January 16, 2014
Process Work: Creating the Sharks logo
I created a logo for my friends baseball team a number of years ago. My friend described his team as an adult version of bad news bears. They did a lot of trash talking and not much winning. Armed with this info I created three different options. Below you will find the path I took to make the logo for my friends team.
I started by researching old baseball scripts and logos. I liked the how the script payed homage to the olden days of baseball. I created a word mark with the script. Everything was hand drawn then recreated in Illustrator. As much as I liked the throw back approach to the lettering. I felt that the mark did not have the rough and tumble edge of say the bad news bears. I refined the mark in Illustrator But i did not move forward with the mark after I started to explore other options.
While I was working on the baseball script word mark. I developed a logo with a baseball in it. This mark worked as it told you what that its a baseball team and contained the name of the team. I took the stitches of the baseball and made them to resemble sharks teeth. It’s not something I expect everyone to get. It is one of those details that I like to insert into my work. You might not see it right away, but when you do you can’t not seeing.
I abandoned the original mark when I abandoned the baseball script. It wasn't until the other options were almost complete when I revisited the mark. I felt that there was a strong element to the mark that I could take and use. After some play the logo became a secondary mark and was incorporated into the jersey design.
Then I started to move into a more illustrative mark, that played off of old Sci-Fi posters. I wanted to convey the idea of the logo being a monster that will devour you team. I thought about making the logo look like chewed up meat. Giving the dangerous and rough around the edges look. I stopped developing the mark because I felt like the mark was going in a cheesy direction.
At this point I started to focusing on the rough around the edge idea. So started to look at gang graffiti for inspiration. The mark is a refined version of different tags that I saw from the West Coast. The type had the edge I was looking for and it was different from your typical baseball team branding. It wasn't until I had created the initial mark that I noticed that the negative space of the “a” could make a sharks fin. Just like the sharks teeth in the baseball. This was a subtle detail that I didn’t expect everyone to get.
After refining the option 3 I decided to use this as the main mark. I also took the baseball logo and highlighted the “a” with the shark fin. This mark became the secondary logo.
Then I mocked up the jerseys for the team. I know I was using t-shirts, because this is a beer league team not MLB. I decided to to use a seaweed green as a tie into the beach. The colors were largely inspired by the Florida Marlins color scheme too.
Many years later, I see the Clink Room is hosting a hat design contest. I thought about the logo I had made for the team and how good it would look on a hat. I made the mock up and sent it in. I am still waiting to see if the hat is selected.
All in all it is good to revisit your old work from time to time. Especially if it is a project that never saw the light of day. What do you have to lose.