Logo design for Pondo Culture and Heritage Festival

 I was recently hired to design an identity for Pondo Heritage & Culture Festival.

The festival aimed at saving the culture of the Pondo people and teaching people about the tribe — as very few people know about the existence of the Pondos.

The challenge I foresaw was that the Pondo tribe will overpower the festival, which is to say, I might be required (by the client) to communicate more of the tribe than the festival itself.

The pondo people are known for their strong tribal ties and firm unity that has deep roots in their past. They were not involved in numerous wars between black and white (race) and they were never defeated in battle.

The festival will showcase: dance, music, arts & crafts, horse parade, reed dance, traditional sports (incl. stick fighting)

The client wanted an identity that will communicate any, some or all of this:

Unity, sharing, togetherness, diversity (festival attracts/inivtes other tribes), elephant (their tribe animal)

After the research phase, I played around different concepts, decided which communicates the clients intended message the best:

In the logo design above, I used the two elephant’s tasks, and an oval shape to create an icon.

I opted for a design that communicated as per my client’s request without relying on colour, as I think limiting the identity to few colours would be unfair for such a colourful tribe (attire, artwork, beadwork etc.)

Creative rationale (meaning behind the logo):

I created a calash using a negative space created by the two elephant tusks.

  • The calabash communicates sharing, event, gathering of people and entertainment.

  • The tusks are obviously a symbolism of their tribe animal, an elephant.

  • The calabash’s opening (oval shape) symbolizes continuity (Pondo culture)

  • The overall symbol created by all this elements communicates unity.

The logo above was the initial and only option that I presented to the client.

And this was here take on the proposed logo:

She said that while she liked it, she felt it lacked “something” and that it looked too urban. She mentioned that the people the festival is targeting would love a complex (logo) design.

The client then asked me to accompany her as she walked around the hotel asking people (that she bumped into) ‘s thoughts on the logo.

One waitress said that the initial design “looked incomplete, the top tap of the logo looked as if the design was ‘cut’ by the printer when I printed the page”
And the client’s friend said that the “calabash looked like an apple.”

From there on I put the client in the driving seat in terms of the direction forward.

The first thing I was asked to do was to modify the shape of the calabash so it doesn’t look like an “apple”.

She then asked me to add the stick and arrow at the bottom plus a cow and corn drawn in rock art style. And her request led to this design:

While the client is happy with this, I think the final logo’s attempt to create a calash out of the negative space formed by the two tusks isn’t as clear as the logo I first presented.