Design / Branding /

A logo and branding exercise for the power boat Sona.

The brief required a design that could work as both a stitched logo for crew shirts, as well as the boat’s name to be placed on the hull. Further, the client requested something with an ‘oceanic’ theme and for it to seem imperfect in some manner.

Earlier iterations were rejected for being either too abstract, or overly focused on typography, as the client needed a result that could be used as both an icon and a wordmark

Sona Logo

The result is something of a literal branding exercise with a logotype that feels (and is) hand drawn with imperfect kerning, weight, and an ‘s’ character breaking the logos rigid lines to reflect rolling waves.

details yo
  • : Sona
  • : Marc Ziani de Ferranti


The instinct (or at least custom) with boat logos–for better or worse—is to make some kind of visual or lingual pun with an accompanying overly-elaborate illustration of either the boat or some abstraction of the name. This often proves difficult and counter productive when it comes to the most common use of these logos, i.e. stitching onto either shirts or hats for the crew. Anything with too much detail will be lost and work against the design when transferred to wearable material typically used on boat—it will also have a lesser impact when reproduced on sails or hulls where motion and light hinder legibility. While my instincts as a designer may have wished for something more visually symmetric or icon-like, it was a reminder that achieving the clients wishes and performing functionally is the goal.