Designing the Marina Studios logo

Published Thursday 13th of February 2014 by Obe Arif

What do you need?

As with any creative brief, the first step is always to understand what the client actually needs.  It's fine if the client doesn't have a creative direction in mind, but I need to understand what they are actually trying to achieve.  In this case, I walked away from the initial meet with the following in mind:

- This logo must work at any size
- It needs to suggest water / marina
- It must work on clothing, signage and stationery

So really, a pretty open brief which needs me to come up with a starting point...


This is really simple - look at competitors, similar industries, and in this case pay a lot of attention to a host of previous work completed for the same client.


With time on my side, I like to take very basic hand drawn sketches, simple Photoshop mockups and ideas for fonts & colours to the client - this way they can be part of our team and remain involved.

Without time on my side, I had to fast-forward to something a little more tangible. Here are some of the concepts that were presented, ready to be picked apart and put back together:


What stood out more than anything was the concept of the wave. By the time of the concept presentation, this was the design that I had thought about the most but developed the least. It had met all the criteria and achieved this subtly:

- The wave represents water / marina
- This organically looks like an "M" for "Marina"
- Blue is a natural choice for a logo representing water
- This looks the same when scaled down considerably


Lots of small tweaks and subtle adjustments got us from concept to a stronger, bolder logo that made for a very happy client. This specific production and feedback process was relatively straightforward, concentrating on the simpler aspects of the design:

- Colours
- Gradients
- Fonts
- Scale and balance

If you want to know a bit more geeky detail about how this logo was actually produced, you can view my "Marina Studios logo production" blog post.

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