Meet Faraas Mannan, our 5k Logo designer

Today’s blog is something a bit different.  I interviewed Faraas Mannan of Angus Young, who designed the 5k logo and bandana and last year’s Welty Goats logo.  I wanted to hear about his design process and what he was trying to capture with the imagery he chose for the logo.  There’s still time to register if you’d like to participate and earn one of these cool event bandanas!

BKP: How do you start designing a logo…do you have a routine? favorite place to work? Do you draw by hand, or use a computer during the design phase?

FM: I will usually start with writing, as I find that has played a large portion in how I begin to illustrate. Whether it’s writing down keywords of the themes of the design or even unrelated words like lyrics from the music I am listening to at that moment, it all ends up leading into the doodling phase. Once that starts, I tend to doodle whatever is in my mind on to Post-Its or next to my work notes. Regardless of where I am, any time I get an idea that’s related to the main design, I try and get something on paper. I end up with a lot of uncooked sketches as it’s never a simple or linear process I can repeat consistently. But I can usually collage together something cohesive enough to push through as a definitive concept to build from.

From there I will start getting the design translated into a digital format and start the tweaking portion. I will often go back and forth between hand sketches and the computer during this phase, but toward the end of the project it’s almost all digital. I find that looking at references in various media formats helps me find inspiration to hone in on what I want to do with my own work – and with the endless resources you can find online, there are always several opportunities for innovation and invention.

(Faraas Mannan; the full 5K logo; the event bandana participants will get when they finish)

BKP: What was your inspiration for this design? Can you talk about the various elements of the logo and why you chose them?

FM: Once I was briefed on the scope of the event, I broke it down by primary and secondary themes. For this design, the primary theme was that the smaller contributions of individuals was going to add up to the larger 320 mile length of the Rock River. The secondary theme was that with those contributions, anyone can participate and they can do it however they want to. I knew that the river had a huge part to play in this but without the individual participation and effort, it would be meaningless.

Graphic Design has always been a valuable outlet for fostering creativity

So I guess I’d say that COVID-19 was the driving factor for how this design came up. I wanted to highlight the activities that everyone was already doing to stay busy and entertained on their own during these times. From there, the activity bubbles started to take shape. I wanted the activity bubbles to “social distance” from each other to reinforce that you can be doing these things solo, but even with the distance, all that effort was still connected to the overall goals. Take your activity, drop it into the river, add it all up to be part of something bigger!

BKP: What is your training/background for this kind of work?

FM: I mean, I’ve been doodling ever since my grade school teachers were scolding me to focus in class. I remember designing logos for friends and making comics about the crazy situations we would find or want to find ourselves in. From there, I eventually got access to the Adobe suite of programs in high school and never really stopped being interested in those utilities. I actually attended a semester of college at FIT for advertising and communication design before I eventually decided to pivot and pursue architecture. However, between those two worlds, the overlap in both design ideation and the software they shared has always kept me connected to graphic design. It has always been a valuable outlet for fostering creativity and whenever I get a chance to do it for others, it’s always nice to have made an impact, however slight, in the real world with real people.

…and when I do it for others, it’s  nice to have made an impact in the real world with real people.

BKP: Anything else about the design process you think would be interesting to share?

FM: The color scheme was pulled from the primary Welty logos. I always enjoy being able to incorporate something that exists and providing relevancy to a design.  Also, the design of the water stream around the graphics were actually modeled around the shape of a face mask. I felt it was appropriate given what we are all experiencing nowadays. And even though it wasn’t really part of the project, you could print it out on a mask and it would have fit nicely!

Stay safe everyone and good luck with the 5K!

Sponsored By:

ZFS | Zeeland Farm Services

Brenda Plakans
Executive Director, WEC