If it’s anything I’m gathering about insects, from a visual point of view, it’s their natural symmetry and the segmentation of their bodies that really define them. From the Greek “entomos,” insect means “that which is cut in pieces or segmented.” Even though I’ve been waiting a long time to write the etymology of entomology, it makes sense to bring the nature of the study into the logo of the brand.
So immediate experimentation with this concept allows for a large bulk of ideas and forms. But I don’t necessarily want the logo to look like an insect, necessarily. By definition, the segmentation of insects is based on three distinct divisions of their body, and I find that to be an interesting opportunity for structure to the logo. However, the name of the client is technically four words long, so there would have to be some acceptable categorization of copy or a means to somehow alter the tri-segmentation concept with something else, most likely a graphic.
That’s one direction. The other direction I’ve had draws me closer to the concept that The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society isn’t really about insects at its core, it’s about the study of insects. The most common, popular and, one might even say fun method of studying bugs is the classic insect collection. The most pleasing of which is most probably the butterfly collection. This got me thinking that even though the society is full of scientists who may or may not incorporate or count entomology as a part of their full-time careers, at its heart, the society is about exalting insects.
I also think that, in a strange way (because when I began this project I was fully prepared to do tons of drawings of feelers and wings and spiny legs), I feel like representing an insect in the logo doesn’t quite capture the true spirit or virtue of what is being branded, which is the society itself. Singling out an insect, or even an entire order of insects like Lepidoptera, you’ll be excluding hundreds of millions of other insects which are a part of the field and study. One may not think outwardly that an ant is all that different from a beetle, and in a lot of respects it isn’t, but to an entomologist, the primary targets of the brand the differences would be vast.
I went digging through my files and books, looking for inspiration and appropriate fonts for use in the brand and I came across an unusual experimental face by Denis Dulude of 2Rebels. It’s called Un (as in the number one in French) and it seems to be a frankensteining of a sans serif and a script font, giving an appeal of messiness and schizophrenia. Something I also found interesting about it was its bug-like quality—not necessarily the top-down perfectly symmetrical diagrammatic form of a bug, but an unassuming little life perching on a leaf somewhere. If a grasshopper was a letter, with its extended hairs for antennae, it’s awkward and strong spring loaded hind legs and its comfortable squatting body just listlessly chewing on a bit of greenage, it might look a little like a captial R from this typeface. And that got me thinking that all letters are a little like insects. There’s an extensive classification system, there are variations galore, there are surprising and inhuman qualities to them…and they’re small. They’re not always small, but when we see them, they’re usually in the same size group as insects.
Dulude gave me an idea I’d like to attempt exploring before I run out of time here this month: The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society doesn’t need any depictions of insects in it at all, because it’s got enough insects in its name already. What we can do to make meaning with that leap however, is the true core to its branding.