Creating a logo for the Laboratory

For some months now, I had been thinking about a design for a logo to represent the Laboratory for Conservation of Biodiversity and Waters. I wanted a clean, simple design with a minimum of colours. There were three basic elements I wanted to include: water (blue, of course!), surrounding terrestrial habitat (green), and their interface. I drew preliminary schematics of riparian habitat and water but these designs (below, left and top right) were too complex for a logo.

I gradually simplified the design on paper until I got what I wanted (above, bottom right). Since our work involves mostly aquatic sampling but also some riparian and land use evaluations, I wanted proportionally more aquatic habitat (more blue) and less terrestrial habitat (less green). I picked moderately darker hues of blue and green, which look more natural to me. To keep details to a minimum, I decided on a subtly asymmetrical waveform as the interface. This represents the ever-changing and often uncertain boundaries between a freshwater habitat and the land around it, for example, floodplains.

To contain the design, I had originally thought about a circular logo. I went for a round square instead, which is visually more appealing (to me at least!) than a sharp, cornered square. And, in contrast to a circle, the round square gave me plenty of space for lettering, as I wanted to include the key words Conservation, Biodiversity and Waters. On Christmas Eve, 2018, I felt suitably inspired and ready to finalize the draft design on a computer (a humble Intel® Atom™ N570 1.66 GHz net-book with 2 GB DDR3 memory, running Debian GNU/Linux). I used the free software LibreOffice Draw to produce the logo and this was the initial result:


I had centered the text vertically over the blue area but I then had an idea for including one further small detail: ascending bubbles to represent physical, chemical and biological activity in aquatic habitats, such as respiration, decomposition, nutrient cycling and photosynthesis. To fit them in, I lowered the text and placed the bubbles under the ascending part of the curve, as follows.


I further modified the text to explicitly reference the name of the laboratory in English. Based in Brazil, a lot of academic work (final year projects, reports, presentations, posters, etc.) is in the Portuguese language, so I created another version for this purpose. In both these designs, I had to reduce the size of the text.


So, now I have three working versions of the logo for use in different situations depending on the type of work (Internet, congress, academic) and intended audience (Brazil, International). Keep an eye out, from now on you may see these logos popping up here and there!


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