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The Born Of #Call And Its Logo

#CALL stands for Creative Action Learning Lab

Designing logo and brand visual identity is one of my favorite habits. I learned the skill and knowledge during early stages of my career when I was a copywriter at an advertising agency. After I left the advertising field, I moved to strategist investment consultancy such as VC/IPO service for enterprise and startups, and moved to web/mobile product research and design.

It’s so fun to design logo and the whole visual identity system especially when I was a member of the project. I feel I am a person who build the foundation of the enterprise. In fact, I am the person since I always worked on Reorganization company, developed strategic growth plan and building corporate culture system with founders and CEOs. One thing I did more than a normal strategy consultant is I used to use my skill to logo design and brand identity for these projects since I was internal consultant.

I also like to designed logos and visual identity for digital nonprofit projects such as a self-organization blogger conference, several volunteer-based translation communities and education projects for kids, youth and adults.

Of cause, I always design logo for my own ideas and projects. The newest one is CALL which stands for Creative Action Learning Lab.

The Vision of CALL

There are three basic types of creations: Content, Object and Action. Beyond these basic types, there are some complex mixed types. For example:

  1. Content: Books, ads, visual design, music, course, news, law, etc.
  2. Object: Tools, toys, instruments, clothes, vehicles, new materials, etc.
  3. Action: Dance, sport, party, rituals, process, etc.
  4. Content/Object: Sculpture, architecture, school, museum, library, aquarium, etc.
  5. Content/Action: Recipe, rule, guidelines, game,speech, etc.
  6. Object/Action: Restaurant, park, playground, church, dance hall, shopping mall, ice rink, stadium, etc.

My preference on types of creation has been slowly changed from Content to Action during last several years.

After spent many years on digital nonprofit community, I changed my attention to theory and research. During the last almost five years, my personal learning journey focused on ecological psychology, practice theories, cognitive science and the philosophy of science. One of most important thing I want to do is to bridge theory and practice.

The “bridge” has two meanings to me. First, I want to bridge my past with my future. There are various and miscellaneous work and learning experience within my past career, after learned some theories, I feel my chaotic experience suddenly become invaluable asset for my future career. Second, there is a huge opportunity of transformation between scientific knowledge creation and everyday life creation.

Another interesting thing is that two of theories I learned highly tie to Action. Ecological psychology is about the perception-action loop and Practice Theories are about acts, actions, activities within everyday life.

Finally, I and my partners recently decided to work on building a brand new social platform which aims to encourage people to take action.

These threads weaved together and guides me to a new creative space: why not start a learning community about action design, action study and action theory?

Ten day ago, I got the name idea. I can call this creative space as #CALL which stands for Creative Action Learning Lab.

#CALL is not only for me. It is not for the project we are working on too. #CALL is for people who love these three keywords: Creative, Action and Learning.

Design a logo for #CALL

I got the name idea at 7:37 pm and drawed the draft of logo idea at 10:03 pm. I guessed it only took 2 to 3 minutes for me to find the idea. I just opened a notebook and started to played the word. Quickly, I found it.

It was just lucky. Sometimes you need to spend several months to find a satisfied idea design.

Two days ago, I started to put the draft into Photoshop and ran the form only test.

Design A

Logo is a combination of form and color. The form only test is only using black color logo to make some design examples. This method removes the effect of color and requests you to focus on the form. Once you decide the right form, you can start the color test to find appropriate colors.

Design B

Designers usually adopt one of two logo strategies: logomark or logotype. Logomark is an image or symbol and logotype is styled brand name. For example, Apple’s logo is a logomark and Google’s logo is a logotype. But, sometimes it is hard to say the logo is a logomark or a logotype, such as #CALL.

I use a 3/4 circle as basic unit of #CALL logo. Four different positions forms C, A, L an L. Since there are four basic unit, I can play it more with different configurations. The most attractive configuration is Design B which presents a house in a negative shape.

Why do I like Design B so much than others? The layout of house within Design B inspired me to think about the idea of “Creative Spaces” which coined by John Hagel in his book The Power of Pull. According to John Hagel, the Creative Spaces help participants achieve their potential.

Creation spaces help participants engage with each other around collaborative creation activities and, in the process, to build long-term, trust-based relationships. These creation spaces encourage individuals to come together in teams, not only to engage in challenging problem-solving activities within the team but also to create ways for individuals to connect with each other across teams to explore innovative approaches to particularly vexing problems. In the process, they provide robust places for participants to learn rapidly through the creation of new knowledge. Everybody who takes part can achieve their potential by pulling out higher and higher levels of performance.

(The Power of Pull, p.129–130)

Though the author did mentioned TEDx as a Creative Space, I do believe TEDx is a great example of Creative Space. I’d like to share some stories about TEDx in other posts.

Design C

Design C is for testing the vertical context. Instead of align the bottom of the name with the logo, I just move the name a little bit up. You can guess what the purpose is.

The Future of #CALL

Another test task of form only is testing with various contexts such as different colors, different pictures.

The above designs are color only context. The following design use pictures as context.

The following one uses white color for brand name.

The following one use small size logo.

The last one is very nice. I really like this.

These designs show the future of #CALL, how do we use #CALL logo in the future. The name and the logo are just the layout of the Container. The value of the container depends on how do we pour water with the container.



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Oliver Ding

Oliver Ding

Founder of CALL(Creative Action Learning Lab), information architect, knowledge curator.