My division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs recently agreed to collaborate on the electrification of vehicles in Hawaii. This is in part to help reach the state’s mandate for 100% renewable energy by the year 2045. This new initiative, called “Drive Electric Hawaii,” focuses on accelerating cost-effective electric vehicle use. More on the initiative can be found here.
For the logo design project, I chose to create a logo for the newly formed Drive Electric Hawaii initiative. To the right is a draft of the logo I had done a week ago. As you can see, they’re pretty different from then and now. As much as I loved the draft of the logo, when I happened to see it as a thumbnail on my computer file window, I couldn’t read some of the words. I thought there’s no way that would be able to print on something small like a pen.
Originally, I wanted to convey the words, “drive” and “electric” visually. The first thought came to mind was a car and a plug. What came out of that was the steering wheel in the first draft. After some feedback about the readability, I decided to take the lettering outside of the wheel. When I pulled the lettering out, the grey part of the steering wheel looked a bit silly so I omitted that as well. Now the green “wheel” had become abstract and not at all a steering wheel.
For the word, “electric,” I wanted a font that gave me the feeling of electricity or voltage. This is what I came up with – a bit of a script font that’s neither serif or san serif. A serif font is used for the other two words. I got some feedback about the other font that it wasn’t the same and I should match it. Surprisingly, it is the same font. So, I had to revisit “drive” and “Hawaii” and see how I can improve it. I decided to italicize “Hawaii” to make it match more like “drive.” I hope it helped with the font issue.
As you’ll see from the color palette, I went for only three colors – the teal, dark grey and green that sort of reminds me of a “recycle” type of green. Again, going for this sort of “clean” energy/save-the-earth kind of theme in colors. As for the color of “electric” I went for a teal color that reminded me of a typical Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius electric vehicle.
For the green wheel, I added a stitching in the middle of it, borrowing from what we learned in the Varsity Lettering tutorial. The stitching there was made to give a look of a lane line on a road. Doesn’t look like much people got that impression from feedback which is okay. On a suggestion, I played around with the colors; changing the wheel to grey and the dashes to yellow like a road but with the actual wheel concept gone, it didn’t look as appealing to me so I stuck with the green.
Now that I moved the lettering to the side, I had to reshape the cord between the “c” in “electric” to the plug. The cord is still the most difficult part of the logo. I’m still not used to how the curvature part of the Pen Tool really works so I did my best to get it how I wanted it. Connecting the letter “c” and the cord itself was tough but I zoomed in on the connecting point to align it.
For the plug, I decided to break off the pins from the plug itself. That in turn created a “hidden” happy face formed from the plug but if you didn’t catch it at least (I hope) you still thought it was a plug. For me, it created a sense of fun and excitement (to drive electric vehicles anyway) within the logo.
Lastly, it was a minor edit but I added in an “okina” in “Hawaii” between the two “i” letters which is a Hawaiian diacritical to be more proper of the language and have an innate sense of localness for Hawaii residents.