Which audience will you target with your research? What keywords would you use to define your research? What message do you want to convey? These questions are crucial when you are in the process of creating a research plan. Nevertheless, most people forget to think about essentializing their research into the answers that these questions can provide. Last week I found that creating a logo for your research can help to think about exactly those points.

On november 12, in a lecture of the course Researching Africa in the 21st Century we, the students, were asked to create a logo for your own research. In the first instance, everyone was somewhat sceptical. Myself included. After the first part of a talk by Harco van den Hurk called ‘Logo, Identity, and Typography’, I was not yet fully convinced. He stated that a logo helps to reinforce the tie between visual memory and name recognition. It helps users/the audience to discover, share and remember an organisation or project. That is all fine, but to me it still did not make much sense to create such an image for a one year master’s project.

Next, Harco started to explain the process of creating a logo. Before starting with his designs, he asks the organisation/project makers to think about the questions I mentioned above. Now it was to us to start this process. It took a while for me before I could start this thinking of good answers. I was very unsure about what I wanted to research. Eventually, I began to get a clear idea of what message I wanted to convey. I want to look at the effectiveness of pragmatic education and micro financing to improve the capacity of the BoP (Bottom of the Pyramid) to help themselves. I want to convey that working on close relationships with clients, and being aware of existing networks and long-term impact and changes in the district is important. My audience will most likely be small scale NGO’s, and those involved in Inclusive Development, as well as other stakeholders involved in these kind of projects. Keywords are ‘relationships, human value, trust, involvement, knowledge exchange, inclusive development, and sustainable impact’. Eventually all of this would have to be reflected in one single image. When playing those idea’s when searching for a design, you can overthink, re-visit and reflect on these questions again.

The logo that I have created took several tries, and I am not yet fully satisfied with the outcome. However, in order to create it I immediately made clear start towards creating a research proposal. Because exactly the questions I had to think of in creating the image, where those that are at the course of a research. From thereon I found the motivation to start of thinking a methodology, and research the context in which I will conduct my research.

In sum, a logo helps the audience to discover and remember your project. Moreover, the process of creating the logo will improve your project and make sure you are able get establish the corse message you would like to convey. Not only will this help when you just start thinking about it, it will also help to get back to your core message if you find yourself stuck in the middle of your research. And finally, once you use the logo, you only need one glance at it and you will see reflected in it all the questions that you had to answer in order to create it. That is how creating a logo can improve your research plan.

Source picture: https://videohive.net/search/logo%20draw