The logo design and illustrations shown here are part of the Great Goteley Wood branding. They had begun making charcoal, so wanted a logo and icon designs created to go onto their charcoal bags. There was a fairly broad brief, which I got to experiment with, to provide a number of varied options for. Therefore narrowing down what they were after.
After some further brainstorming and throwing a few more ideas around, we settled on the designs shown on this page. We felt that the natural feel of the illustrations worked well for what they were after. Once the design was settled on for the logo, I then began designing icons to portray the characteristics of each wood type.
Great Goteley Wood Branding
Great Goteley Wood’s brand identity, which consists of the logo design and illustrations, uses vector imagery created in illustrator. Vectors allow everything to be reproduced clearly at any size. I always ensure that the quality is perfect, no matter where the logo is used. The illustrations needed to look more natural and hand-drawn. It is often a challenge to create digital artwork that looks natural, due to the nature and precision offered by digital.
For the font, I used ‘Bonzer – San Francisco’ for its clean lines and subtle hint at spaghetti western styles. The small details help the text to flow around the circular designs and add a little extra detailing.
The banner designs were added to enhance the other line work but stay relatively clean. We felt that these framed the owl rather nicely and gave the text a nice area to sit within – while reinforcing the overall circular shape.
I achieved the natural appearance of the illustrations by drawing each line by hand using my graphics tablet. The varied line weight was achieved by using a combination of custom illustrator brushes and playing with the line-weight settings to enhance the tapered edges to each stroke. I carefully edited the line weight of each stroke to draw attention to the prominent features and allow more breathing space for the more detailed areas.
The owl was based on a few photographs of tawny owls. I gathered a lot of references which were combined to ensure I got the characteristics correct, while enabling the illustrated owl to fit well within the circular area between the logo text.
The client also requested that oak leaves were incorporated into the logo illustration. The initial idea was to have the owl sitting in an oak tree. After trying out a few ideas, I quickly realised that this would not read clearly at smaller sizes, as the owl would end up too small to notice within the tree. Due to this, I instead illustrated an oak tree branch with a few leaves and acorns for the owl to perch on.
The emblem designs
I created the emblems in a style matching the logo. That meant that they would look hand drawn and deliberately a little rough around the edges. The designs needed to portray the key words or selling points of each type of charcoal.
After doing some research and gathering a number of different reference images I then began drawing out the line work and filling in the details. Working on all of them in the same document (using artboards), allowed me to refine and tweak them so that they all had a consistent appearance. Often when you design icons in separate documents you can end up with inconsistencies.
GGW website design
I have just finished creating the website for Great Goteley Wood and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used WordPress for this site, so that we could easily increase the functionality with an online shop and other nifty features as the business progresses. At this stage they just need a nice looking site to give some info about the woodland management and their charcoal products.
I decided to use a one page design for the homepage with an animated and interactive loading screen, that filters down into full-page sections for each of the main categories for the site. I thought that this would be a good way to quickly highlight the key aspects, allowing the user to easily find out more information in the sections they were interested in. There are a number of ways that the homepage sections can be navigated to – scrolling & small side links to make it super easy to navigate.
The main navigation menu is automatically hidden, using the standard ‘burger’ icon to reveal the menu full screen for easy access. These links actually take the visitor to more informative pages with full information and highlights of each site section.
You can watch a quick video on how the site functions below, or better yet, actually visit the working site here.
The main purpose of the new logo and emblems was to use them on the charcoal bags’ packaging designs and to fit within the Great Goteley Wood Branding. After trying a number of suppliers, we settled on a size and style of bag, which I could create the packaging artwork for. There are a number of things which should be considered when creating packaging. The most important is sizing and safe areas. Due to the way bags are folded and sealed etc these need to be taken into consideration so that the info and designs are clearly visible to the customer. The second is the style/colour of the packaging. As the charcoal bags were brown paper, the artwork needed to stand out clearly on a dark colour. Luckily the intention was always to go for a simple and clean black only design which works great.
In addition the other designs I also illustrated the different branch and leaf types fo each wood used. We felt that this would enhance the differences between the types of charcoal, while also providing a little extra visual interest to the packaging.
I was very fortunate to get a sample of the Hornbeam charcoal, so had quite a few BBQs with friends. It was really nice to be able to try the product, which gave me a little boost of inspiration. And it cooked our food beautifully 🙂
Alternate logo designs
I thought I’d show a few of the additional concepts for the Great Goteley Wood branding and logo design. Check them out below…