BCLA Technical Revision

In early 2021, I was approached by BCLA asking of I could help sort and organize their logo graphics. Different files displayed different colours, and quality. Some were identical with different names and others were labelled cryptically. The team was finding it difficult to identify and use the logo in their work. It was even worse trying to provide a graphic to outside organizations when the logo was required for joint initiatives.

These problems are entirely normal for an organization, especially one that has been using the design for decades and has undergone many changes in this time.

I set about revising the technical aspects of the logo, creating new graphics for different purposes, and applying a consistent and intelligible naming scheme.

Scope of work

This work comprises 2 parts: a technical revision of the artwork of the BCLA logo, and the preparation of graphic files that can be easily used and maintained by BCLA.

The goal is a set of graphics that can be easily used and maintained.

Technical Revision

The technical revision resulted from the discovery that there were different versions of the logo. Specifically there were versions that differed in colour as well as differences in detail such as sunburst sizes and typography.
In order to rationalize the graphics package, this variation would need to be addressed.

The criteria were

• No fundamental change that would alter the nature of the design
• Use original colours if they could be identified
• Ensure the colours had modern equivalents for digital as well as office use
• Ensure the files were well-made with only the required elements to make a good result
• Improve details, such as the typography, for modern multi-media use

Analysis revealed several problems that would make the logo difficult to handle and affect reproduction in any media. Points were misaligned (left) and sun rays / starbursts were not orthogonal to the vertical axis (right):

points-and-rays

The logo's typography also was problematic. It had been converted to outlines, but the elements were stroked and not properly "punched out", which made handling the logo with transparency a nightmare (left). The logo is also elliptical, which is not what a person expects when using the graphic in documents, and also is cause for some misalignment of elements and points (right).

type-and-ellipse

There was more than one version of the logo, and in some cases the starburst rays broke the containing arc of the positive shape. This led to a wobbly look on the edge of the burst patterns (left). Additionally there were a number of problematic vectors, including empty duplicates of partial shapes, control points poorly placed, too many control points and vectors that made odd shapes when the graphic was placed on any background other than white (right).

bad-vectors

Every single one of these problems was corrected, and the typography carefully rebalanced.

corrected

A set of four designs were generated (along with variants of the sunburst only)

final-4

Graphics Package

BCLA team requires a set of graphics that they can select and use easily without the struggle they currently have. The demands of modern work and media are no longer limited to a few internal documents on professionally printed stationery and a handful of commercially printed brochures and posters. Today’s graphics must cover that traditional scope but also recognize that office documents, presentations, web sites, and the rise of advanced media such as augmented reality all require appropriate graphics.

It’s not unusual for graphics to be delieverd to an organization with some guidance, but it is usually not sufficient to the actual tasks an internal team must do. This graphics provided a file structure that itself acts as a guide, and file naming that is not cryptic or abbreviated.

There are a handful of guides and quick reference documents supplied as PDFs, but the most important thing for BCLA personnel is that the resources are kept in a folder structure that is descriptive according to the task and purpose they are trying to achieve. This means they can find the correct file. Also file names are intentionally long. This serves two purposes. It confirms that a person has selected the correct graphic. It also serves to fully identify the file should it be moved or copied to a location outside the filter structure.

file-structure

BLCA personnel report that the new graphics are easy to select and use, and the pre-made package of files (with permission and usage guidance) is a handy item for forwarding to external partners.