Designing a logo in Nairobi is always good fun, mainly because of the amount of inspiration you have to draw from. We are currently going through one of the more rainy seasons I remember and I got a brief to design a logo for The Lamp Shade Company in Nairobi.
As I said earlier, logos are good fun because Nairobi is full of inspiration. Usually all I need is a walk in the Toi Market just a few minuted from our office and I have a few ideas. The walk is full of inspiration from the way you hear and smell Fish being fried somewhere but can only see fresh fruit around you.
The experience plays with your senses sometimes it encourages you to work up ideas that are not necessarily only seen, they are also processed and makes one feel like perhaps they should be using more senses.
Anyway, back to the logo at hand. Nairobi’s The Lamp Shade Company has asked AKSENT to come up with a logo for them and it is dark and rainy, so, there will be no running around in Toi Market looking for inspiration.
Well actually, I am kind of glad that it is so dull. This brief is all about beautifully lighting up areas. The Company is based in Nairobi and want this reflected int heir logo somehow.
So I figure, as always, keep it simple and stick to the brief. I have the basic theme for my logo but cannot decide what is more Nairobi than the other, the buildings, the crooks, the Nairobians themselves…
We had a quick conversation in the office about how due to the lack of transport, some guys can’t make it in. Wangui mentions that people in personal cars offering walking Kenyans a ride are being harassed by matatu operators, being asked “Lipeni shimo!!!!” (pay for the collection point – english does this no justice BTW.) When the drivers refuse, the operators pull Kenyans out of cars.
What Wangui is not understanding is this, She offers a Kenyan a ride to the furthest common point along the route and the guy who needs the lift agrees to be harassed out of a ride!!!! Timid Kenyans!
Anyway, I go back to my Lamp Shade Company logo… How can I apply this interesting story to the logo? A story about how many Kenyans allow themselves to be screwed out of their rights?
Well, in my logo, I have cut the power to the lights so the light itself would never actually work. That is how I applied that bit of inspiration that Wangui brought to me today.
Client loves it and thinks it is a quiet protest and wonders if we can always have a quiet protest on all her artwork in future.
Aaaaaah Nairobi, City of inspiration….