My long time friend, a 3D-modeler, came to me for help creating a brand around bringing 3D applications to new markets, specifically modeling virtual model homes for real estate companies to show to potential buyers. I wanted to design a brand that would fit into whatever industry he wanted to get involved in, from real estate to game development.
My friend was inspired by the Japanese phrase mono no aware, which translates roughly into "the appreciation for impermanent things". He felt like this captured the essence of being a 3D artist, creating objects and environments that felt real but existed only as vectors and polygons. I suggested the name Monoware, which was a shortened version of the phrase and sounded like a software or tech company. He settled on Monoware Studios, and told me his vision for the brand: a sakura tree in a highly graphic, masculine style resembling a sports or video game logo.
Here is an MS Paint sketch my friend did of the logo he was thinking of, alongside references of logos he wanted to emulate:
With this input, as well as my own research, I came up with countless variations that boiled down into 3 categories: Professional, sporty, and a combination of the two.
It was clear to me which logo was the best one. Unfortunately, my friend and I did not have the same favorite designs. I set out to try to show him how my favorite logo, #2, was the most appropriate logo for his company.
Still not entirely convinced, he suggested we make a Google Forms poll to get other's opinions. The poll asked for respondents to pick their first, second, and third choices for the best logo. The poll did not tell people what the logo was for, since we wanted the company to be able to move easily between whatever industries interested him. I was very happy that the results of the poll decisively validated my own opinion that logo #2 was the most attractive. After seeing the results of the poll, my friend agreed to move forward with logo #2!
finally moving on
Now that we had a logo, I could get to work on delivering a style guide and creating brand assets for use on social media and letterhead. Overall, this was a very fun challenge and I am very pleased with the results!