Anyway, I just thought I'd share some of my thought processes and philosophy on the design.
|My original design|
Animals give a design more personality than something abstract, and many animals represent certain things to people. That's why a lot of institutions choose an animal as a mascot. Since the company uses a military theme for their business and this was a competition to design a military style patch it seemed like a good idea to run with.
"But Nigel, why did you pick an owl when other animals like eagles and wolves are so much cooler?" said nobody.
"Shut up, owls are way cooler than those slacker animals!" I replied.
For a start, Nightgear is a UK retailer so I thought it would be fitting to choose an animal that's part of the British ecosystem. Yes we do have eagles, but the eagle is a symbol of imperial conquest and you don't necessarily want that subliminal connotation attached to your company and I think the last time we had wolves in Britain we were still writing in Celtic runes. Besides all that, owls are symbolic of wisdom, so using one as your image says "Hey, check it out, we know what we're doing."
I tried out a few other animals but they gave results that were dangerously similar to the Bat symbol or the Foxhound logo.
If you're wondering why the owl is carrying a tonfa or 'night stick' it's because I wanted make the image a bit more interesting while representing something related to the company's market.
As far as I know, Nightgear doesn't actually sell any kind of weapons, so there's a slight innacuracy there, but it does look a bit like a branch, or something an owl could actually land on, pick up and carry, and it's similar enough to police equipment to be on-theme.
I'm currently working on a version with a bit more detail, which would be better suited to web or print, since this one is designed with stitching in mind.
update: so it turns out we wolves in Britain way longer than I thought, and the particular owl I based the image on isn't native to the islands... but lets keep that between us, who's gonna know, eh? :)