Logo Design for Up Dharma Down

When my friend Paul Yap, the bassist of Up Dharma Down, asked me to create their logo identity for the launch of their new website, it seemed like a rhetoric question. I had been listening to the band since their debut album came out in 2006, and I distinctly remember how songs like “Lazy Daisy” and “Oo” would be on loop in the creative halls of Saatchi as we were toiling away on overtime. To collaborate with them for their graphic identity was something I deemed as an honor.

Paul really liked the direction I took for Music in Monogeometry, a small graphic exercise I worked on while I was in Italy, giving credit to the music that surrounded me while I was alone. I thought that direction fit my vision for the band’s logo, as not only did it serve as soundtrack to a poignant moment in my life (yes everything is that dramatic), I also thought the band deserved an enigmatic representation, having pushed for sound that is so distinct and recognizably theirs, and yet impossible to classify into a genre. Likewise, the band needs no further introduction, having been featured in Time and BBC, and having done regional shows with Arcade Fire, Sondre Lerche and Bloc Party. I thought that with all their recent success locally and regionally, they could easily get away with a symbol without their full name (sort of like Starbucks just going with the mermaid, or Madonna just going by Madonna)

The result is one that hopes to be iconic but not blatant, doesn’t quite fall into categories completely (not quite visual, not quite type), and is always open to interpretation. Just like their music.

Did a few other studies as well, but Paul and I agreed that the one we chose might have stuck the right balance between mystery and clarity.

Here’s a single to keep you company this Sunday night. UDD will be playing next on March 4, at Malasimbo Festival in Puerto Galera. Be sure to catch them then!

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