Things to starting thinking about: Branding

What is my company? A diving training school, however I’m yet to decide whether that means scuba diving or springboard/platform diving. Either way, living in Plymouth gives me a head start with both of these topics as living by the coast, especially in the south west, there are a lot of avid divers. Yet Tom Daley, our Olympic diver is also from Plymouth meaning that could be a very representative path to go down. Either way, it would be very easy for me to collect any primary research I may need.

Things that relate? Icons? Semiotics? Water. Sea. Oxygen tank. Snorkel. springboard. Platform. Seabed. Fish. Buoy. Boat. Flippers. Diving suit. Posture. Waves. Goggles. Costume. Ladder.

Who is your target audience? Ideal user/client? Depending on the brand that gets chosen, my target audience will be wholly different. As I have to make 3 brands, I want to make them 3 very diverse ones. One that’s more upmarket, one that’s aimed at children and another that’s your everyday Joe brand. Ideally I would like to pursue the higher class brand as it’s something I’m yet to play around with and I’d like to see the different mediums I could create with this.

Do you need a statement? As statements go, it would be a good idea for me to think of one as it adds that bit more to a brand. Often brands are remembered by their tag-line and/or jingle. But, don’t get me wrong, I have no voice of an angel or any musical talent so I shall not be making a jingle for this brief, but it may be something consider in second year.

Where do I want the brand to go?  Flourish. I want this brand to be the best of it’s kind in it’s respected area. No if’s, but’s or maybe’s, I want to create a brand that suit’s individuals of all ages and abilities.

What relates to the company that I can print on? Do these prove that my brand marks work? Flyers, vouchers, membership cards, balloons, badges, business cards, landing page, books, sticky notes, letterheads, unifroms, etc.



When designing my mark I knew that I wanted something minimalistic, but I wanted to look further out than the Adobe font library. If this was a longer brief, I would possibly have designed my own font, yet I know I don’t have much time so this is unrealistic.

I began searching the web and free font foundries, but these didn’t offer much in a sense minimalist fonts. So I decided to look on Behance as this site has a lot of individuals from a range of creative backgrounds and I knew there would be some innovative fonts on there from young undiscovered designers whom will approach design with a new, innovative idea.

On Behance I discovered some amazing fonts, which I could use for a range of things, however I needed one that will match my fit so I had a pretty narrow target. I wanted a sans serif, geometric yet bold for which would easily match my mark and would give a corporate feel rather than an unprofessional one.

Here are some of the fonts I’ve found:

SomaticBuBuOld GrowthFredokaPhenomina

Phenomina came with a family of fonts which I could use throughout the branding and guidelines, ranging from light to extra bold. This would give me a really good range throughout my application as I can easily create


Presentation, final logo and crit


This is my presentation and throughout I explained my visions, ideas and outcomes. After presenting my three logos, it was clear to see the outright winner. My group of 8, and the other two groups, had a majority vote for the minimalist style whale which I was happy with as this was by far my favourite too. Although, after I explained the story of the seal and Little Flippers, Neil preferred this idea.

Crit comments: 

  • Think about the colour scheme, maybe change the colour of the whale and the font, or have them two separate colours.
  • The placement of the eye; try different places to make it ‘more realistic’.
  • The gap between the tail and body should be the same gap between the tail fins.
  • Name change; bad connotation of undercurrent.
  • The body is a little bulky.

With all the comments and suggestions I have a definite idea of where I need to progress and how I should do it. The crit wasn’t all bad, which I thought it would be, but that stems from the nerves of presenting and overthinking. Overall, I’m very happy with the result and the feedback I was given.


Famous brands that use animals

When you begin thinking about how many brands use animals, it’s astounding. You have the obvious ones such as Dove, Puma, Jaguar, Coco Pops and that’s a few to name the least. However, there are hundreds upon thousands of brands that use animals for their branding and some have an obvious connection due to semiotics, yet in others it can be rather difficult to find the connection.

With Neil we began looking at brands and their connotations, to start us thinking about our brands and the direction in which we want to take with semiotics. He had us sit in groups and for 8 minutes we had to list as many brands as we could that used animals as a logo. Kevin and I had a list of over 40 different brads, from Dove to Stork butter. As a class we went through the logos we had collected, and it was interesting to see whom had what. Taking into account each individuals different interests this added up into more brands than a lot of us even considered, which goes to show that when working as a group you always bounce off each other and learn new things.

