Friday, June 13, 2014

Baboon Lagoon

I recently worked with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Ron Foth Advertising to create a logo for the zoo's new kid-friendly water park, Baboon Lagoon. The basic idea for the theme of the park is that a peaceful baboon village is being harassed by a nasty octopus bully. The baboons retaliate by dumping a giant barrel of water on him. The zoo wanted all these elements represented in the logo and to capture the fun of the attraction.

The logo started out featuring baby baboons, as the attraction is targeted at children. So we tried a couple different options featuring a barrel of baby baboons.

We reached a decision on the basic layout of the image and made some choices about the font. We then started to play with how realistic vs. cartoony the octopus should be.

We also eventually came to realize that baby baboons are hard to visually differentiate from other monkeys and apes. Being that the attraction is part of a zoo, they felt strongly that we need to make it clear that these animals are baboons, so we decided to age the characters a bit. We also decided that while the octopus and baboons in the park would look realistic, we should go with more simplified, cartoon versions of the characters in the logo.

For more information about Baboon Lagoon, check out their website at

Photos of the park provided by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Zoombezi Bay


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Wow. You've got yourself a pretty steady string of clients recently. It must feel like hitting some kind of creative artery!

Its fantastic to see the process with so many different variations! I was going to say that baby baboons were hard to distinguish from run of the mill monkeys, but it looks like you were two steps ahead of me on that point.

These results are outstanding! Bravo sir, bravo.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks, man!
Yeah it's difficult to make lil baboons cute without removing everything that makes them look like baboons.

And knock on wood about those clients. Daddy needs to buy some pinky rings and a zeppelin.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I'm pullin' for you man. We're all in this together!

I always try and support people whose work I admire. College peers such as yourself especially so.

Jake Murray said...

This came out awesome, Dave! Please tell me that we'll be making a field trip to Baboon Lagoon this summer.