Here are a few of the sites I looked at when researching different identities:….0…1c.1.32.img..8.1.43.fxbbUtKIEk8#facrc=_&imgdii=_&

Stretching the Virgin logo

Starbucks evolution

The Evolution of the Starbucks Logo

BBC logo evolution

It took a lot of reading to find out how companies came to the identity that we know them by today, this is partly because people see different things in an identity, so they believe that it looks that way for a particular reason. I’ve got to be careful with my design that there are no hidden meaning and that the idea behind the identity is very clear and easy to understand, I can make sure of this by testing it out of people.


Choosing a Brief

I had a few different companies that I liked the sound of, Link, Zenex and Reactiv, all of these areas interested me, or at least a knew a bit about all of these areas.

I created a spider diagram:

I thought link was a great name for a telecommunications company as it does link people together, there was also the opportunity to link two of the letters together or to use a symbol of a link. 

I felt Zenex was particularly interesting because I think it can be difficult to brand a petrochemical company, because of global warming the majority of people view these companies as ‘the bad guys’, however petrol is still a necessity to most people. How do you strike a balance in your identity, by making the company seem friendly and green but not over doing it and making it appear an obvious lie? I struggled to find out what Zenex actually meant, however I did find a few sites advertising their energy company called Zenex, so it must have something to do with energy! Other than this I didn’t have many initial ideas of this brief. 

When I came to Reactiv I seemed to be overflowing with ideas! I felt that it was a great name for an energy company as it suggests energy, excitement and movement. What I really liked was the fact that the word had activ in it, which is almost active! I thought that I could use the RE to give a different use to the identity, by this I mean that if for example Reactiv were producing a poster I could start by having Reenergise, Re…whatever and then finally Reactiv. I could even use this idea for the different parts of the gym, for example the food area, as cheesy as this sounds, could be Reenergise, the relaxation area of the gym could be Recharge. If I was going to carry this RE idea into the identity it would be useful if the RE could also form a symbol by itself…only an idea, equally I could have the whole word.

Time to start sketching I think!  


I’d already completed a detailed Research Project File looking at some existing identities, so I knew what sort of gym identities there were out there. I needed to define what sort of gym I wanted mine to be before I could start work on the marque…

As the name was ‘Reactiv’ I felt it needed to be a gym that was energetic, I wanted the focus of it to be somewhere that focused on losing weight by getting fit and staying fit, therefore when I do my corporate manual I want my identity application to reflect this. I didn’t want my gym to be a health club or leisure centre, but an affordable gym that promoted reacting by getting fit.

I looked up the definition of Reactive, it is defined as the response to a stimulus and acting in response to a situation rather than controlling it. This could work really well in an advertising campaign for my identity because I could incorporate the idea of acting in response to for example the new year by being reactive and joining Reactiv.

I looked up a few related words on Google images, Reactive seemed to be associated with a chemical reaction, and React came up with fiery images and Reaction showed images of a chemical reaction and human reactions.

It would be great if in my identity I could incorporate the idea of a chemical reaction, an explosion of energy, this could be shown by movement in the identity but also using explosive colours such as reds and oranges, I want the key idea behind the identity to be that it propels people into action, it makes them feel that they want to react and join the gym.

I came up with a few ideas but didn’t like any of them so I broadened my research, I looked at the identities of sports energy drinks:

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Developing my Corporate Marque

This took me absolutely ages! As you can see I have pages of drawn out ideas…

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I really wanted to make a symbol with the R so that I could use it by itself instead of having to use the whole identity. I tried loads of different approaches, trying to make it look like the ‘reactive chemicals’ symbol, trying to make it using a running man, trying to use negative space, using the idea of fire or energy created in a reaction, I also tried using arrows, when a reactive means being quick to respond in a certain way, or certain direction. I followed through the arrow idea and came up with a few different ways of presenting this.

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I decided on going with the arrow pointing upwards, I then had to decide of the right font to use.

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I then chose my top 3 and tried them in different weights, I wanted a font that had different weights so that I could use it as my Corporate Font, and obviously a corporate font needs to have many different weights in order to be used in different contexts and emphasise different parts of text.

