Painter's Brand Identity / the beauty shop

Liz Gill Neilson sketch for SHREW logo

For a designer to create a logo to represent a fine artist is a challenge. The problem being, you have to create something that's in a different language from their work, but that either compliments or carries enough of the character of their work to be an effective symbol. Where does the artist's hand come in? Either it needs to be the artist's own hand that actually executes the logo, or it has to be distanced from the artist's hand, perhaps by containing no pictorial elements, only type. So the designer ends up in a role that's more about conceptualizing or summing up the key aspects of the painter's aesthetic, and then handing them those ideas to re-illustrate. Makes for a really interesting and surprising back-and-forth process.

I loved working on this branding, for SHREW, an enigmatic Texas-based painter, for The Beauty Shop. It was a unique and very fruitful creative process. The direction we eventually ended up with for her branding is the perfect example of what I described above: a distillation of her visual language, initially conceptualized by me, and then carried out and extrapolated by her mind and hand, to create a gorgeously weird and wonderful hybrid, which will be unveiled when we finish her website. But for now, I wanted to share some of my favorite outtakes from Round 1 of this project:

My first-round concepts, above / The final mark: redrawn and expanded by the artist, below.