Logo and brand development for Armchair Escapist - a blog that reviews escape rooms in the South Wales area.
The first step was to bash out some different ideas. We wanted to explore the idea of a logo that was in itself a puzzle or illusion. I played on the idea of a key that shaped the initials AE as well as other more graphical uses of the two letters. One of the favourite twists on this angle was the AE inside a keyhole shape which for a long time was the clients favourite.
Sketchbook pencil and biro sketches of ideas completed by myself
I also wanted to explore using the ‘armchair’ as a symbol in the logo. As there are many styles of armchairs this opened up opportunities to us. We tried an abstract ‘bucket seat’ style that formed a ‘?’ shape, as well as the more traditional comfy chair shape. In the end we felt the lock and chain logo was too specific to escape rooms- the client has plans to branch out from simply escape room reviews.

The client liked the idea of a logo he could easily draw a version of at events - its common for escape rooms to have walls for customers to write victory messages onto in chalk or pen.
Rough logo concepts of the top 4 ideas created by myself in Adobe Draw on the iPad
After some thought and discussion we went ahead with the bottom right logo as the angular shapes reminded Jamie of a retro-futurism style that very much fits with his personality and style.

Once we settled on the logo design to help Jamie picture the logo ‘in the wild’ I made some quick mockups onto photos. Most of these photos came from Unsplash and all sources are linked at the bottom of this post. As his blog is escape room orientated and he plans to create his own puzzles I chose to pop it onto products he was likely to use, in this case: a journal, coaster, engraved onto a lock, a promotional t-shirt and, of course, business cards.
Three visual mockups created by myself to show the logo in context using Illustrator and photos (credited at the end) as a base.
One of the big benefits of this colour palette is how much it stands out. The purple is strong and the yellow attention grabbing. On t-shirts the logo will work great on mustard with the question mark being cut-out. When it came to the business cards Jamie was very keen to hide some puzzles. There are two in total, one on each side using different codes and cyphers.
The business card design completed in Photoshop. This design is completed by myself using smart objects onto an existing photo.
As well as a logo I put together a brief brand guide. This is intended as a quick reference sheet for colours as apposed to a fully fleshed out brand guidelines. As this is a small blog this is ample for his needs. As Jamie uses Canva for his social media design we chose fonts that complimented his logo font to use as on Canva he’s unable to add custom fonts.

This brand guide is from a template also credited at the end, although I have my own templates they are all very comprehensive and I enjoy experimenting with existing templates.
Brand guidelines created from an Illustrator template which I then mocked up onto a photo in Photoshop
The final logo completed in Adobe Illustrator
Credits:
Journal and coaster: Self-created in Photoshop. Wood texture from cgtextures.com. Inspiration for layout from Jennysis Crafts on Facebook.
Brand guide in-situ: Photograph from Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash, guide template from  Every Tuesday
Lock photo: from John Salvino on Unsplash
T-shirt photo: from Alex Holyoake on Unsplash
Business Card  photo: from Jukebox Print on Unsplash
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