Our Logo Explained ...

Gaz, aka GarthVader, the man behind the logo, tells all...

Logo 0.1

When I sat down to design the logo for our Mega, I thought about the fundamental skill we all need to enjoy our hobby of geocaching; basic navigation. Today, we all have a GPS device built right in to our phones that can get us anywhere, but I wanted to invoke the old-school way of doing things and start with the image of a compass. I played around with some ideas and layouts until I had a mk1 prototype.

As you can see, the W is placed where it would be on a compass face, and the 2 triangles represent the compass needle. I quite liked this as a design but it was just a bit too "scrawny" for me. It didn't jump off the page.

What it needed was a facelift and some details adding that had some real meaning to them that spoke of the West Midlands as a region. So I sat down with a cup of tea and did what I do best; Google stuff and sketch out a hundred ideas, listening to heavy metal while singing badly...

Whilst working on the logo, I also had our coins to think about and it was around this time I thought "what do we have in the six counties of the West Midlands that could represent the region as a whole?" And the answer I settled on was castles. They tell the history of the region, they are a testament to great accomplishment, and each county has at least one castle in it. They were, in fact, perfect. So I settled on one castle from each of the six counties as a way to represent them individually, but come together as a theme for a design.

Ok, so where does that leave the logo?

I decided the counties and the castles needed to be represented visually as well, now, so after some late-night messing about on the laptop I'd put together the (almost) final version, and then tweaked and added some stuff to get to the logo we have.

So, what DO we have? The text was made less blocky, and the W and M had some shading applied to make them stand out a little. I redesigned the "needle" to make it look a little bit like a 3D object and the border was now 2 gold rings (which I retroactively decided represents the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, but that's a total blag) and I added the six stars: One for each county, and the six diamonds: One for each castle represented on our coins. But there was a problem. It was too ... neat.

The final version

Now, I don't like things that look too nice and tidy, it needed something else... Something that represented us as a committee; It needed to be a bit wonky seen to be breaking some rules. See, we don't want to run "just another Mega" we set out from the start to do things a bit differently and provide you with a unique and memorable experience... And that sometimes means throwing the rulebook away. So, I added the punch-out between the W and the M and the off-set green bars around the edge, of uneven lengths, to throw the whole thing off-centre.

Finally, I sent it to a friend of mine who rendered it as a vector image so my master copy could be blown-up to any size without losing resolution (thinking ahead!) and sent it to the committee for approval, with several apps open on my laptop and my coffee machine on standby in case they hated it and I had to go back to square one. Fortunately they seemed to think it was a rather nice logo and now it adorns our website and our merchandise. If you like the West Midlands Mega logo, let us know by buying a t shirt or two...

And that's how I made it. I quite like it, to be fair - it's not what you'd expect, it's a bit unusual ... and for me, that's just about perfect!