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.

Option 1

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.

These are my initial scetches for the logo. They show the influence of old baseball logos.
The initial vectors of the throw back solution.

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.

The exploration of the oldschool baseball logo. This eventually became a secondary logo.

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.

Option 2

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.

I started to branch out into more a more contemporary direction. Focusing on the tone of the mark versus a throwback to baseball.
The initial vectors of the si-fi inspired solution.

Option 3

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.

This was when I started to further refine the letterforms of the Gang inspired typography. I started pushing the negative space of the shark fin in the letter a too.
The initial vectors of the gang inspired solution.

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.

These are the final logos that I created for the team.

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.

This is the front of the jersey I mocked up for the team.
This is the back of the jersey I mocked up for the team.

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.

I submitted the hat design to the Clink Room to see if they would produce the hat.

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.

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