I find it interesting that there is a distinct difference in logos that include the very industry they represent. In many cases a logo will have a focused graphic, such as an acronym, and a supplemental line of typography to expound on the product or service that’s represented (like the logo for the USPS, for instance). In the case of The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society, the challenge was to present an identity that would not abandon all of the words that make up such a lengthy title, but to incorporate them. This would inherently cause the logo to become more of a crest or seal with so many details in a small area, resulting in it becoming drastically less effective at a smaller scale. The fact that the client is itself an institution however helps alleviate that obstacle. It was also considered that the logo, in the case of this client, would not necessarily need to be visible at a small scale often, further reducing the burden of designing a mark that included so many characters. Even in the case where the logo was to be presented at a small scale, the concept holds in that the letters are meant to symbolize insects themselves, which are, by their nature, tiny.
In the end, the logo veered more and more away from any graphical representation of insects, which seemed expected or hackneyed, and more towards an abstract interpretation. That abstraction allows the letters themselves to exhibit the entomological field’s most famous introduction, it’s most classic mainstay: an insect collection. With so many characters in the client’s name, considering each one of them like a firebug, a dragonfly or a bumble bee allows a release from the problem that there are too many letters in the logo and rather embraces the idea that insects are intrinsically multitudinous. With the choice of Disturbance, an insectile and quirky typeface, arranged in a matrix strengthened with a graphical frame, the branding has turned what was once a potential problem in the design into a relevant feature.
One of the paths I took along the way with the brand for The Baird was to attempt distancing the collateral from favoring any one species of insect, or even one kind of insect. With the palette however, it was a matter of either distancing myself from the beautiful colors one can find in the world of insects or embracing them. Some of those colors just seemed iconic enough to renege on the former choice, and so I chose a Monarch Butterfly, as well as its pupa caterpillar phase as an inspiration for color palettes and patterns. Extending into collateral as well, this palette is wide enough to parallel with many varieties of insects, allowing for the diversity that was originally intended.
I wanted to explore how The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society could exhibit their identity through collateral. The poster and brochures below continue the notion of letters as insects as a device, reinforcing the concept behind the logo as well as the brand overall. The letters that scurry playfully across the poster are an indicator of swarming insects. Forms that bleed off the edge promote these tiny living letters as pervasive, as if they surrounded the viewer, supporting not only the fundamental metaphor, but also the content of the poster which suggests insects’ pivotal contribution to nature globally.
The images of insects on the brochures are both pleasant enough to attract new membership, children and visitors, while subtly suggesting a correlation in form to their respective title letters. Once again, the more The Baird can parallel a letterform with the shape of an insect they’re sustaining their brand. Finally, a wide contrast in scale found in all collateral again reinforces the fundamental beauty of the Lilliputian.
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Here is a collection of later process images that show the path to the final design and elements. The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society was an enjoyable project for me, and as I always say (because I’m the one choosing the very content of these brands) I wish I could continue the exploration of refining this client’s identity, but we’re already on to another beautiful thing this month.
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