This is what we ended on in my last post, the above images are the base for a logo design I created for the cafe Mermaid Dog in Melbourne’s CBD (50 Market St.) This was the design chosen from all the options from the part 1 post. They then suggested that it be turned around so that the cup is more centred, like the seal is tipping it over. However she I tried it the first time, as in the images below, it didn’t quite work because it was too much tilt. I also experimented with another border idea but it was perhaps too dainty and/or nautical. The banner looked great but was too detailed to be printed onto things like disposable cups so had to scrap that idea too.
This version (below) is the rotation of the image we decided on which seems just right in terms of balance and symmetry. The border is meant to be an embossed stamp (like a wax seal) which I couldn’t help adding as a little pun, although people have said since that they thought it looked more like a coffee stain/ring. Which is also fine since it relates back to coffee. Now was the time where I had to think about fonts and text styles/placements etc. After experimenting with some script style fonts as requested, I found that most of the were just too detailed and the accents of the letters were just too interfering with the seal image and the symmetry of the two words as a whole. I am only showing two examples here of the fonts I went through but altogether I would have shortlisted about 25. I find the font choosing/designing the hardest part, an image you can manipulate so much easier but fonts are more distinct in terms of whether they work or they don’t.
The two images below are the finals, giving the option of straight or curved text depending on why its being used for. In the end I still chose a script-like font but a simpler more stylised one. The smoothness makes it seem quirky but also sophisticated, a style that I have noticed a lot with recent cafes and other branding wanting to appear fresh & fun but also be taken seriously.
So stoked that they liked it! (and very grateful they took a chance on me!)
(final design stamped on the cups and printed on a vinyl sticker for the window)
Hope this post was interesting to see/read for some one.
Often when I am writing Sheena I have a specific vibe and references in mind. If some people hadn’t figured it out already the name came from the Ramones song Sheena is a Punk Rocker. I figure that most people wouldn’t make the connection but thats ok really. Its just a guide for the attitude that she has; a grungy (not completely) nihilistic and somewhat shortsighted view of the world. I wanted a strong graphic/comic style to represent her beyond the design of her character which is often whimsical rather than aggressive or graphic. The general vibe of the zines is very important to me; to maintain values and ideals and let the design form itself through those. These images (not mine) might help materialise these feelings I have about Sheena’s character and her origins in terms of style and attitude. Influences such as the 80’s hardcore scene, bands from that era but also one of my all time favourite people Patti Smith. There is just the general vibe of bohemian lifestyle but also DIY aesthetic.
And who could forget the ever-bad-ass Tank Girl.
And the gorgeous Lorna comics by Benji Nate, whose character is bad-ass in her own way but also very naive, and unapologetic.
Subconsciously and sometimes not I subverted these values or lack or lack of values and styles into the Sheena zines. It’s not only about being broke and hating everyone, its more than that. There are themes of despondence and inner turmoil; seeming eternal restless and a rejection society’s expectations. For some reason there is satisfaction in the creation of your own world, even if it is a dingy, messy squalor with no respect for any standards or even self care.
Obviously (to those who know me) the character is based on myself and anecdotes/thoughts from my life. Which I’ll be honest is the only thing I really know how to do at this point. Therefore it is both easy and hard for me to describe her. I know there are a lot of semi-autobiographical comics and zines out there but I hope Sheena makes some impact on some one other than me. I will hesitate from saying that she doesn’t care about anything, only that she pretends not to. She wishes she didn’t care so much. Sheena takes comfort in night time, after all she is a raccoon. It’s when she can try and forget about all her cares once in a while, usually somewhat recklessly. But she’s not as tough and unfeeling as she wants to be, she’s vulnerable and only sometimes wants to admit it. Yet she holds her punk values close to her heart, she feels at home there. Sheena appears alone in almost all of the panels. I’m not sure what this really means, whether it was consciously done or not. I guess all these ‘moments’ are about her reflections on things within herself and thats why. She doesn’t always loathe herself; yet she’s always dissatisfied with something or someone, put herself out too far and only knows how to retreat rather than fight. Just like any character she is full of contradictions, she’s never trying to be anything – but rather trying to understand what she is.
Just an end note to say that I’m glad I decided to use an ink wash over the top of the drawings as you can see what a difference it makes in the above images.
Hope this all made some sense 🙂