The Campus Activities Board (CAB) at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is a student run club that works closely with Student Life & Housing/Student Affairs to sponsor events like movie nights at the Cinematheque, the annual Halloween Party, and National Donut Day.
CAB has never had an identity that stuck. While other clubs at CIA established their brand, the look and feel of CAB changed year after year. So I was tasked with creating a visual identity for CAB.
The new logo was designed not only to just be a freestanding logo, but also to be a system that could be used in each aspect of CAB’s branding. The building blocks of this system were heavily inspired by children’s building blocks which brought together play and learning. Each shape is also reminiscent of the letters that form CAB.
The Style Guide
Because CAB is a student run club, the people running it and designing for it move on and graduate. in order to maintain a consistent and cohesive brand as the years go by, guidelines are needed to ensure each designer works within the same parameters.
I started with sketching out ideas and searching for inspiration. I was initially inspired by MIT's media lab logo system and the room it provided for easy expansion. This led to exploration of the primary shapes and colors.
Once I found the general direction I wanted to take, I hopped on Adobe Illustrator for some rapid fire iterations. I messed around with forms and colors and blending modes. While I was drawn to the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow, it felt too serious and not nearly as fun as CAB should be. Eventually I was let to the "artists' primary colors" of magenta, cyan, and yellow. These colors are much more light hearted and align much closer to what CAB represents.
After I narrowed down the final idea, all that was left was to cement the construction. From there, I created a 5x2 grid using the width of each shape as the base unit.