It's wonderful when clients seek you out because a previous work impressed them and somehow fit the particular style they needed for their logo. Cam McCulloch saw the Art Deco style I did for Savoy Special, a rock and roll band based in Houston, Texas. Cam wanted to have a similar illustration and text for their seaplane company called "Flying Fish Aircraft Company". She shared ideas on how it could look like would like, one of which would have a flying fish with propellers on its back "like an airplane " coming out of the water. Cam provided me with reference pictures.
Another thought would be to use two F's in flying fish back to back some how to make wings. I did some research again about art deco design particularly how it represented aircrafts and fishes, and similar themes. I promised her 3 initial drafts for the logos and I came up with the following conceptual sketches.
The first one utilizes the two F's, forming the outline of the seaplane. It is a very simple design and can be framed in a numerous ways as shown in the variations. The second one invests on the idea of a flying fish-plane hybrid, and basing much from the reference pictures provided, the illustration was executed in art deco style, combining the dynamism of the fish and the sophistication of the plane. Again it can be framed in many ways, and various options for embellishments such as waves or splashes may be added. The final concept is again a flying fish-plane hybrid, but this time, executed in a simpler manner, flat from the lateral perspective.
Promptly after submission, Cam commented that the "Flying Fish" name of the company seems not to be working as a text in the initial drafts, and requested to use "Riley Seaplane Company" instead, executed in a more art deco inspired font. She liked the hybrid concepts and decided to steer the design development process towards that direction. The name "Flying Fish" would then be redundant, if an illustration using a flying fish would be use. Cam reminded me about the rejected design concepts I did for Savoy Special, particularly the wing concept and asked if it can somehow be incorporated in the design. It was of course possible, and presented an interesting opportunity. Before doing vector work, I made another sketch for final approval:
Cam really liked the design, and provided me with more reference pictures to incorporate in the design, specifically making the fish more detailed and framing options. After a suggestion of adding waves in the frame, the design so far was this:
And after much deliberation, we decided to tone down on the waves and settle with this final design:
This design was truly a collaborative work, and as a designer, I was very glad to have been able to realize the design the client wanted. Designers sometimes are frustrated with clients who seems too controlling of the creative process, while at the same time failing to communicate what they truly want, and sometimes, changing their mind incessantly. Not with Cam, whom I enjoyed working with. It is very rewarding to conclude projects with very satisfied clients.