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I chose to go with Avenir Next Bold as my logo font because I liked how it stood out and I felt this was important for a logo. Not only that but I felt that the bold weight suggested hard work and energy which is the image I wanted my gym to project, the message of it being a place where you can get fit as opposed to being focused purely on leisure. I wanted to keep the E being cut off by the A as I felt it put the emphasis on the ACTIV and it reduce the unused space in the logo, I also liked how I could use the RE and put it with other words, like REENERGISE, having a unique looking RE would add to the recognisability of this.

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I experimented further with the logo, should it be italicised? Should the R be a little bit bigger than the rest of the word, should the RE have a gradient, should it be a different colour, should just the arrow have the gradient?

The more I looked at this logo the less keen I became on it, for some reason I didn’t like the gap between the curve of the R and the arrow making up the R…so I decided to experiment with more ideas, I messed around with the arrangement of the letters a bit more and thought of a few more ways of incorporating the arrow idea.

I liked the layout of having the RE on the top and the ACTIV on the bottom although I wasn’t sure how I could incorporate the arrow into it, I also felt it would be a difficult shape to work with, another idea a liked was making the R and V into a single symbol, I thought it looked clever, I wasn’t too keen on the arrow as it looked a bit wordart-y.

I had a mess around with this idea and the colours I could use and eventually came up with my final design:

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I really liked this idea, I’d kept the same font Avenir Next Bold, I had put it on a slant of 2o degrees, I had kept the E that is cut short by the A, the R was slightly bigger than the rest of the word, it had an arrow in it to suggest the direction that you would go when you joint the gym, it even had a symbol that incorporated the R and also cleverly the V too. I was really happy with the colours, I feel that the red and orange represented fire, passion and energy which was the idea I wanted to link my company too, the red was nice a vibrant and jumped out of the page at you. One problem I did have with these colours was that they weren’t Pantone colours…which I would late find out that I’d have to change!

I talked to Matt and Mike and they weren’t too keen on the arrow which I seemed to have overlooked…I kept trying to edit this but it still looked a little bit childish, like something that could have been create on word, there was something about the symbol that didn’t quite flow…so yet again I went back to the drawing board!

Mike looked through some of the previous designs I’d had and picked up on the one with the RE on one line and the ACTIV on the other, I don’t know why I never thought of this but, he decided to turn it 90 degrees anti clockwise…oh my gosh I can’t believe I never saw this before…the V and A lined up with the horizontal…my prospects of creating a good logo had started to look up again!

I still wanted something that would make the R individual so I chose to inverse an arrow out of the R, this way I also had the opportunity to use the R as a symbol by itself on a pen.

By turning the logo its side it meant that it worked really well as a header because it lined up with the side of the page, the other option I had was to put it in a box. I decided to put it in a white box, if the background is white then you wouldn’t see the box but if there was a photo in the background then you would see the white. I decided to follow the same colour scheme that I used from the previous colours except this time I had to make sure they were Pantone colours, this was so that they could be printed.

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This is my final logo:

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I had to rotate the A slightly so that it lined up exactly with the vertical line. The Pantone colours I chose aren’t quite as bright as the colours I had previously however they do still show the fire, energy that I wanted them too. The R can also be shown separately as the symbol:

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I had to apply my symbol and logo to appropriate products and places in order to show people how the symbol could and should be applied to equipment, it also adds realism to the whole project.


I started by applying my symbol to some weights:


I started by placing the symbol on the weight that was in the distance, the one that was slightly blurred. I used the skew tool to get the perspective right, the I used the Gaussian Blur to make it fit in with the rest of the blurred image.

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Next I put my symbol on the weight that’s in focus, I used the skew and warp tool to get the angle right on the symbol, on a weight there is likely to be a very slight curve on the end so I used the warp tool to achieve this. I then had to use a diagonal gradient of 3 shades on the symbol as the bottom left hand corner is in shadow, it the gets brighter towards the top. I still felt the symbol looked a little unrealistic so I used a very faint glow so that it wasn’t too sharp an image. The final outcome:

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Water Bottle

I applied the symbol to a white water bottle.

