We recently got in touch with our supernatural side to develop a logo for Dark Cliff, a local paranormal researcher. Rather than just drawing up a stereotypical logo with ghosts and ominous fonts, we wanted to tap into what makes the company unique and create an emblem that tells their story.
Dark Cliff wanted their logo to be immediately evocative and make people ask questions. They also wanted to combat the ghost hunter cliches by portraying a legitimate, academic, and credible image. Many ghost hunters and supernatural experts are generic mom-and-pop shops that all look and sound the same. On the other hand, Dark Cliff is not the typical paranormal investigator. They’re more focused on debunking suspicious activities and clues rather than jumping to conclusions and chasing apparitions. They exhaust all other options first and then investigate the paranormal possibilities.
To get to the heart of Dark Cliff’s approach and capture their story in the logo, we started off by developing a brand metaphor. We brainstormed other things that debunk mysteries and evoke the same feelings, and we determined their metaphor is a CIA video game. Many video games are all about quests to overcome challenges, save the day, and reveal secrets. The CIA has similar missions, and, although they’re elusive, they must have a certain level of structure and legitimacy since they’re part of the government.
This metaphor gave us a rich starting point for Dark Cliff’s logo. We focused more heavily on the CIA portion of the metaphor for the logo design and did some research on cryptanalysis (code breaking) for additional inspiration. We found out you often need various types of keys to be aligned in order to break sophisticated codes. We thought this could be an interesting concept for the logo.
The final design included two keys moving towards alignment and a variation of the morse code for “D” and “C”.
Dark Cliff loved how the logo turned out and is in the process of integrating it into their materials, apparel, and more.