In late summer 2015, CEO Patrizio Di Guevara and MD Kaz Balinski sat down with Irish graphic designer, Simon Dalton (of Simon Dalton Illustration) to “formulate” a design around a set of sketches and accompanying mathematical rules that Pat & Kaz had produced in an attempt to capture, in a logo, the essence of the Company’s first venture: crude oil and natural gas exploration and production in the Sultanate of Oman.
“The brief was relatively simple, however the task was not” remarks Simon, when reflecting on the project. “They (Pat & Kaz) have this wonderful ability to explain away principles in terms of numbers and equations, but bending them into an actual design is the challenge. Especially since Kaz, in particular, only likes to use number sequences between 0 and 8. That said, a number of the design and mathematical rationale merged nicely, as the two are interlinked, and the rest were comfortable compromises. But, don’t tell them I said that!”
“We knew what we wanted to achieve, but didn’t know what it would look like once assembled, let alone how to design it!” says Kaz. “So we turned to Simon, as he’s the only guy that we know who can both translate our ideas and work them into a design… Oh, AND who has the patience to put up with our mathematical idiosyncrasies!”
“Sure, Kaz would send me jpegs of my last renditions of the logo design covered in tons of tiny lines, arrows, measurements that he and Pat had cobbled together, and generally including… more rules! I’d have to decipher the code and then shoe-horn the conversion into a framework of manageable parameters. Yeah, really great fun (NOT!), but it worked!”
The design evolved considerably throughout the drawing stages. The orange was originally blue and drawings of rectangles, squares and circles were explored and also rendered. “Originally, we had intended the inner circle to be blue, depicting the sky over Oman. However, the scorched sands and desert sunsets paint a far more familiar picture” offers Pat. “Yeah, the colours were derived much in the same way as were the proportions of the design itself, through using the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence to determine intervals, albeit in terms of RGB measurement as opposed to length. The ‘PetrOman Orange’ came about after I reversed the RGB values order and we found the colour more appealing to the eye” adds Kaz. “Not only that, but the orange better represents the deserts from which the production process starts – the grounds in which the assets lie. So it stayed.” The logo tells the tale of resources gathered, communities benefitted and the earth left clean, which is the PetrOman story.
Obviously, oil is black… “The black isn’t black,” interjects Kaz, “it’s actually dark, dark brown, akin to the higher API (specific gravity measurement) Oman Blend (crude oil) required of PetrOman’s Omani production.”
So how long did the logo design take to complete? According to Simon, “Several hours over the course of two to three weeks. The design brief was there in principle to begin with. It was a just a matter of justifying the relationship between all of the entities within the parameters of the rules – the relationship between the shapes, the letters and the original black box that surrounded them. All was done in several meetings and over several more beers!”
Without question, a lot of detail and effort has been put into the designing of the logo for this ‘new kid on the block’ of oil producing companies. The logo is modern, simple and represents strengths beyond PetrOman’s production and onto the ethos of the Company itself.
Edness Konig, Online Design – Corporate, 2015