I’ll be frank, drawing horses has always been an Achilles heal for me. To do it well, you really need to understand the bone structure and muscle groups of horses. But who doesn’t like a good mustang logo? So, when Jodi from Eckes Design called looking for illustration help for her high school client, I jumped at the opportunity.

Like many high schools, team logos are typically bad clip art or stolen from college or pro teams. Often, the logo will change from the volleyball team, to the football team, to the baseball team… generally because there isn’t a cohesive branding strategy.

With the initial round of designs, smARTer offered a variety of energetic poses in a wide variety of layouts anticipating lots of apparel applications.

Turns out the logo committee hosts some horse owners that know the distinct differences in breeds. What I designed was no mustang. The next round got extremely literal, trying to appease the experts.

Ultimately, we landed on a compromise that feels more mustang without losing the energy.

We were able to keep the “M” in the mane design making this logo less clip-art and more custom.