Branding: Sandalwood Martial Arts

Create a modern, professional logo for local martial arts school.



Create a dynamic, professional logo which embodied the values of Victoria, Canada based Taekwon-Do school, Sandalwood Martial Arts. The school is locally run and focused on a traditional ITF-style Taekwon-Do. The primary application emphasized was as an embroidered crest to be worn on student uniforms.


Local martial artists, Victoria community, families, university students.



The concept behind the design originates from the school’s philosophy that training and progress are “a process” that takes time. Belt ranks with their different colours reflect the milestones in the process which student aspire to earning. This along with the school values were key elements informing the initial design process.


I talked with the client, the owner of Sandalwood Martial Arts, to understand his vision for the school and it’s new brand. I also used my first hand experience of the school and values from being a student to inform my understanding of the school’s mission, vision and what makes it unique.


A simple, modern design which incorporates a variety of symbolism to capture the values and history of the school.

The three S shapes symbolize this progress representing ranks at key milestones: the white belt or novice, a green belt - the midway point to a black belt, and last, the black belt, or experienced martial artist.

These ranks and colours also reflect Sandalwood’s motto: “Learn. Grow. Give.” The white belt learns; the green belt is growing, and the black belt gives back by teaching the art they’ve dedicated so much time to learning.

Additional symbolism is incorporated into the design:

  • the 5 lines represent the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do

  • the blue in the background is a reference to Sandalwood’s ties to its parent organization, Unified Taekwon-Do which is also on a blue background.

Team & Role

Client: Sandalwood Martial Arts

My Role: Designer

Time: 2012.12

Tools: Illustrator.

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