What’s in a name (or logo)?

When William Shakespeare wrote these famous lines in 1914, he didn’t know that the Twitter will tell stories in 140 words and the images may replace names in 20th century!

While pocking around the settings of WordPress template for this website, I realized they ask you for a logo to go with the site header. Hmmm…. another exciting task for the artist in me! I never thought about a logo for this simple website but now that they have asked for it I decided to roll up my sleeves and start doodling. Of course, all research starts with the cyber God Google – when I asked him about some tips I was quickly blessed with a myriad of do’s and don’ts.

After a crash course on logo design, I came up with some basic idea about what I would like in a logo for this site. First and foremost, something that connects to the site name SherpaValley (or SV). Second, I wanted the logo to have some flavor of the Sherpa art, culture, and religion. Finally, I wanted to use a color scheme inspired by the sights of the Khumbu Valley. After reviewing my photographs from the EBC trek, I came up with some reference images and set out to design a logo for this website.

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While hiking to the EBC, you will see several Buddhist Stupas along the trail with Buddha’s eyes painted in indigo and adorned with golden cloth above the eyes. These fascinating bright colors makes them visible from a distance in the Himalayan fog.

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Stacked stones markers along the trail

Another constant sight is stacked stones along the trail, near river, at the Buddhist Shrines, and other landmarks. My sherpa guide, Tshiring said they they are trail markers to guide people when the trail is covered with the snow and identifies rest areas.

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Buddhist Aum and Mantras carved in stones

Two of the most recognizable Buddhist symbols are the Buddhist Aum (or Om) and the Infinity Loop (or Eternity Knot?). Almost all the trails near Buddhist Shrine, town center, and other prominent locations have stone relics with painted or carved Buddhist mantras and Buddhist Aum. According to Tshering, these are commemorative stones offered by the locals on family events such as marriages, child birth, etc.

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Buddhist infinity knot on Tengboche Monastery’s kitchen curtain

I have always been fascinated by the intricate design of looped intertwined lines of the infinity knot. In addition to its philosophical meaning of interweaving of the Spiritual path, time and Eternal, I have always admired its minimalist and harmonic balance.

So, with these inspirations I embarked on  doodling on my iPad and came up with some preliminary concepts.

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After some tinkering and studying reference images from the EBC, I was drawn by the beauty of monochromatic landscape with contrasting colors of white snow and gray mountains so dropped the colors!

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Snowy white and gray landscape at the Everest Base Camp

 

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Initial Sketch – the old fashioned way!

 

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Digitization
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Playing with colors

The Shepra Valley logo is an original design inspired by four things: (1) the Buddhistendless knot (or the infinity knot) which is an intricate design of looped intertwined lines representing eternal continuum of mind. (2) the top part of the logo is inspired by the crescent and a dot (“Bindu”) representing pure consciousness (“Atman”) in various depictions of Hindu & Buddhist Om (or Aum),  (3) the vertical profile of the logo with repetitive shapes is inspired by the stacked stones you see all along the trail, and (4) the contrasting colors of snowy white Himalayan peaks and the gray mountains constantly accompany you on the trail.

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(C) Sherpavalley.com 2016

What’s in a name?  “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
– William Shakespeare, 1914

 

 

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