As a long-time supporter of Keith Utechs record imprint: Utech Records, Milwaukee, WI, receiving his email requesting a commission for the rebranding of his imprint was simply an offer that I could not refuse. We corresponded on and off throughout the Summer. You can read a run-down of the process below all the images:
Obviously, greater details would not translate in every application.. for example, the scalability would be fucked on a CD packaging or business card, but would be satisfactory on a t-shirt. Something a lot of people neglect in identity design.
The first and second rounds came and went. The first thing I did was minimize feathers at the ravens cheek. They looked terrible, so I decided to emphasize the form with thin strokes, which was highly effective. The second thing I decided to alter was the eye, it was too "alive" and I wanted a dead-stare (who doesn't?), so I replaced it with a simple circle.
One of the key aspects of this new identity that was established early was, but never came up was the third-eye element. Which I was still figuring out how to inlay. Initially, I wanted a tuft of feathers to part.. exposing the third-eye, but that did not work out. Getting to the point, it ultimately rests atop, less within, maintaining a subtle presence,
Fast-forwarding: At this point, I was sitting at my desk in our home in Oakland with some serious drawing pens to ink the sketches in my Strathmore pad; the icon had been in development for some time to be honest. I had begun initial studies in Carmel Valley, CA back in May. Revisited it in June after spending some time studying the intelligent and malicious behavior of ravens in various habitats, the wild and in their dwellings of the city. The apex of this project was while refining digitally, a raven flew onto the telecom line outside of my window: bone in mouth, we made eye-contact, and it departed. Needless to say: I felt like it was time to march toward finality..
I sketched a couple of drafts of the type, but we ultimately settled on the second version (both versions are displayed above). Added the X numeral to represent the 10th anniversary and done.
T-shirts and other items brandishing this design will be first available at the Utech Fest in December.
You may check out the label and purchase items here: http://www.utechrecords.com/
Thanks for reading,