UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I ROBOT AUTONOMY AND NAVIGATION LAB (RAN) LOGO DESIGN
ABOUT THE PROJECT
While working on my Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Hawai'i, I was approached by Dr. Zhuoyuan Song, the Principal Investigator of the Robot Autonomy and Navigation Lab (RAN) to design a logo for PhD program. RAN's primary activities are performing research and development of under water navigation systems for unmanned underwater vehicles, with the goal "advancing the long-term autonomy of mobile robots under harsh conditions, including the lack of external positioning systems, presence of strong background dynamics, limited sensing, actuation, and communication capabilities..."
The challenge was to reflect the affiliation with University of Hawai'i by drawing inspiration from the iconic Rainbow Warriors "H", yet making the logo capable of operating as a standalone mark, reflecting the nature of RAN's activities. To this end, motif of "navigation" is represented by the arrow, "autonomy" by a circuited brain, and the forward thinking and dynamic nature of the lab is represented by the forward-leaning custom font.
A LONGSTANDING ICON
The instantly recognizable Rainbow Warrior's (the University of Hawai'i Athletics team name) H pays homage to Hawaii's rich warrior culture by incorporating native elements of war tattoos found throughout the Pacific. I found the triangles within to be the most distinctive feature of the logo.
Unlike most projects where I begin by sketching by hand, knowing how geometric I wanted the end product to be, I began immediately by working in Illustrator with vectors.
PHASE 1: TYPOGRAPHY SELECTION / CREATION
In this first iteration, I attempted to select a typeface that would suit the logo. It needed to be dynamic to represent motion, while being technical to reflect the robotic nature of the program's core focus.
The top typeface was the best suited to achieve this purpose, however eventually I settled on making my own font, inspired by the Warriors typeface (below image).
PHASE 3: FINAL LOGO
PHASE 2: GRAPHIC ELEMENTS SYNTHESIS
In this second iteration, I attempted to create graphic elements such as the brain circuit (top), and a motif that would communicate "Navigation". I initially selected the north stars that the Ancient Hawai'ian voyagers used to navigate when they first discovered Hawai'i.
Attempt to combine "Navigation" with "Autonomy".