Earlier this year, Toyko-based photographer Irwin Wong decided it was time for a change. Known for his beautiful environmental portraits, (many of which capture the culture of his city) Irwin reached out to Wonderful Machine looking for a new logo and stationery set. He wanted a logo that not only reflected the nature of his work but also represented his connection to Japanese culture. His previous logo referenced his connection to Tokyo, but it needed a modern update.
In order to reflect his work and culture, Irwin and I worked closely over the past few weeks, discussing images, symbols, and colors that could work as elements within his logo. We wanted the new logo to be clean, modern, and bold. We decided to stick with the original color palette. The original palette felt fitting — the red that references Japan’s flag pairs nicely with the black and white, creating a bold and eye-catching combination. After securing the color palette and reference elements, I was ready to begin the first round.
For the first round, I created a variety of options, some included direct elements of Japanese culture, while some were abstracted versions of Irwin’s initials. While the first round was on the right track, Irwin wanted his logo to really stand out. It needed to be bolder, and stronger. We decided to move forward with option 1 and 3. For the next round, I needed to strengthen the marks and adjust the typography.
For the second round, I created solid marks, rather than simple light lines. This was definitely a step in the right direction. Irwin felt drawn to option 3, the shape and the bold lines felt reminiscent of a Samurai Banner. In the final round, we decided to explore this similarity even further.
After adjusting the color and typography, we had arrived at a final design. The bright red paired with contrasting white lines helps the logo jump off the page. The new look is modern and bright. The abstraction of Irwin’s initials adds a personal touch while adding a sense of clean geometry. After finalizing the main logo, a sub-mark and vertical option was created. The vertical option references the main logo, and it has the look and feel of a Samurai Banner. With all of the final logo elements created, I was ready to move on to placing them within the stationery and brand identity guide.
While designing the stationery, I stuck with the clean/minimal design aesthetic. Using red horizontal lines, I created a vibrant stationery set that functions as a whole. Overall, Irwin’s new branding materials capture his personal and photographic style. Along with the final logo and stationery materials, I also presented Irwin with a brand identity guide. This guide shows Irwin how his logo will function in the real world and will be a great reference to look back on when applying his logo to new materials.
It was such a pleasure working with Irwin over the past few weeks. It was exciting to be an integral part of building his new brand. I can’t wait to see his logo utilized, and I know it will lead him to even more success!
You can see Irwin’s new logo and brand identity in action on his website.
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