The logo that is currently on display on The New Miamian, my personal blog, took about two years to complete from concept to final design. My idea for the brand identity went through many phases that are represented in the evolution of its design. In my initial sketches I was still trying to figure out what The New Miamian was.
My visual ideas included a triangular stencil design influenced by my exposure to street art in 2013 and 2014. I liked the idea, but also went into a more naturalistic direction with a floral sketch for the logo. The floral better represented my personal aesthetic and the vibe of the website, but it still felt a little too generic. So, I decided to focus on a simple, hand-drawn black and white logo that would be used as the blueprint for the brand’s visual identity.
The black and white tribal logo below was the first one I completed on Adobe Illutrator and began to use on Blogger. I used the pen tool to outline each character, then added lines and circles to give it a texture that resembles wood boards nailed to them. My muse for this design was a person rollerblading down Ocean Drive toward the beach in the early nineties. I wanted it to be fun and laid back but also representative of Miami. Even though I loved it and used it for a few months, I felt like it was too bulky as a logo and I wanted something cleaner and simpler that could be blown up for a billboard as a vector but also look professional on a business card or as a blog header.
I found it difficult to come up with a simple and clean black and white logo design that felt personal and singular. I was still interested in representing Miami, but in a way that was also indicative of my perspective. I came up with the logo sketch below that incorporated some of the elements of street art that were reflected in my initial triangular sketch. I figured I would refine it over time and be able to use it as a signature on visual pieces. I moved on from it pretty quickly because I felt it was too representative of the time and I wanted a logo that could fit into any era.
My next logo idea actually fell into the same time trap, only this time it was a seventies-inspired script logo. In 2015 I began working on post-consumer products that I sold at local street fairs and boutiques, so I wanted something that would work well on tags and on an Etsy Shop banner. I love the whimsical swirly scripts that were used in seventies designs. I sketched out the script, scanned it, then created an outline of it and filled it with white. I added a burlap background that I scanned for color and texture.
Once I decided that I wanted to move away from the seventies script and urban tag ideas, I realized that what was missing was the Art Deco influence that I see every time I go for a jog in South Beach. I wanted something more structured and architectural, so I used the line tool in illustrator to create my own Art Deco inspired logo. I gave the original a shadow, but decided to remove it to make it as minimalist as possible.