Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Imaginary Monsters identity redesign

I've been rocking the Imaginary Monsters name since my last days at college. What grew out of the final project I did at school became my future business name and brand. I finished up at RIT in 2005 and the logotype I made for Imaginary Monsters has been left relatively unchanged for nearly five years (apart from a few new color options). It has served me well, but over the past year I've been taking stock in where I am right now as an artist and as a designer, as well as trying out new work methods to try and see what the future of my work will be. I decided that my work has changed enough over the past 4.5 years that I should update the look of my Imaginary Monsters brand to better represent who I am to colleagues, allies, and future clients. So, I think I have it mostly situated: At the top is the original Imaginary Monsters logotype, born 2005. Below it are some crazy color iterations and the less elements black and white version. Now that I can see this I feel like this is what I wanted the I.M. look to be from the get go. I still liked parts of the original mark and the type I designed for it, so I decided to keep the top "Imaginary" section. This sort of represents where I'm coming from: most of my old work was very clean edged and vector heavy. Precise and accurate, but a little sterile.

The bottom type is a totally new addition. The bulbous, fleshy, gory, booger puke type is organic and sticky. This portion of type was hand rendered and it's much closer to what I've been doing with things like Eat World lately. Something more violent and aggressive is going on, but it's an energy I'm excited to have access to and continue working with.

I hope this new mark helps to excite more people about my work rather than disturb them. It unsettles me a bit, but I'm ready to embrace that uncertainty. Life and work are getting more exciting by the day, so let's adventure together! Ha!

If you have any comments about the mark definitely let me know! Thank you world.

Here's another rationale note too:
The new Imaginary Monsters logotype also represents what I was interested as a young boy and continue to gravitate towards now. It's deliberately modeled to look like a gross out horror toy brand from the 80s you somehow missed when growing up. The 80s were such a weird time when gross was cool and monsters were everywhere in Saturday morning television, toy stores, and cereal boxes. If it involved mutants, barbarians, ghosts and ghost busters, robots, or just plain monsters it was damn cool!

Now I'm ready for the renaissance.


:: smo :: said...

first impression: i dig the concept.

second: be wary that it looks quite a lot like the classic TMNT logo with more detail:


though i realize that's what you're kind of channeling. and i think that probably works in your favor to carry the vibe you're going for.

the new logo combines elements of computer design with illo; which is very much a summary of your focus, and yeah would definitely have worked well for the book itself!

there's a sort of muscle-like quality to the letters themselves and then the blood drip surrounding them acts as framing, so i don't think you're going to make anyone puke, no worries!

colorwise i like the top two. though the monster and the imaginary sharing an outline, i'm not so sure of. maybe i want the imaginary to feel more separate. right now it feels very "digital monsters" in a way. though i think the logos with the pink, orange, and green backgrounds help make it feel less tied down and aid in the emphasis of the dreamy quality of the imaginary text.

because i'm not a student of design, i giggle when i see you write stuff like "This portion of type was hand rendered." and i know it's totally standard design talk! but in my head typing was something you did so you didn't have to write by hand. so the concept of drawing a letter or writing in fancy monster letters being called 'hand rendered type' induces the "i make cartoons and don't understand your terminology" giggle. but yeah i guess me saying "i drew that part" probably tells you something about the level of professionalism i carry.

speaking of kerry. i ran into kerry bomb [that guy who own's pentatonic guitars] today and we had a similar conversation. i was saying something about how i was 'kinda straightedge i guess.' and he said that he always felt like straightedge is kinda weird...like "man we're all born straightedge right?" there's some truth in there. though i mean i realize straightedge carries a bit more weight than that, i feel like it ties into the type thing, as to what my descriptors are and how other people are giggling inside.

Garret Voorhees said...

Gorgeous! This is a great evolution of the IM universe. I definitely thought TMNT when I saw it but I think that's a positive relationship.

The only nitpicky things that keep drawing my eye are that ovalish gumdrop shape in the T and the bottom area of the S. I'd rather just see those filled in, I think!

I'd love to see your Illustrator outlines nice and big, especially on the colored versions where you've got those highlight areas. Beautiful, crisp translation of your drawing!