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Dar-es-Balat Dig Team

Brief:  a logo for a fictional archaeological expedition to the ruins of Dar-es-Balat on Arrakis, from Frank Herbert's Dune universe 

Concept: a central image, surrounded by the name of the expedition and the names of the participating entities. The overall shape is usually is circle but not always:

The first and fourth swipes below are also for fictional expeditions; both have been made into embroidered patches:

Colors: the brown of the desert sands of Arrakis; I was also inspired by the rich coffee browns of Ellina's Starbucks project. Also blue for the sky and the spice melange. King Tut has a good combination of these colors. I also noticed a lot of orange here.  I am envisioning this logo against a heather-grey t-shirt. 

Composition: I am finding this to be the most challenging part of the project. Most of the central images in the Concept swipes look too cartoonish to me. I was a little inspired by the curves of the sand dunes I found while looking for colors. I like the clean, geometric lines and that look also goes well with the scientific/technical nature of the expedition:

Typography: The Dune universe, and Arrakis in particular, are Arabic-inflected. What I need is a kind of "reverse-Arabizing"; an English font that has the look of Arabic. I don't know yet how this will affect readability or the scientific look of the text. At the least, I think I am looking at a sans-serif, rounded font. 

Colophon: I did this entire project on the ipad. Images were saved to the Photos app, and then I organized them in Picasa using the Best Photos app (Best Photos did crash once which wiped out my project upload). I made the composite shots by taking screenshots of the Best Photo albums and then editing them in Photos before uploading. Inspiration was provided by the album Arabic Groove

Sketches: These are all over the place. I found it useful to sketch out specific parts of the logo as well as the overall design. Especially the typography since that is the most problematic. 

What I learned about my project:

- I am sticking to an overall circular shape

- the "Arabic style" typography does not work; I will be going with a serif font

- the central image will incorporate the curved dune shape in a simple graphic

What I learned about the process of sketching:

- it is good for working out individual aspects of a design as well as the whole

- it is just as useful in showing what doesn't work as in showing what does

- hand sketching a font makes me pay attention to details I otherwise would have missed (eg the serifs on the capital T in Artifika slant in opposite directions)

Final Logo Sketches:

Here is the base logo:

This variation includes the moons of Arrakis ("the Second Moon"):

This one has some extra elements to take up the empty space between text elements:

I'm pleased with the central image, and the font (Artifika). I now understand Genevieve's caution about wrapping text. Something needs to be done with the extra white text, either decorative elements or additional text (eg the expedition year of AG 15525). Also, there could be something different between the lines of the inner and outer circles (eg, different line thickness, single line vs. double line, etc.). 

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