Logo Case Study: Hydraulic Studio

Company: Hydraulic Studio for RSM Marketing
Date: January 2021
Project Description: Hydraulic Studio is a video production studio under the RSM Marketing umbrella. As lead designer for RSM, the Hydraulic team came to me requesting a new, modernized logo. They wanted something more meaningful than the simple (and frankly overused) video-specific iconography for the brand mark and now have the brand equity to get away with it more easily.

[ PREVIOUS LOGO ]

Design Constraints

Without going into too much detail, these were a few of the constraints I had to work within:

  • They didn’t want any apertures, camera lenses, or other industry-specific icons.
  • They wanted it to be a single-color logo rather than the 3 color logo that they had previously.
  • They gave me the complete freedom to come up with the concept on my own – which was wonderful, yet challenging, since I had no strategy or ideas as a starting point for research.

Fox Totem

After doing some research, I discovered that symbolism for foxes aligned perfectly with the Hydraulic Studio brand. A fox is clever, strategic, wise, and adaptable – just as a video production team must be every single day. Just like a fox, they must think outside the box, yet keep a determined mindset in order to deliver the best outcome.

The fox was THE brand mark that I really wanted to sell through to the rest of the team, so I took my initial ideas to my sketchbook. My goal was to show Hydraulic’s “h” in the form of the fox, so that’s where I started.

As you can see here, I started with rough sketches, then brought them into Adobe Illustrator to digitize them. I then used the circle technique to make the fox geometrically balanced in all areas.

Once I finished refining the fox, I added some final touches through the accent on the tail and the addition of the sun flares, fully strengthening their identity with an extra touch of brand relevancy.

I then went on to test different typefaces with the logo (serif, sans-serif, etc) and selected one that was very elegant and modern, since that was their overarching goal for this redesign.

This may be one of my favorite logos that I’ve ever created! It was so fun to do the research and think about various concepts for something that gave me creative freedom. It was a great reminder of why I love being a designer and having the opportunity to create projects like this every day!