Thursday, November 18, 2010

Logo Design: MMA Headquarters (MMA HQ)

It's interesting when my clients ask me about my other interests, because it opens a whole lot of creative avenues. Most probably, after seeing my online photos about my passion for BodyCombat®, which is a Martial-arts inspired workout designed by Les Mills International, and being an instructor myself, a regular client of mine asked me if I was into "martial arts, karate, MMA (mixed martial arts) ?" I never received any formal training in any martial arts, but in BodyCombat® you get exposed to various disciplines despite being a non-contact activity, mixing everything into one dynamic cardio workout. I said "in a way, yes…" and this inadvertently plunged me into another creative project: I have to create a logo for an MMA website.

The brief was pretty straightforward. MMA Headquarters (or MMAHQ) is a website that obviously caters to MMA enthusiasts with a demographic of 15-35 years old individuals. They intend to sell MMA-related products and feature a blog discussing product deals and events. They were open to several ideas: "fighting related elements, icons, silhouettes, other metaphors." The logo needed to have an icon or a scalable element that can be used independently of the words but still maintain the brand Identity. In their words: "what the Nike Swoosh accomplishes on its own." (a request, almost every client I had always remarked ;-P) Having been involved in MMA inspired artwork, I somehow have an idea of what they wanted. A quick Google search of MMA-inspired logos will show you what I mean.

I focused on creating an icon, this time working on a clever graphical way of combining "H" and "Q" since it is these two letters that set MMAHQ apart from other competing websites. Drawing inspiration from a logo I made for my old BodyCombat® team, I made the following sketches:

The client provided a very informative feedback:

Maybe like a clean grunge, if that's not a total contradiction. Like discipline amidst the grunge, if that makes sense. Like more jagged edges than sloppy, messy ones. I'd almost want to say there's a bit of military influence; I've seen so many board shorts and t-shirts that have camo or camo-like patterns. There's also a bit of a hip hop element; not too much but a bit of graf influence I think… but if you look at the fonts they use they are always super durable... Like you put all the fonts together and let them fight it out and the really strong one emerged victorious. Tempered by steel/tested by fire. It's still sort of Gladiator-esque in a way, but still trying to gain legitimacy as a new sport, so that's why I'd say it's not quite as grungey...grunge being sorta not caring about anything, MMA being more hyperfocused on a goal and defying human odds to get there

The client was very excited with these previews and almost immediately, we decided to develop the ideas to their vectorized format:

With almost little editing, the logos were finalized as what you will see in their website. On a side note, not entirely unrelated to this post, and with the fact that my birthday is nearing, I would just like to say that if anyone gift me with this or this, I would love you forever…

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