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This article features raw concept and ideas that happened before the final product is delivered. Brand BuildUp Collective, Dayn Advisory LLP and the respective creators legally holds the copyrights of their respective designs. We link the showcased artworks by linking them to the pins we put up on Pinterest. Click on the images to see the original source.

This is part of a series of post that showcases how we approach our Logo Design projects. These case study are meant to put to light why some freelance designers and agencies put a high value on their designs, and what we look out for when collaborating with other designers as well.

Dayn Advisory LLP is a Muslim-owned loan/mortgage/real estate advisory founded in Singapore.

They specialize in finding home financing that involves the least amount of interest possible. Their service is beneficial to multiple target audiences, namely home owners or home buyers who are looking for the best deals via low interest rates. For Muslims, this means a reduction of exposure to usury or riba’.

The client already having a decent portfolio of clients, despite having barely any branding or marketing done. However, they would like to further expand their outreach and create a professional branding and image for the company.

We suggested for Dayn Advisory to start with the logo first.

 

Design Brief From Dayn Advisory

In their design brief, the client specifically points out what they do not want. They felt that the logos for many local mortgage advisory looks too “kiddish” and unprofessional. The client overall expectations for the design is “Professional, minimal, classy, architectural, sleek, luxurious” and specifically cited Mercedes Benz “or prestigious luxury property development or architectural firms” in their brief.

Further details include a preference for a wordmark type logo. They also highlighted that the word “dayn” is Arabic for “debt” and is open to consider Arabic calligraphy as part of their logo. However, they do not wish for their non-Muslim clients to be put off by their logo.

 

Creating Mood Board

For design inspiration, we created a mood board via our Pinterest profile. There were three specific categories that we focused on: Modern Arabic calligraphy, wordmarks and financial logos. We found some interesting kufic-inspired Arabic calligraphy designs that go well with a prestigious financial branding.

Here are some of the things we found on Pinterest (See more here):

We did some research on kufic style and found out about the main rule of kufic style calligraphy: absolute evenness of full and empty spaces. Though we are not strictly confining ourselves to it, we recognise the need to pay homage to this rule closely. We are also happy to note that the style is absolutely not concerned with legibility: it is understood that the message is there.

Conceptualizing Ideas

The Arabic word “dayn” comprises of three different Arabic “abjad” or letters: د “Dhal”, ي “Ya” & ن “Noon”. We also know that in early Quranic text, the language is not written with the diacritics of today’s standards. Hence, we incorporate diacritics in only some parts of the design, while leaving the other forms without. We end up with three different ideas for our initial draft (Fonts used: Lato and Ubuntu):

Expanding on a Single Idea

We picked idea no. 2 and decided to expand further on it to give it a little more geometric symmetry:

 

    Creating 2 More Design Ideas

     

    Even though the response for the previous three proposals was positive (The client liked logo number 2 and 3), we still felt that some more ideas could be put forward. Dayn Advisory’s founder warmed up to the idea of ascendants and weighing scale and asked us to expand on that idea. Hence we proposed two new ideas to them:

    Narrowing Down

    The client chose to expand on the simplified proposed logo without. We were in fact surprised by the client when they asked us to expand on an idea they themselves drafted! As you can see, it incorporates some design element from the first draft and second draft:

    However, they also wish to see us refining the design for this:

    Which we obliged in our third draft:

    Refining The Chosen Idea

    Client decided on Concept 2, which we further refined.

    Finalise Idea

    We refined the chosen logo further by ensuring the negative space and positive design is equal in width, just like how kufic-styled calligraphy is supposed to be. We decreased the width of “D” so that it can carry the wide “A” and narrower “N” equally. The main font was modified from Ubuntu, while the smaller text is the default Ubuntu Medium without alterations on kerning and tracking.

    As much as we try to keep the alignment exceptionally clean, some parts are pretty difficult to further refine without throwing off other aspects of the design, so we left it as it is.

    So Dayn Advisory’s take on the final design?

    Wow. This is perfect bro. Thank you. Very nicely balanced. You got it spot on!

    We’re always happy to see happy clients! 

     

    What about you? What are your thoughts on the design process?

    Armen Rizal Rahman

    Founder/Creative Management

    Armen has over a decade worth of experience in the creative industry. He is a xennial who prefers PCs over Macs and is both tech savvy and tech phobic. He hates being called the “IT Guy”.

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