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Again I used the skew and warp tool to position the symbol in a way that looked realistic, I had to curve it in the same way the bottle way curved. I then added the multiply filter so that the reflected light that was on the bottle could be seen through.

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Obviously the thumb didn’t look right so I had to duplicate the image layer then move it above the layer with my logo on it and cut out the thumb using the pen tool, I then selected the cut out, inverse selected it and deleted the rest of the layer. This allowed the just the thumb to come to the front, making the symbol look like it was behind the thumb.

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I had to search for a while to find a T-shirt that I liked the style of and that was the right colour, although I did slightly adjust the hue of the image a got to make it more similar to the Corporate Orange that I had in the logotype.

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I experimented with which side of the T-shirt it looked best on and decided to go for the left side. I used a colour overlay on my symbol to make it white and then used the warp tool to fit it to the same shape the T-shirt was going in. I tried to make it look embroider by using this tutorial However the effect didn’t look how I wanted it to…it looked terrible. So I decided to just stick with simplicity and if I had more time later then I’d try it again. This was the final outcome:

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I then decided it would look better if the logo was embroidered onto the T-shirt so I followed this tutorial: I used the a brush that looks like a stitch in order to achieve this effect, I also used a texture that had been given by the site, reduced the opacity and duplicated the layer and put it underneath.

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I added a bevel as suggested on the site, however I adjusted it slightly more than suggested on the site as I felt that it wasn’t quite right. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.29.30

I added a slight inner shadow to make the image look as if it was 3D and coming slightly off the T-shirt.

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Finally I added a drop shadow as suggested in the tutorial:

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This is the finished product:

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I then decided that it would look good if I could apply this to different coloured T-shirts to represent the different sub-categories of the company so I used the pen tool to cut out the T-shirt and then used the Hue/Saturation tool in order to change the colour to one that represented the sub-category colour. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.42.00 Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.42.08

Swimming Pool

Previously I’d decided I didn’t want a swimming pool however I thought it’d look cool and that I’d be able to use different techniques to be able to create it. This was the original image I started with:


I cropped the image and then started by changing the colours, I didn’t want it to be blue so I looked at making it more orange, I used the Hue/Saturation tools for this but I could only achieve a cream colour as opposed to a vibrant orange, so I decided to desaturate the image so that the whole think looked grey and so not a definite colour.

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Obviously when I did this it also saturated the colour of the water too, I didn’t want this so I cut out using the pen tool the pool as a separate layer so that it wouldn’t be effected by the saturation. I also used the fill tool to fill in the lines that were on the pool floor, as I didn’t like the look of them, and the light reflections from the ceiling, as they were the wrong colour.

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Then I put the logo in, I used the skew tool to get the perspective right and then tried using the different filters, it still didn’t look right so I moved the pool above the layer with the logo on it and then used the filter, Multiply.

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Finally I used the pen tool to cut out the centre part, a really minor adjustment, but I thought it was necessary! Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 15.28.44  


I used the Vanishing Point filter to place the artistic wallpaper I’d created using my logo in order to get it in the right perspective. I added a gradient t0 the Wallpaper so that it would match the darker and lighter places in the room.

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I then had to cut out all the elements that had been hidden by the wallpaper using the pen toll, making a selection and then using Inverse Selection and deleting the rest of the background.

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I then applied the symbol to the glass door, making it look like it’d been etched on the glass. I did this by selecting the symbol then clicking on a duplicated layer of the background, then I used the multiply filter and reduced the opacity by 76%.

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I wanted to have something that looked like a locker key. I chose this photo as I thought it would take a different approach to edit the symbol into this image. This was the original image that I started off with:


I first cropped the image. Then I used the content aware fill to get rid of the text on the front of the key rings. Then I copied my symbol onto the image and placed it in the appropriate position using the distort tool. I then followed a tutorial I found online: I then reduced the opacity to achieve this:

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I wasn’t quite happy with the dull looking backdrop and so I adjusted the levels to make the whole image lighter: Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 21.01.41  

The Membership Card

I started off with a stock image:


I duplicated the background. I didn’t think the red background was very appropriate for my company so I used the Hue/Saturation tool to change it to orange. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.10.39

I then cut out the hand duplicated background and put it on the layer above so that it wasn’t affected by the saturation. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.10.48

I added the image I wanted to put on the card and used the pen tool to cut out the shape of the card, I then used the inverse tool to delete everything I didn’t. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.11.01

I duplicated the layer of the card and flipped it to make the reflection, finally I reduced the opacity.

