By Amanda Guy -- Our Designer
We live in a mountain town and we work with companies in mountain towns, therefore, mountains, mountains, and yes, more mountains! Lisa and I laugh about this a lot:
"In what way will you be drawing mountains today, Amanda?"
"How many mountain ranges have you drawn to date?"
"Let's consult the mountain archive shall we?"
I suppose if we are going to work at a creative agency, live in a mountain town, and work with clients in the outdoor industry, we better be able to draw mountains. Plus we better be able to to figure out a way to make them all look different in some way.
When I first started at Wheelie, I felt like my mountain drawing skills were weak, and lacked any kind of unique style. I wasn't really sure how to make a 2D mountain look 3D, or how to shade in just the right spots, but eventually, after copious drawings of these majestic figures, I got in the groove of mountain design.
With so many businesses coming to us for branding help and graphic design, we know that we have to come up with something fresh and interesting. Something that catches your attention but doesn't look exactly like the last logo we've designed.
We also have clients in different states, like Utah, Colorado, and Idaho, where mountains play a huge role in the outdoor industry as well.
Since I live in the Flathead Valley, and have looked at the mountains around here since the day I was born, I have a pretty good idea of what the ranges looks like and am easily able to implement them into graphic design for local businesses. I can see the ski runs on Big Mountain in my sleep and know exactly what the Mission mountains look like and can visualize the peaks of Glacier. So when we get a job from out of state, I have to let the research begin!
Mountains don't always have to be realistic and super detailed
A great example of why mountains don't have to be specific or detailed is the Glacier Cyclery jersey pictured above. When we spoke with Ron and Jan about the jersey and what the imagery needed to be, she told us to be creative and to not feel like realism needed to be a factor.
When it comes to logo design, sometimes less is more. I've seen logos with a lot going on in them, and logos that are simply an initial or small graphic. This isn't to say that the logos out there that have a little more going on in them are wrong, it's just something that we've run into in the past where sometimes it pays to keep it simple.
We have had many inquiries to take logos and simplify them. A lot of the reason for this is because when you embroider logos onto fabric, your brand identity will retain its full shape and appearance if it is simple. Even when we design a more complex logo for a client, we typically make a simpler version as well for engraving, embroidery, and so on.
Mountains & The Columbia Falls Project
When O'Brien Byrd of Columbia Falls approached us about his town branding project, he and his crew had some specific imagery in mind to represent the town.
#1 - The River
The Flathead River is a huge draw for the community. River's Edge Park offers local a great place to play on its shores, and of course it's beautiful area to float, especially since it's flowing straight from Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
#2 - The Mountains
Columbia Falls just happens to be the Gateway to Glacier, and as such, it is nestled just below Columbia and Teakettle mountains.
As you can see above, the look of the mountains, in the final logo style choice, changed quite a bit from Round 1 of the branding development. These clients wanted to keep the logo simple and reflective of Columbia Falls, but they really wanted the mountain imagery to represent the ranges that truly surrounded them. With Glacier right there, it was difficult to decide on which mountains should be stylistically represented, or if they should just simply be mountains, of no name, location, or importance.
Really, any mountain we drew could represent a mountain range or peak nearby. In the end, they chose to officially go with Columbia Mountain as the main graphic. As a mountain that lacks jagged edges, or the roughness of most mountains, we wanted to come up with a way to show the true shape, but to accentuate it ever so slightly to give it that "rough around the edges" feel that the town related to.
The final logo has been received very well and we could not be more stoked about how this project turned out.
A Look into the Project:
I hope you get out in whatever mountains surround you this weekend. See you next week!
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
This is where we showcase fun stuff-- new work, case studies, weekly updates, job openings, and general awesomeness from members of the Wheelie Crew.
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