The monster logo

IdentityThe monster logo

The monster logo

As part of the favourit team responsible for the visual, it was my charge to draw the line in the sand and state where we stood. So an identity was set into motion.

First things first; the logo.

Altruism was my interpret for favourit. This was what i felt should be the Arctic icebreaker attached to the bow of our proverbial ship. ‘Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of ‘others’ toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.’ Wikipedia. But in practice the percieved truth is that altruism is akin to perfection; unattainable. The quest for altruism is where the meaningfulness could be achieved.

What if you could use a product to position itself to enable this want to help your fellow man in simple ways. Not every act need to change the world but just to help can be just as much of an effect when passed on from one person to another. Unselfish behaviour spreads through society in a way that most benefits the “hubs” in the network.


The research i took for the basis of the logo favourit employs is this:

Akio Iwagami and Naoki Masuda at the University of Tokyo have simulated the way upstream reciprocity spreads through a network when the behaviour gradually dies out. It turns out that the type of network is crucial for ensuring the spread of the behaviour. In heterogeneous networks like those that most societies seem to form, upstream reciprocity seems to spread successfully.

So the moral of the story is that if you want to benefit from altruistic behaviour, do two things. First, trigger altruistic cascades by performing many acts of unselfish behaviour. Second, become a hub with lots of links to other individuals.”

The visual keys came the hub pattern of diagram E from this image:


To me the connective tissue that this image evoked was a great direction to start putting the foundation in place to where we can build the identity and lay markers to hopefully evolve a brand. So the research pointed a way for me and then the decisions of fulfil the journey.

The gathered the data on our potential target demographic, looked at competitors and what conventions lay in the current platforms. Thresholds low and returns high seems standard but the contrast was that information seemed trivial and meaningless until pared with people we assigned credentials to. The one thread focused the meaning of the visual metaphor.

This is a young startup with strong feelings and a definite vision. The colours needed to be vibrant, energetic and warm. The tone had to be playful and engaging while countering the almost aggressive shape dynamics that the altruism matrix allowed the logo. This would be a chance to work at complexity in logo design and whether the visual construction alone was enough to make this not just another logo failure.

Visualising the right form on whether this would be a graphic with text or whether i would set myself the task of pulling a font form from the matrix became clear from the outset. The logo was demanding, it wouldn’t let itself be diminished to a graphic that served to work in unison with the textural component. The name was the communication and it needed to be said commandingly and confidently and this was only going to happen if it was said through the voice of the altruism matrix. So that’s what happened.


When I was confident I had the story right in my own head. I brought the thinking and design to the rest of the team. The reaction was a slow burn. The discussions resolved around the topics that i thought would arise. “Is it too aggressive, too feminine, too masculine or too construction-like” After some time and looking at how i thought about different colours and softening the approach we came back to the original design.

In implementation the logo doesn’t easily fit in my own designs. It almost intimidates me on how it should be placed and where and how much spotlight it gets. “‘When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, the, a monster, a blot upon the earth from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?’”

In my mind a logo needs to be worked with and it is only then do you realise it’s greater potential or its complete failure. I believe that it is here that our logo sets it’s master plan into action. It demands attention that only youth can do through form and energy and it taunts the aesthetic layer over a body of given substance. The balance and counterbalance will be tested over time. In the form of the business cards, the letterheads, the website and all the other media that need it’s stamp of approval it’s true worth will be shown.


Whether or not the logo endures… I hope so but my crystal ball has never been as clear as it should be. In the end it is through the exploration process, the learning and  expression of an idea that the field is borne where I can let loose my inner demons to blend and shape the visual. The birthing of the idea is a solitary process but seeing the visual form grow over time takes the gratification to another level.

Leave a Reply

Scroll up Drag View

Studio Nephronim,
Dublin, Ireland