Branding: Hike Austin.
Logos and branding guidelines for community-driven trailguide Hike Austin.
Hike Austin is a community trail guide created by local Austinites, shared on Instagram, to showcase the beautiful parks and natural spaces in and around Austin, TX. It is a fantastic resource for locating new parks and trails while also viewing some amazing photography from locals. During my posting and exploring of these areas on Instagram I came across the account and was hooked right away. It gave me an opportunity to see the same areas I run & hike through from different viewpoints and turned me on to new trails I had yet to explore. I was originally contacted to create a t-shirt graphic for Hike Austin last year and the project was put on hold shortly after. When we started talking again this year, the idea grew from a single t-shirt into a full branding project to include a logo, submark, icon, brand guidelines, and a t-shirt design.
Once we discussed a direction for the project, I got to work thumbnailing a ton of quick ideas in pencil and sent Hike Austin a few of the best once I cleaned them up and vectorized them. The idea we focused on was a bold typeface with elements of nature and some fun colors. This grew again into mixing these elements with a hiking boot per client's request, as it is used often throughout their postings. I used some of my favorite brands of trailrunning shoes and hiking boots for some inspiration, making the boot from scratch in Illustrator. The static boot wasn't quite satisfying until I added the bend to give it the feel of being in motion. I pulled colors from my own experiences hiking and trailrunning in Austin where we experience a ton of warmth year-round while we are in these green spaces with water throughout the area. After some revisions on the placement of the boot and explored a few more color options, we finalized the primary logo with the original colors and I built the submarks from here. During the thumbnail stage, I was designing with this idea of separation in mind as I wanted to give Hike Austin a dynamic logo that can be split into different parts for versatility. This keeps initial costs down and range-of-use high.
Brand familiarity is important in the early stages of any organization/brand and even though Hike Austin has been around for some time and has a great following, this approach gives them a wider range of graphics from a singular logo and remains recognizable as they branch into building merch with these graphics; it keeps the initial offerings cohesive and recognizable. I created some sticker designs on the house when I completed the project just because they will look rad (sharing those later on). Hike Austin is very pleased with the creative process and the final product which always brings me pleasure and satisfaction to bring my clients the stoke-age. Look out for Hike Austin merch soon and be sure to get some sun and experience the greener areas during your next visit here and go explore parks in your own city as well!
Hike Austin can be found on Instagram, @hikeaustin.
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