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I then followed this tutorial to achieve the effect that made the card looked like it had the name and membership number engraved into it.–psd-10380

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The Pen

I found this image of a pen on the internet:


I used the content aware tool to get rid of the logo, and then patched it up with the clone tool.

I flipped the image so the pen nib was at the bottom, then I used the pen tool to make a selection of the pen clip and used the fill colour to fill it in the Corporate Colour Orange.

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Then I pasted the Reactiv symbol and rotated it so that it was in the correct place.

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Environmental Applications

I searched the internet for ages and struggled to find a design that I liked so I chose to go out and take my own pictures, I went and photographed a Pure Gym and Virgin Active.

The Pure Gym Front

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This photo wasn’t straight and there were a few bits I didn’t like about it so I rotated it slightly and then cropped out some of the roof and road. I started by changing the colour of the blue to orange. This meant using the pen tool to highlight the whole area and then change the colour using the Hue/Saturation tool. However there were still all of the alarm boxes and such like that were tinted the same orange, I had to use the pen tool to select these areas and then completely reduce the saturation. Next was changing the sign, I started by just using the pen tool to draw a box over the Pure Gym sign and made it white, then I changed the shading using a gradient, I also increased the noise so that it didn’t look so computer generated. I also added a drop shadow the show the the sign was not flat. I decided that I didn’t like the sign being full length because the logo was so small, so I made the sign a bit higher, this still didn’t seem quite right so I reduced the width of the sign…problem, obviously the titles didn’t continue because the Pure Gym sign was in the way, operation recreate the titles began! I used the fill tool combined with the cloning tool and patch tool to recreate the wall. Finished outcome:

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I spoke to people and asked their opinion, they said it looked better keeping it the same length…all that work for nothing! So I made it longer. Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 17.28.11

I then decided to etch the logo into the glass so that even the the logo was small on the banner it would still be obvious what the company was. I did this by creating a new layer with the shape of the logo cut out of the glass, I used the screen filter and reduced the opacity to 57%. DONE!

The Side View

I’d also taken an image from the side angle, to make it a little bit easier for myself I just used the pen tool to cut out the front of the building and then pasted it all onto the building, obviously this didn’t work with the sign as I had to adjust the shadow but it worked for the rest of the image. Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 18.34.11

The shading was very difficult in this image, I’d already put a gradient on the white background.

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It still looked a little bit too vivid so I created a new layer and then added a gradient to that layer and reduced the opacity.

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I still felt that it looked a little too computer generated so I reduced the opacity slightly so that it wasn’t quite as bright.

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I added a glow to the sign and reduced the opacity of the glow in order to made the edges of the sign too prominent. I also had to slightly change the etched logo on the glass as the reflection from the other image was different.

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It was necessary to fill in the corners of the orange section using a slightly darker orange.

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Finally I brightened the whole image.

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The Entrance Sign

I used the photo I’d taken of the Virgin Entrance sign for this.

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Next I used the pen tool to draw a white sign, I spend a long time adjusting the shading, adding noise and I also added an inner and outer glow. Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 21.26.43

I added the logo and the ‘Health and Fitness Club’ line. I adjusted the Hue/Saturation of them, making sure that their tone was in keeping with the lighting in the rest of the photo.

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Then I cut out a branch that was being covered by the sign and cut it out, put it on a different layer and then placed it about the sign. Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 21.37.08


I cropped the image slightly and added a gradient and the bottom of the sign.

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Then I added a blue gradient to the sky in order to brighten up the image slightly.

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I added a gradient at the bottom of the image in order to make the edges of the grass blend in a bit more.

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Finally I brightened up the whole image using the Brightness/Contrast tool.

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