Going to the dogs

by Lori on March 22, 2012

final logo for pedals for paws

pedalling for painted dogs

I was recently asked to be the designer for Painted Wolf Wines.  My little heart went “wheeeeee!” and the designy side of me started salivating. Not because it’s wine, although they do make some very delicious tipples. I was excited about the whole package. It’s always brilliant to work with people who think the same way as you do…. supporting organic grape growers, local artists (for wine label images) and of course, the gorgeous carnivores after which they are named (a portion of the profits goes to wild dog conservation).

We have completed quite a few projects using delicious artwork from some the art pack associated with Painted Wolf Wines.  I had not put pen, pencil or paintbrush to paper to draw wild dogs until Jeremy asked me to put together a logo for their cycling adventures. Here is an extract from his email:

Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines and Pedals 4 Paws plans a number of cycle rides over the coming years to visit most of the reserves in Southern Africa where viable populations of Painted Dogs exist and where there are research and conservation programs in place. Each ride will be different and will highlight a different area and the work of different conservation organisations. We will take a limited number of riders on each leg who will be expected to help raise funds  for a number of conservation organisations. We will use the resources of Painted Wolf Wines to communicate to a broad public about the dogs, and other related conservation issues. We plan to focus our efforts in the future on the effect which poaching with wire snares and other snares set to catch game for the bush meat trade is having on Painted Dogs and all other species, and to help by raising funds and other resources to help tackle this major conservation problem.”

If you want to help conserve painted dogs there are any number of authentic charities you can donate to: the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa; Tusk in the United Kingdom; Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT) in Botswana or sponsor the riders of Pedals 4 paws by contacting Jeremy: jeremy(at)paintedwolfwines(dot)com.

sketches of wild dogs and cyclists

pages from my sketch book of very messy cyclists and anatomically improbable dogs. The relationships between the images have no relevance, so in some instances, it looks like the cyclist is about to be attacked.. Merely making use of blank parts of the paper. Final two can be seen on the second page down on the left

My idea was to create some very simple ink drawings using a brush pen. Lines would have to have a calligraphic feel to them. This turned out to be harder than I imagined it would be. In my head I would go swish, swish, squiggle, swish and there it would be in all its glory. It took many tries and lots of swoosh, bugger, splat, swishes before I managed to get two images I could use. I think, the disasters were part of the training my eyes, brain and hand needed to get the anatomy right and decide what was important and what wasn’t.

The final swishes were converted to vector and compiled to make the image at the top of this post. I am particularly proud of the dog – he looks alert, paused in the middle of a meander, obviously thinking :”What the…..?”.

The logo is not a logo in the strictest corporate sense of the word. It is more a label for the events and is modelled on our latest label redesign for  “the den” collection of wines (soon to be launched). I think cycling through some of Southern Africa’s most beautiful wild places is a series of stories waiting to happen. Stories which begin with a group of cyclists on the horison, nature watching them approach, with some interesting interaction a distinct possibility. The real stories and photos will be posted on the Painted Wolf Wines facebook page.


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