 2013

More Logo Experimentation

So in playing with the globe and surface lines, I started thinking that 2D might be the way to go here. In terms of scaling, legibility and sending a strong and global message, the 3D illustration threatens to become to much of its own thing without enhancing the organization itself.

Below are some variations on 2D that I decided to play with, a couple of sheets of color combo and adding the organization name to the winding surface of the coral…good for large format but not as much for scaling down to the App level. Another style sheet experimented with simplfying the logo and incorporating it with the organization name spelled out. Taking a cue from their website url http://globalcoral.org, I isolated “global coral” from “reef alliance” in this version to see how that would look.

What you see next is basically free association designing in search of an answer:

I first started to experiment with using a 2-tone coral surface as a way to convey growth. I still felt the need to tighten up the illustration in terms of breaking away from the literal illustration and getting it to look like more of a sphere, with I achieved with the warp tool and adjusting several of the perimeter coral pieces to fit the spherical shape. I then experimented with different crop views to see which part of the globe looked best as a “slice” after settling on favoring the top, I then set to releasing the compound path shape of the coral so I could type on a path. I adjusted the baseline shift to get the letters into the center of the coral surface and went back into the coral surface outlines with the pen tool to widen and smooth some of the less graceful lines that needed to hold the text. If this is the design I go with I’ll be doing quite a bit more cleanup as well. Finally I rotated and flipped the coral until I found the shape that sat best in the rectangular frame.


I thought it would be interesting to assign a color scheme to each region or country undertaking one of GCRA’s coral reef revitalization projects, and keep the graphic simple and clean. A group like Global Coral Reef Alliance needs to communicate to the widest range of cultures, languages and ideas, so while Helvetica might be a bit too bland (ha!), a simple, sans serif font seemed appropriate. I am still partial to the combination of lower and uppercase for the initials, but in this application, all lowercase seemed more appropriate, letting the organization take the behind the scenes role to the coral itself.


Here on the left I’m going down one rabbit hole for a potential logo incorporated into the organization name, and just going through different variations. I used a clipping mask to achieve the coral color inside “global coral” and played with position of the coral globe and frame size (click on the images to see larger). On the right I’m just playing with the 2-tone surface, the mixed case logo lettering, and one more “organic” font called KaesHandwriting (lower left) to see if it could potentially work in some fashion. Jury’s out, but it may be a little too playful for the mission.


November 17, 2013

Vector Logo Draft Variant

I’ve been playing with gradients on my logo illustration because I want to incorporate the idea that the coral reefs built by GCRA are constructed with an electrical current process that promotes continual active growth of the coral. I want to design something that gives the sense of  tangible living form grown from intangible yet dynamic current. Here is one variant I came up with while experimenting with the gradient tool on the different layers of my coral illustration; it definitely encouraged me to continue for a bit in this direction:


November 10, 2013

Vector Logo Drafts

So these first drafts are very much that….drafts. Trying to get the juices flowing here by getting the designs into vectors and on “paper”, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I originally considered fonts that would work integrated into the coral, but now looking at them as they stand on their own, I might want another font that’s a bit less whimsical for using outside the coral illustration.

GCRA Vector Logos_08






October 28, 2013

Original Sketch

Getting started, here’s the original scanned sketch of the logo of choice.

GCRA Logo Sketch_01

Adjusted Levels

Next step is to increase contrast adjusting the black and white levels


Image Trace

Next is Image trace…I adjusted threshold and noise to further simplify the image (not to be confused with simplify image after expanding).


Expand and Simplify

Once expanded to paths, I selected the outside paths of the logo and found areas with no fill and no stroke. I used the “find similar” command to have Illustrator find the rest, then got rid of these superfluous paths. That reduced the overall path count. I then also eliminated white in the expanded drawing, leaving only black, which further simplified the image. Finally I used the simplify command to finish off the expanded image.

GCRA Image TraceGCRA Expand and Simplify

Adding Type

I’ve been looking for a font that most resembles the organic look of the coral; so far I’ve found a couple of possible alternatives to Chalkboard on the website dafont.com

Next I’ve gotten to work warping and shearing the organization’s initials to wrap over the coral shape. Once I got something in the right ballpark, I started experimenting with how to stack the letters so they appear to stand up in relief like the coral.

GCRA Logo Warp

GCRA Logo Shear Angle with EnvelopeGCRA Exploring Type


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