BadKarma Logo History

Designing a logo for a clothing brand is never easy, and we at BadKarma certainly had our share of challenges. So we wanted to give you an inside look into the process of creating the BadKarma logo, and the steps that were taken along this long road that helped give BadKarma its identity.

After countless hours, and even more designs left on the cutting room floor, we’ve come up with a logo that we feel best represents BadKarma. Our hope is that you will have an understanding of the design process as well as an appreciation of the care we invest in every last detail of our brand.

Enjoy this “Behind the Scenes” look into the Birth of a Logo (and a company)!

Having decided on the name “BadKarma”, our design team discussed numerous ideas for the logo. The challenge was to design something that was easily recognizable, yet still representative of South Asian culture. The team literally went through dozens of logo designs and several design iterations before finalizing the existing logo.

In the early stages of the design process, our team discussed various symbols and animals that could best encapsulate South Asian culture.

During the initial stages of design, we came up with the first three versions above. Figures 1 & 2 are designs of “Tiger Paws”, and Figure 3 is a design of a bull (all animals commonly found in many parts of South Asia). However, the problem with those logos was they reminded us of college teams' logos (specifically, Cal Bears and the Texas Longhorns). Since some of us are huge sports fans, we decided that those logos weren’t right for BadKarma. You’ll also notice that we decided to use several different styles of typeface treatment. In some of the versions, our team was trying to replicate the feel of a Sanskrit style typeface. We liked some of the versions, but they just didn’t seem to work together.


After deciding not to go with a tiger or bull, we continued to brainstorm. Some of the ideas included a cobra, a monkey, a lion, and various types of birds. But only one symbol resonated with all of us — the elephant.
The elephant has always been a favorite of ours, but designing an elephant that would translate well for a clothing line would be challenging. The logo needed to be different, and it had to stand out.

So our design team went back to the drawing boards (literally), and started sketching tons of elephants (no pun intended!)

Figure 4 was one of our first design attempts. As you can see, it looks a little intimidating (and we definitely didn’t want people to be afraid of our clothes). Since the elephant facing forward was a bit too aggressive, we tried showing the animal from a profile. (Figures 5 and 6)

We liked Figure 5, but again, the mark was a little too overbearing for a clothing line. The one thing we did like about Figure 5 was the typeface…so we tried to use that typeface with various versions of the elephants.

The next iteration in the design process was Figure 6. We were making progress, but something still wasn’t right. The legs were a little off…and the mark looked out of balance. The overall theme was good, but the composition didn’t make sense. Nevertheless, we thought that there were still elements of this logo that we could use.

We took the Figure 6 version and decided the try some different styles. In Figure 7 we put an enclosure around the logo. We liked it, but it reminded us of a cage, and the last thing we wanted on our hands was a caged elephant.
Then our design team came up with Figure 8. The one thing we all agreed on with Figure 8 was the typeface. We liked the way the word BadKarma looked in this typeface. It had a sense of elegance without being overstated.

After a unanimous decision about the typeface, we refocused our attention on the elephant. The BadKarma designers borrowed cues from Figure 7 and reworked the logo again. This time we changed the positioning of the trunk to face up (a sign of good luck). We liked the overall composition of the design, so now it was time to clean up the artwork.

After reworking the logo, smoothing out the edges, and defining all the curves to give the logo a cleaner appearance (compare Figure 8 and 9), our logo was finally taking shape!


We took our reworked version of Figure 9 and combined it with the BadKarma typeface. In this design phase we also started thinking about colors for the logo. (It’s normal practice in graphic design to first create logos in black and white. This is to ensure that the logo can “stand up” without color).
Some of the colors we discussed included gray, black, blue, purple, and several hues in between. But the one color that really stood apart was red. Plus, red was a terrific combination with the elephant. The only problem with red is that there are so many tones that it’s difficult to choose the right one.

Figure 9 was closer, but we still weren’t completely satisfied. The logo with the typeface to the right seemed out of balance. We liked the color combination of the red and the steel gray, but the composition just wasn’t right.


After a seemingly endless number of combinations of the elephant and typeface, we placed the elephant on top of the typeface, at which point the logo finally looked right. There was just one other issue to deal with — the color. We realized the previous version of red was a little too bright, so we started adding darker tones to the logo to give it a “richer” sheen.
The result was Figure 10: The BadKarma logo!

As you can see, designing the logo for BadKarma was a long (but fun) process. We hope this gives you a little insight into our company and how we developed our logo. We look forward to sharing other exciting “Behind the Scenes” aspects of BadKarma in the future.

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