Designing a logo can be a painful, drawn out process. For the AWIARE logo (The Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education) inspiration came quickly. Weedon Island and its Archaeological Research Center are truly unique. After visiting the center, I felt privileged to design a logo for such an amazing place. I’d like to share the thought process behind the design of the AWIARE logo.

The Weedon Island Brief

In the middle of the Tampa Bay hustle and bustle lies a 3,700-acre sanctuary that was home to the area’s first inhabitants. Weedon Island is a mixture of an intricate ecosystem and centuries of human history. Its foot trails and mangrove-lined beaches have been called the gateway to the past and keeper of ancient cultures. This natural showplace, once excavated by the Smithsonian Institution, is an archaeological site with a position on the National Register of Historic Places. This interdependent duo of habitat and society inspired the creation of AWIARE—The Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education. The group is dedicated to scientific exploration and research that can illuminate the impact of environment on human life.

The logo needed to communicate the primary function of AWIARE. Archaeological research. And I wanted to infuse the logo with elements from its ecosystem. And I also hoped the AWIARE logo would compliment its sister logo for the Weedon Island Preserve.

Step 1: Research

I’m lucky to live in close proximity to Weedon Island. My wife and I visited the preserve to research the environment. I’m ashamed to say that I literally worked a mile from this place and never knew Weedon Island existed. Below are some photos I gathered.


Step 2:  Brainstorming

I started out as I always do. Sketching up ideas in my sketchbook. At first the task seemed impossible. How was I going to design a logo that communicates archaeological research and an element of nature? The two seemed very different and unrelated. Weedon Island’s hallmark pottery and the mangrove trees were the icons I wanted to work with. Below are some vector illustrations I traced out for both.


After a few minutes of brain storming it hit me. Why not make the logo literally a combination of both elements. I scaled, rotated and overlapped the Mangrove over the pottery. The result was pottery the way archaeologist find it. Complete but in pieces. It covered off the primary and secondary objectives in the brief. It was that simple.


Step 3: Color Exploration

I wanted the color palette to reflect the diversity of Weedon Island, so I infused the AWIARE logo with color. I made earth tones shine. Colorful doesn’t have to be loud. Here are the PMS colors used.


Step 5: Typography

I wanted to create a little contrast with the color palette and the font. So I used ITC Symbol. This helped steer the logo back to the formal side.


The final logo


What’s Your Take?

I hope you found this helpful. As always, your feed back is encouraged and appreciated. What do you think of the process? Do you like the final logo? Is there anything that you would have done differently?