Johannesburg, South Africa
I was asked by one of my clients to assist in the design of a logo for a youth activation and advocacy organisation, Mukundi means victor or conqueror in Shona. She was looking for a logo that incorporated a lion, as a symbol of strength and victory, as well as the map of Africa. Obviously, as a designer, I tend to be very cautious when designing logos that have the Africa map, as this can potentially lead to a design that is clichéd. She was specifically looking for a logo and image that represents the ‘latent but very much alive energy’ of African youth – helping to symbolise that they hold the future (both ours and theirs) in their hands.
I loved her inspiration for why she wanted to incorporate an image of a lion “A few years ago, I visited a lion breeding station, I walked with 6-month-old cubs – which are about the size of a Labrador – they are just babies and would flop down across you when you sat down. But I got a fright when one playfully put a paw on my thigh – his paw was the size of a grown man’s hand, with claws sheathed. The point I am making is that they were essentially impressive beasts who hadn’t fully understood their power, or that on all those walks they essentially had the upper hand but didn’t get it – that’s the same with youth.”
She was looking for a logo that was distinct, and that would appeal to the youth. I have fallen in love with my solution. The strength, power and energy of the lion and all it represents is entwined and married with the map of Africa in a fresh new way. Sometimes I will see one of my logos and I still can’t believe that I actually get to make stuff like this every day.