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Project Highlight: Grown Man Beard Oil

 

Jeton Alexander is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. His latest project is something super interesting and it was awesome to be a part of creating the groundwork for his company. The name of the business is Grown Man Beard Oil.  He wanted the beard oil to appeal to a specific group of men who obviously have beards, but who prefer quality and a regal look opposed to a more urban scruffy beard.

In his logo questionnaire, he mentioned that he wanted to give off a feeling of masculinity, with an ancient roman feel. He also cited the vikings and wanted to “ground” the logo in an elegant look and feel that kept it from being too overbearing.

The target market is men who are serious about their health and how they present themselves professionally.  I asked if the beard oil industry was a crowded marketplace. He said yes; so the next step for me was to find the leaders of the industry.  I found that generally, the beard oil creators tend to market to a variety of different types of men with beards and that there are even subgroups within main groups who aspire to have a certain look.

I started to reference different ideals, colors, textures, patterns, and elements of nature that I found were consistent in most of the designs. In Asana, I started to load images that I felt would set Jeton’s business apart from the forerunners, while also appealing to a strong base.

 

We also talked about fonts. He wanted something with strong greco-roman vibes with a modern appeal. Initially, I thought that to mean a Sans font with a little something different. After going into the creation phase, I decided to play it safe and stick closer to a simple Trajan or Times New Roman type of font, just to see how he responded. I decided to keep it simple and grey scale in order to focus on the elements of the design.  Here are a few of the first options:

I didn’t hit the mark here but there are some parts of the design that he was a fan of. They just didn’t do enough overall. So, we reconnected and talked about what he liked from each design and what he absolutely wasn’t a fan of. He liked the silhouette of the man but he wasn’t fond of either of the fonts. They weren’t recognizable enough.  I regrouped and created the next sample:

 

We were getting closer to a final product.  The icon / silhouette wasn’t “something” enough. It didnt flow. Overall, the logo was too edgy and didn’t flow right. I needed to incorporate more serifs, more wavy lines, and less sharp edges.  In addition, we came to a conclusion about what colors to incorporate into the final design.  He still wanted to see a stronger Greco-Roman energy throughout the design and he liked strong golds and hints of brown like old papyrus:

 

One of my main concerns was that this logo may not translate well using the silhouette, so the challenge was to create an image that would look great on an extremely bright or dark background.

The final result is as follows:

Typography Still Matters bro

There were maybe 20 of us there on the first day. It was my typography class and we were all bored out of our minds. I had recently graduated high school and had no idea what I was doing. The idea that I was in college was sort of strange because honestly, I never thought I’d be able to afford it.  Due to all the chaos I had going on in my personal life, I didn’t think I’d graduate college either, but it was starting off to be pretty cool.  My grandmother, known affectionately to me and my sisters as “Grandma Hart” made sure I got into college. She always seemed to see something in me that I didn’t see in myself.  She asked me what college I wanted to go to… “I just wanna design stuff,” I told her. She assumed I was referring to cars or designing houses; but, I was referring to graphics and websites. In highschool, I had been introduced to Visual Basic by my computer programming teacher Mrs Fisher. She also saw something in me that I hadn’t yet seen. She exposed me to C++ and other coding languages and helped me to understand how important they’d be in the coming generations.  At the time, I just saw it as an escape from the mundane standard “gotta have em’ to pass” classes. Since I had moved in with my grandmother, I was heavily studying code and learning how to take my designs and post them online, manipulating visuals in ways that amazed other users.  I even started making a little money to design friends’ pages, and so when she asked me about what I was interested in studying in college… it just seemed to make sense.

Months later, I was at the Art Institute of Charlotte, sitting in Mr Jameson’s class talking about “type.”

I had no idea how elaborate the study of typography was.  The layers behind the study of type was like opening some multi-dimensional universe where only the truly devoted among artists would dare to visit.  I thought it was stupid to obsess over something so trivial, until I began to appreciate the beauty of type and the possibilities.

Its ironic, that one of my least favorite classes has become the foundation for something I love and can’t imagine life without.  Type is like music when appreciated correctly.  In history, we learn about the Nubians, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, all these extremely influential societies and cultures with distinct languages.  Their languages held power beyond just communicating from day-to-day but actually activated different areas of their lifestyles.  I dare say, that studying type, will help you get a much deeper understanding of psychology, sociology, and even concepts of energy transfer.  There is vibration in type that activates certain areas of the mind – which is why certain type is used in certain scenarios.

Sometimes I find myself watching films and mentioning how beautiful the typography is. My girlfriend is used to that at this point, and she is even starting to see the distinctions… how rules are bent… how creativity is expressed… all in the manipulation of type.

One of things all designers should have a strong comprehensive grip on, is how to leverage the personalities of fonts, the weights, the serifs, etc. Those who think outside of the box always initiate change.

MINKAH DESIGN

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