Balanced Bodies is a Pilates studio in Zurich. The owner, Lynn Watkins, asked me to do some work for her on her logo and various other aspects of the presentation of her business such as business cards, flyers, graphics for the web, etc. The project was probably one of my more extensive "hobby" projects with graphics. Therefore I decided to dedicate a fairly large section to showcase the various steps of the process, as well as all the various alternatives we played with during the design process. I also wrote some general information about Pilates and her business here.
Please note that this business has now changed its name to Symetris Pilates. The old website still exists and the information is still provided here for historical purposes.
We begin this section by looking at the overall design goals that went into the logo. Since the logo is often the building block of the rest of the graphic concepts for the business we decided to concentrate our efforts there first.
Before starting we had to define the overall principles that would guide the design process. Pilates is a form of exercise where precision and control are of paramount importance. Any graphics should be clean and crisp and should convey a message of simplicity and purity. Fonts should be uncomplicated, widely spaced and blend in with the graphics to the point where they are integrated into the design, but not dominant. Light, soft colours would be favoured over dark colours, and contrast and fading colours would be used where possible rather than complicated colour schemes.
As with any logo design it should be simple, and adaptable to a range of different sizes, aspect ratios and colour situations (such as black and white, grey scale, spot colours, and full colour. It should be able to be effective across a range of different resolutions ranging from the web right up to flyers and maybe even posters. The logo itself should be attractive both as a centrepiece, as well as having the ability to still look important when sitting somewhere in the background. It should both attract attention when required and blend in and complement other elements in other situations.
Now that we knew what should be done, the next step was to think of a concept for the graphical element of the logo itself. A logo with just text could have been an option, but would be unlikely to attract as much attention. Pilates is a type of exercise which involves putting the body into various poses, though the poses are very different to yoga, and should convey more of a sense of power than the typical stretching poses seen in yoga. Some sort of silhouette of one of these exercises seemed like the logical choice. Another part of the process is looking to existing logos for inspiration. A key point with Pilates is that it always involves the body, and sometimes machines. Machines aren't very interesting to portray in a logo, so sooner or later all the options always came back to the same thing - the human body should be paramount. One major source of inspiration was the logo from Equilibrium Pilates in Cape Town, where Lynn completed her instructor training.
At this point it seemed like the only choice which would meet all of the design goals was to go with the silhouette idea.
In the next section we will build the basic silhouettes for the logo...
» Read about the next stage in » "Logo step 1: Getting down to business"