While commissioning a new logo for Mahseer Trust, we sent a brief to two different designers, one from Indonesia, the other from Pakistan. Once we had draft designs, we sent them to a number of supporters and close colleagues for their thoughts before settling on the final version.
Now, as part of a review of our communications, we asked Bangalore-based natural history illustrator, Maya Ramaswamy to give us an artist's-eye impression of the impact created by the logo.
"When you jump off a boulder into a deep pool along the swirling swollen Kaveri river, the
predominant feel is cool and green, dappled with warm white light. I hold this feeling as I consider the three options for the Mahseer Trust logo.
"I really feel a dynamism of form in the red logo option at centre. The great river fish is set at a slight angle here. This mahseer holds its head and front active and high, while its body keels lightly left, giving it a strong sense of movement. Its strong tail, being in deep red, gives this form an immediate depth, as it throws the front half and its white areas into high relief. The tail here balances the flat opacity of the open mouth.
"Yes, I do like the mouth open. It makes me think: Is this critically endangered giant gasping for breath in choking waters? Is it shouting to make its voice heard in the din and bustle of busy towns and cities above?
"Perhaps it’s only taking extra water through its gills as it surges up a rocky stream.
"As I study the form in the red logo option, I can’t help wishing the designer had added a tiny crescent of white over the eye to delineate it from the depth of the shadows behind the head. Eyes must speak. Always.
"Now I’m looking at the chosen logo in blue. Since colour-palettes exploded digitally, years ago, I stopped giving descriptive names to colours. Now we all just share their RGB or CMYK values. So, let’s just say, I like this particular shade of blue on the fish. Blue depicts ‘fresh water’ in a universal way, and The Mahseer Trust is an international organisation. The lighter blue swirl of water beneath the fish gives this logo dynamism and a sense of movement.
"Conceptually, this logo not only represents the iconic mahseer and fresh waters world-wide, but the river/hand holding the fish also brings a sense of hope, urgency and movement so vital to wildlife conservation organisations today.
"May this new logo inspire us all to conservation action!"
Maya has been involved with many exciting and well-received conservation illustration projects. In the coming months, Maya will be completing the first project working with Mahseer Trust. We look forward to many more fruitful projects as we move ahead.
To see more of Maya's work, please visit her blog.