"He Wears Black and Has a Beard"

Istanbul Logo Concept

Toby Roworth

Mar 19, 2012

Just over a year ago I took on the challenge of producing a logo for a new church being planted in Istanbul. The various attempts I made at producing a logo were all eventually rejected (although I missed the email telling me this, so found out in a very confusing conversation a few weeks later), so today we're looking at my first design rejected by a real-life client.
The brief was "The letters YK making a “tree of life” shape in the foreground – the background being the Istanbul sk yline outline (an urban outline with towerblocks and mosques). The idea is life bursting into the city, the gospel breaking into the urban scene. Colours green and black or red and black.", from which I created a series of concepts.

This very first concept was mainly a test of the skyline. That didn't stop it being seen as something akin to a 70s B-movie, probably titled "Revenge of the Green Tentacle Monster: in Istanbul", which is a fair observation!
So next I played around with the "tree of life", and ended up using the idea of a fractal. The font's still a long way off, but I quite liked the tree itself. The artist in me (deep down) might say how it reflects the generational offspring of a church, as it goes on to plant more churches.

After this I played around with colour an orientation:

I think the white-on-red feels a bit stronger, although I never got to the point of choosing a final red, as it was at this point that we stopped developing the idea. I think the brief was probably a little restrictive, and possibly not one that described a clean, modern logo, so if I did this again I'd probably move off-brief, and branch out into more ideas, probably utilising just the tree idea, and leaving the skyline as a graphic device for flyers and the website. I'd also play around on paper far more, as this logo was done entirely digitally, which tends to take longer and not allow as much creativity.