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A Logo for Academic Resilience Academy

My latest logo project - thoughts from an amateur artist.

This post is long overdue. I finished this back in October, right when the holiday craze in my world started to pick up, so I didn’t have a chance to reflect back on this process until now.

The Backstory

This project was sort of a wake up call for me as an amateur artist, realizing that I really have no idea what I am doing. I had to use so many work arounds to get the image in my head onto digital paper. In addition to my technical challenges of not knowing how to use Adobe Illustrator, or any type of illustrator software, there was the fact that this logo project wasn’t as clear cut as my last project. What I mean by that is that the name of the business didn’t have any obvious “drawable” words in the title, or mission.

Designing the Logo

Academic Resilience Academy is a one-on-one tutoring service in the Napa Valley area with a mission to transform student’s feelings about academics from anxiety and stress to curiosity and resilience. I asked the founder to give me a list of words that came to his mind when he thought of ACADEMIC RESILIENCE ACADEMY and this is the list I used to generate doodle inspiration:

  • Resilience
  • Challenge
  • Triumph
  • Growth mindset
  • Struggle is learning
  • Positive
  • Encouraging
  • Playful

The Draw-spirations

I was aiming for a chalkboard look; the airplane symbolized upward movement, optimism, and the light bulb symbolized that ah-ha! moment one gets while learning. But I was so discouraged by the way these turned out, it didn’t look anything like I had planned out in my head.

Then I discovered the instant alpha tool on my MacBook Pro photo editor. This changed up the whole game! Now, I was able to use my own hand on paper and transfer my actual drawings onto my Tayasui Sketches Pro to add color, then transferred that drawing onto Canva to give it the final text and shape touches.

The Final Logo

The final logo has a lightbulb with budding leaves, symbolizing growth and that ah-ha! moment that I associated with learning. I was very pleased that I was able to turn in something that actually looked like a logo. The first two drafts had me worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Photo Source:

After turning in this project, I started to think that maybe this was the wrong direction, an over ambitious one at that, but then the owner posted this picture of my logo on business swag, and seeing my illustration on the real deal made me feel very excited and ready to take on a few more challenges.

Moral of the story: just keep drawing.

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