Logo Rebuild #003- Pacific Blue Foundation

Welcome to the South Pacific….

Ready for another rebuild? Lets do it! This one has been a thorn in my side for sometime. Lets look at the original logo I was given:


Okay.. so firstly, let me explain how this all begins. So, in actuality, I am a Biochemist. I studied at UCSD and earned my B.S. in Biochemistry there. Shortly thereafter, I went to work as a Marine Biochemist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. I designed and built sea-going isotope filtration laboratories, worked in the lab on a variety of things including algae incubators and the such… good times, but not my true calling.

This logo for the Pacific Blue Foundation (PBF) is for my old boss, Greg Mitchell. The PBF logo you see above was designed by someone else; I was originally hired to make it better. On a small budget and even smaller timeframe, we ended up here:

Picture 6

I am not proud of this logo. I do not love it and do not think it is very appropriate for the client and their mission in the South Pacific, specifically in Fiji. That being said, it was a step above the original but the problems are numerous:

  1. Fiji and the culture they are trying to preserve, is one of hand-crafted expertise. Traditional boats are hand carved. Masks are hand carved. everything is organic in nature. This logo is none of that.
  2. This boat – is NOT a boat that looks much like anything specific to Fiji.
  3. Black… what is black doing in something that is supposed to be organic?
  4. line quality – looks pretty clean to me, this says nothing about ‘hand-made’ at all.
  5. This non-profit is committed to creating a sustainable balance between the people and the environment. The environment is represented, but what about the people?

So those are the tip of the iceberg. PBF used this logo for the last 6 months or so… I am not happy with that.

SO, when PBF came to me to redesign I was more then happy to ablige!

Then, I was told once again, that another artist has some concepts… now I don’t mind working with other artists and designers, but I once again heard alarms going off – the first logo was the product of fixing an existing concept, now I had to do this again?

God help me.

Here is a sample of the concepts I was given:

Picture 1Well… these are pretty rough. Thank God for that! Given that fact, I felt comfortable grabbing a few of the design ideas presented here and running with them.

At least we have a baseline to go with. The reality though, is this a traditional Fijian boat and it is supposed to be moving through the ocean. Where is the captain?

Not only do we need someone to steer the boat, but Pacific Blue Foundation’s tag line is “Sustaining Reef Communities” which, again points to people.





The first step in this redesign is to draw the boat. In the image below, you see on the left the vector version of the boat; on the right, is the same vector graphic with a brush applied to the outline. The goal here is to emulate the hand-crafted nature of traditional Fijian products made by the communities that PBF is working to help.

Boat Drawing

So, Now that we have that handled, we need to consider the context in which this organization operates, their goals, their audience, all that great stuff. Their tagline sort of says it all: “Sustaining Reef Communities” – as an island nation, the livelihood of the traditional culture revolves around the ocean – the ocean is the source of their successes and conserving it is the key here. Being a tropical paradise also lends itself to the notion of  ’sun and surf’. We need the logo to appeal to those who will potentially be donating to the cause, those who have this idealistic vision of the South Pacific and want to see it conserved.

The resulting icon, then, does the job well:

PBF iconHere, we have effectively carried across the hallmarks of the Fijian Culture, the outside perception of the South Pacific, the hand-crafted look and feel, the sun, the ocean, the fight – that is the analogy of the solo man vs. the sea… we have done it all. AND – we have created something that not only feels appropriate to those benefiting from PBF’s services, but also appropriate to those donors interested in supporting the cause.

Also of great importance is the fact that this iconic element of the logo is memorable and unique – always important to a brand.

Now for the letter type. Rather then overwhelm you with another 5 pages of details on how this came about, lets just summarize. We know the rules, you can find them in this post here: the rules governing the perfect logo.

So, we apply all of those, bring in the colors, the textures, address the kerning and spacing issues, get it all together. Here is the result:

PBF final logo
Sweet. Now, lets see this logo put to use. Again- EXTEND THE BRAND. This means that the collateral the website – everything - will be directed by the specific qualities of the logo. spacing, colors, line thickness and quality… EVERYTHING!

Here is some of the initial collateral:


And the website, which is still under construction:



18 Responses to “Logo Rebuild #003- Pacific Blue Foundation”

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