Here is the list of brands we concluded:

  • Puma
  • Jaguar
  • Lloyds
  • Slazenger
  • Ferrari
  • WWF
  • Sea world
  • Holister
  • Stork Butter
  • Fox’s biscuits
  • Lacoste
  • Chameleon Pens
  • Nandos
  • American Mastercard
  • Polo
  • A&F
  • Build a Bear
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Peppa Pig
  • Jaegermeister
  • Kraken Whiskey
  • Paington Zoo
  • HMV
  • Whiskers
  • Penguin Books
  • Penguin Chocolate
  • Red Bull
  • Lion Bar
  • Frosties
  • Coco Pops
  • Corn flakes
  • Aussie shampoo
  • Birds eye
  • Camel Cigarettes
  • Haribo
  • Pom Bears
  • Fox’s Sweets
  • Mousetrap
  • Twitter

We were then asked to create a short presentation of why our chosen brands used the animals they did. Here’s what we found:




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Aquarium Visit

On Friday afternoon we took a wonder down to the National Marine Aquarium; Plymouth’s staple attraction. Here we were to take some pictures, videos and little sketches to begin generating ideas for our companies.

Drawing isn’t one of my strengths, especially not traditional drawing, but I am good at minimalist styling. Drawing is something I’ve always had a struggle with as I can throw out idea after idea, but sometimes I can’t quite portray it on a traditional medium. However, I am much better at drawing with a graphics tablet whether this comes down to the fact that no mark is permanent or you can mould the marks you have already made, I’m not sure, but I know that I’m a lot more skilled at this than I am drawing traditionally.

Here are some images and I did take some videos of movement which I shall upload onto my Twitter account. Again, I did some sketches just from these images which I don’t believe will progress into one of my concepts but they’ve given me direction nonetheless.

From this I now know which animals are do’s and don’t as well as knowing which artistic direction I want to move forward with. I think using minimalism will work well within this brief as it’s quite the trend within the graphic design world currently but it’s also very professional. The use of geometric shapes is where I want to land myself at the very end of this project.


Idea #2 – Little Flippers Diving School

Little Flippers Diving School is based in St Ives, Cornwall. When designing this logo I had in mind the fact it was for children as well as where it was based. St Ives is renown for it’s visiting seals and I thought this was very much representative of the seaside town and wanted to incorporate it into my design. But then I had the issue of making it simpler as it’s supposed to be a children’s scuba school so it has to be attractive to them as well.

I wanted to maintain the minimalist approach keeping with fewer colours and only a couple of shapes. This was my final logo:

Overall, this is cute and I imagine would attract children, but it could also be improved on. I could make it less geometric and improve the mark to type placement, but that’s all improvements to focus on if the logo is chosen by my peers.



Idea #1 – Undercurrent

Undercurrent Scuba Diving School based in Falmouth, Cornwall. This company has an established and professional approach as there is quite a lot of competition within Falmouth itself.  Cornish Diving School already has quite an impressive customer following, so whatever I designed had to be at an equal stand point baring in mind that this would be my main competitor.

I used the whale graphic I made during Matt’s animism session, but I made some slight modifications and after doing my own research I used a realistic colour scheme. The mark itself is a contemporary illustration with a modern feel which is a growing trend in today’s design world. The whale has a simplistic feel which won’t fade over the forthcoming years, it will always be representative and you can’t take that away.

Undercurrent diving school gets its name from the current of water below the surface moving in a different direction; it’s useful for divers as the undercurrent often helps with the divers movement under water. I thought this was a nice play on symbolism as it ties the name and the mark together.


Idea Development: 



Presentation slides inducing application, sizing and colour scheme:

The colour scheme itself is something I colour picked from the primary research I had conducted. I went to Falmouth, visited the beaches and got a feel of the  colours there. I took some pictures and then picked them using Adobe Capture which made the process 10x easier and faster, I then chose the colours I felt represented the brand best and included them.

Images and colour swatches: