Mini’s Mark is a non-profit organization that aims to prevent childhood obesity through speaking engagements, an interactive website and a series of chidren’s books called Mini and Me. Mini and Me follows the adventures of an overweight dog named Mini and his owner, Madison as they learn about being active and eating right. Mini’s Mark partners with schools, day-care centers, libraries, hospitals and parents to promote a healthly lifestyle and positive body image for children. Since Mini’s Mark is a start-up organization it was important to create a visual identity that would be flexible enough to not only withstand the company’s growth but be flexible enough for future, unseen applications. It was important to the owners that Mini’s image would be represented as a prominent part of the logo design, especially since the Mini and Me books were such a success prior to the launch of the non-profit.
Early in the research process, I realized just how broad of an appeal the logo needed to have. The logo needed to be buttoned down and serious enough for investors and grant committees, while also appealing to parents and children who interact with the brand.
I began by creating a word mindmap of the key characteristics of Mini’s Mark — health, youth, education and dogs.
Then I explored a visual mindmap by sketching 100 logos, evaluating the rough ideas and honing in on a few concepts to develop into black and white comps.
After several rounds of refining the sketches, I presented a first look at four concepts in black & white.
Version 1 incorporates the logo mark of Mini into the overall shape of a logo reminiscent of the Caldecotte Medal associated with award winning children’s story books in addition to creating an emblem that is easily recognizable for future publications. The two points of healthy living are represented by the ball and apple.
Version 2 is a much more corporate feel while still incorporating the fun personality of Mini. The custom type mirrors the rounded shape of the dog with the arm of the “k” doubling as the tail.
Version 3 provides a solid corporate feel that appeals to the more conservative nature of grant committees and investors while allowing the monogram to be a bold stamp to everything the brand touches. Mini is much more stylized in this version with his body forming the monogram. The custom type mirror’s the shape of the dog monogram.
Version 4 is another version of the Mini monogram approach with the two m’s creating the shape of a sitting dog while framing the shape of a heart to represent the health of the brand’s core message. The custom type is round and playful like Mini. Overall the logo speaks to corporate sensibility with a separate mark and type treatment while the playfulness of the shapes appeal to the core audience of kids and parents.
The client fell in love version 1 that featured Mini large while incorporating the health icons. After a few minor explorations of type, we began exploring color. Early in the development process the client mentioned that Mini needed to be brown to relate back to the book. I presented 3 options that pulled color predominantly from the book while exploring a couple of variations of brown for Mini.
The pink and chocolate color scheme won in the end, and it provided a great base for the full brand color palette which includes yellow, blue and green.
The logo style guide provides a glimpse into how the logo and brand color palette can be used.
To find out more information about Mini’s Mark or purchase a copy of Mini and Me please visit miniandme.com.