Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Logo Design Case Study: Arriba! Mexican Insurance

In 2004, I was asked to create a logo for a new company named Arriba! Mexican Insurance. The company provides travel auto insurance for those driving across the border into Mexico. The president of the company did not have a preference over which type or style of logo I was to create, and was given free reign to come up with the design concept.

There are three basic types of logos: Iconic, like the apple on my Mac; Logotype, like the stylized text used by Disney; and combination marks, like the text “McDonald’s” used together with the symbol of the golden arches.

I began to research this insurance niche and found that the majority of the companies that deal solely with Mexico auto insurance only use plain text to identify themselves. A few companies use clip art images along with their names, but there were less than five Mexico auto insurance companies that had an actual logo. Out of those companies, there was only one that had built an actual brand. That's what I was shooting for. I wanted to make sure that I created something that was more than just a logo. I wanted to give the company a design that could easily become the first step in developing a brand.

Idea is too corporate/Americanized
With a name like "Arriba!", I knew that I could create a fun, loose logo design. I began concentrating my sketches on more abstract designs, but did stray a bit to more “corporate” looking ideas. At one of my stopping points, I automatically discarded anything that looked too “corporate” and especially the ones that looked to "Americanized." This logo had to work beyond certain borders, just like the product.

When I went back to do more research, I saw that there was a large increase in Mexico insurance companies over the previous 2 years. This information certainly got me thinking in a different light. Arriba! had to jump into the market and establish themselves very quickly. With that in mind, I needed to create a logo design that was less “abstract” and more "in your face." The logo also had to be more versatile, something that could go from a combination mark, to a bold icon.

Not bold enough
I started to work on a topsy-turvey design that I had previously sketched, but was convinced that it would not be bold enough for this project. However, I had incorporated a jumping exclamation mark into that design and felt that I had hit a key point. The exclamation mark would either make this logo, or open the door to the final concept.

Needs further developing
After several revisions, I put aside the idea to work on a different concept. I started working with the letter "A." I drew one sketch that showed the exclamation point coming out of the letter. This led me to draw a silhouette figure at the top of the letter and having it "hold" the exclamation mark, using the "A" as the legs of the figure. I felt that I had reached another key point towards the final logo concept. I further developed the figure holding the exclamation mark toward the audience. After several revisions, I went back to the topsy-turvy text idea, made it more legible, and added the figure.

On December of 2004, I was presented with a gold advertisement award by the Valley Advertising Federation, a division of the American Advertising Federation, for my Arriba! Mexican Insurance logo design.

Pete C.
Brainwerx Design