ZED Creative was approached by African Conservation Foundation (ACF) to design a logo for a project they were setting up in Cameroon, West Africa, helping to protect an area of forest that is home to the Cross River Gorilla. This animal is, according to the IUCN, the most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, with an estimated population of fewer than 300.
While we are used to designing for “western” markets, this particular project needed to be recognised both by local Africans living in the area as well as globally, so a number of interesting points had to be addressed. One of the identifying features of the gorilla is the red patch of hair on the top of the head, this needed to be shown in the logo in order for it to be recognisable to locals, helping to distinguish it from the Chimpanzees which inhabit the same forest. One other element to the brief was that the logo should not be circular; it should not look like a prohibitive sign, something that locals tend to look upon negatively – they don’t like organisations coming in to their country and telling them what to do.
We were supplied with a number of reference photos of a Cross River gorilla, and were able to use the facial features to create a graphic device. It was important that the animal did not look aggressive, it had to look friendly to work on a local level. To incorporate the environment, we decided to go very stylised and create a backdrop that felt like a dense dark forest, with jagged edges to represent a chaotic tangle of leaves.
If you would like to find out more about the project, please click here.