In my family, we like the word “spin”. While the connotation of the word has certainly changed in recent years, I like to think that we were instrumental in applying it to fellow family members. Consider the statement “Aunt Josie sure spun Mikey’s one college acceptance as an example of his innate genius” as an example of “spin”.
That said, I could spin this project for you, dear reader. However, you have taken the time to read my meager portfolio write-up, so I in turn will be honest. This project unfortunately falls into what I am calling The Summer of Rejected Logos.
I generally take this kind of thing pretty well, and these logos are no different. If a client does not like my logos, either we fix them or worst case scenario, I post them on my site as I am doing right now.
However, as you continue to scroll, you might realize that these logos keep on going. Ten logos total and ten logo variants. A lot of work, coupled with two other logo projects that failed to come to fruition.
I would like to maintain that this is not a question of the logo’s themselves. Consider some of the unique challenges that face a logo designer trying to create a brand identity for both Australia and New Zealand…
One of the center’s focus is on studying Aboriginal and Maori culture, two peoples who never came into contact before colonialism. How then would you respectfully include both culture’s symbolic motifs into a modern logo?
I chose to pay homage to the Maori Koru spiral, and the Aboriginal dot patterns and concentric circles, and combined the two of them. In doing so I felt that most of these geometric logos were engaging and communicated on a higher level than most college logos.
Another idea was to take the shapes of the countries themselves and render them abstract. Whether realistic or heavily geometric, Australia always managed to dwarf New Zealand. I still love these two logos above and below— they consolidate the countries’ geometry in a tight package easy to replicate or iterate upon.
I also took advantage of the Southern Cross, which is the only unifying element on both New Zealand and Australia’s flag, barring the uniquely political Union Jack. I am told that ultimately, the southern cross itself was too political, to which I would argue that celestial objects belonged to Aboriginies and Maories just as they belonged to colonists.
My Art Director and I liked the shield the best out of all of them. It includes the southern cross that ties the two modern countries together, the mirrored pattern evokes Maori art, and the shape is reflective of traditional Aboriginal shields. In short, everything you could possibly want for an Australian and New Zealand logo.
Alas, the logo that was chosen was not even mine. I do not know the whole story, what actually went into the decisions that drove that choice. In some ways, I think it was a case of “The one too many”— that too many choices forces people to make bad ones. As always, a great opportunity and learning experience— the big takeaway being— don’t submit thirty logos to the client!