I’m back to my cozy Buffalo apartment after spending the holidays with family in Vermont. One of my favorite things about both Buffalo and the NEK is the plethora of craft brewing companies. Craft beer packaging offers a vehicle for some awesome art and design. During my holiday travels, the Bayley Hazen road, a historical military road built during the Revolutionary War, inspired an idea for a craft brewing company of the same name.
I wanted the logo to reflect the history of its namesake, so I started out with fonts that evoke the colonial era. I settled on Caslon Antique, the most classic of colonial era fonts. I felt that with the right design, this font would create a logo that feels both original and familiar to the viewer. The script I incorporated for “Brewing Co.” looks like it might have been scrawled using a quill pen by the light of a flickering candle as the British approach.
I knew that I wanted both a road (for obvious reasons) and wheat in the graphic for this logo. Wheat is the plant of choice for this logo, rather than hops, because the brewery specializes in Witbiers and Hefeweizens. Wheat was also grown in Vermont shortly after the Revolutionary war, another historical tie-in for the logo.
I worked through several layouts before finally settling on a circular one. The slant of the mountains draws the eye in, to the road. The flow of the road into the yellow band unifies graphic and text. Two circular bands outside of this add texture, and provide a smooth transition to the wheat graphics.
Now it was time to play with color. I chose brown, green, blue, and red, which all work with the golden-yellow of the road and wheat. These color variations on the logo can be used for different beers. I plan on designing the packaging for Bayley Hazen Brewing Co. beers as my next project. Stay tuned!
We’re now solidly into the winter/holiday season, but a few weeks ago I was already starting to miss green grass and sunshine. The concept for Blackbird Floral Designs came to me while thinking about summertime and gardening.
I wanted to design a logo for a conceptual floral design business that specializes in using organically grown flowers, with a focus on herbal arrangements. I’ve always had an interest in herbalism, and I think it’s especially fun when a floral arrangement is not only beautiful, but has other uses as well. Keeping everything organic is good for everyone all around. I think this would be a really fun business model!
My thumbnails had some interesting layout ideas, and ultimately I decided that I wanted the bird to be standing on the ground, building a bouquet out of Echinacea, calendula, and anise hyssop flowers. I grew these herbs in my own garden in years past, and the combination of the three always made an especially beautiful, long-lasting bouquet. The calendula also ties in nicely with one of the blackbird’s most defining features, the yellowy orange circle around their eyes. To enhance this, I kept the silhouette of the bird black, with no orange on the beak, so that the eye stands out.
For typography, I chose a script typeface that has an open, happy feel, and a sans-serif typeface that has a bit of character without competing with the script. The weight of the script balances the graphic, and feels like an echo of the silhouette of the blackbird. I hope this brings a bit of spring to anyone checking this post out - we'll get there, eventually!
Moving to a new State presents a lot of logistical maneuvering – updating your license, signing up with an electric company, having Wi-Fi installed in your new apartment. Also, more importantly, what radio station are you going to listen to now? When I lived in Vermont, I switched exclusively between The Point Independent Radio Station and Vermont Public Radio. Now, after moving to Buffalo, NY in August, hitting station buttons 1 and 2 on my car dashboard resulted in a depressing static.
It took a bit of surfing, but I finally found my Buffalo radio stations, Alternative Buffalo and WBFO, Buffalo’s NPR News Station. Buttons 1 and 2 were reprogrammed and back in business. Lana Del Rey’s “Doin Time” was an August and September fave on Alternative Buffalo. And then there was Billie Eilish’s “Strange Addiction”, which wrapped its fingers around my little millennial heart with its sultry beat paired with clips from The Office.
Billie Eilish’s 2020 tour doesn’t include Buffalo, so why not scheme up a conceptual 2021 concert at Canalside Buffalo? I wanted to design a poster that was location specific. I did a little research and discovered South Bay Bessie, the legendary Lake Erie lake monster. After some sketching, I had an illustration that I liked.
I then moved to Illustrator to refine the illustration. I felt the poster should be vaguely disturbing and tie in with Eilish’s signature black and green color scheme. After experimenting with a few color schemes, just because these vibrant colors were too fun to not experiment with a bit, I achieved this by using only black and green, with one pop of white in Eilish’s eyes, which ties in with her “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” album art.
I completed the poster with grunge text, including concert title, location, and artist name. The location snakes along South Bay Bessie’s neck, and the artist name blends with the seaweed, unifying text and art.
I had just finished a week-long, self-inflicted, sketch-a-day challenge. The right side of my brain was awake and ready for action – what now? Back home in VT, family news included that a classic car was being worked on to be made ready for a winter tuck-in, i.e. storage. Classic cars are fun to draw… and retro fonts, what fun! “Like Old” was born.
Well, the idea, anyway. Some time was spent googling classic car images. A little more time was spent sketching.
Once I reached the point to start creating a vector, I worked in black to let the form of the design, fonts, and layout stand out without distraction until I was satisfied with what I had.
For color, blue stood out in my mind as the best choice for the logo, honestly because no other color really worked for me. Pink or orange? Yikes. Green? It’s a car repair shop, not a greenhouse. Yellow? Too light. Purple? Don’t get me wrong, I love purple, but not here. Blue is quiet but subtly fun when combined with the vintage-style design. I played around with a maroon a bit as well, which also worked, but blue was the clear winner.
And here we are, final product! Now I want a classic car…
Hi! I'm a designer, artist, and daughter of back-to-the land, hippy dippy Vermont. I recently started a new adventure, and now call Buffalo, New York my home. Designs that have an organic, whimsical feel are my favorite to create, but I also like to challenge myself and take a crack at something outside of my comfort zone every once in a while. This blog is an extension of my recent passion projects. I've been creating designs for the sake of designing, exploring my own style, and growing as an artist and designer. Please enjoy!