I was asked to develop a visual language for logo design by Parley. The constraint was that the logo design had to be modular so that the minor elements could be reused in the future in different contexts.
Inspiration: Mayan Hieroglyphs
Mayan System uses a method of compound hieroglyphs to create words. Mayan script is syllabic like Japanese Hiragana script. So complete words are a combination of hieroglyphics compounded in a system.
There is a rule according to which the hieroglyph compounds are created. The formation depends on the number of syllables in the word. Below you can see the template of the compound according to the number of syllables. This rule is more or followed strictly. We can basically use this system to create little icons which we can reuse according to the Mayan system. This also means we can use an arbitrary number of icons from the system on the right. We can also designate something as the main symbol and have postfix, prefix etc.
A version of the alphabet.
There are three distinct elements (wave, surfboard and the background) each of which can be used elsewhere - because they form their own syllable.
This is a rough translation but fails in that it is still trying to mimic the style of the hieroglyphs without making anything new. I had to use the concept and approach it from a modern perspective. This could be done by using the framework of the hieroglyphs.
Inspired by the way hieroglyphic writing system works, we can create modular assets that can be flexibly stacked within the layouts. The graphs to below are just examples of layout guides of how we can build the badge design out of.
The goal is possible to have a library of assets that can be interchangeable and customizable.
Below are examples of what the framework would look like when realised.
Since the logo was meant to be something that lived across different media, I made animated versions. That and an AR prototype for good measure.