Black Curse Creative has a bit of a weird history. The name comes from a band of mine when I was in Ohio. We jammed, wrote some sweet tunes and then kind of split up once I moved. The drummer and bass player also had a kid which made it hard to set some time aside for practicing. I had always liked the name though and as Nancy and I started working together in Chicago we needed a quick name to slap on a project one night and Black Curse Creative was born. That was about two or three years ago and I finally decided that the logo and branding was in need of an update to better reflect us as people and our work.
Starting with the icon part of the logo, the vulture already had a really neat shape that I wanted to keep intact. It has a sense that it’s about to take off and soar high above everything else. I really liked that feeling and I wasn’t ready to give up this particular bird quite yet and so I pressed on.
While the overall shape of the bird stayed the same I decided to go a completely different direction with the treatment of the interior of the icon. When I began sketching ideas to simplify the bird I started creating intersecting shapes and lines. Those initial ideas led me to working with simple geometric shapes for the final product. The sharp angles and long leading lines act as both feathers and highlights/shadows to give the bird some depth and a sense of movement.
The color palette was always very simple with the old logo. Black, white or dark gray were usually used for the logo and any accompanying text/graphics. It was simple and to the point but it was also becoming a bit too heavy and had a cold feeling. I wanted to bring a more friendly and colorful vibe to the brand with this update. The new color palette is brighter, more engaging and much more approachable.
Now that the style and approach for the icon was taking shape I was able to turn my attention to the wordmark. I always really liked the way that “Black Curse” was designed on the original logo but I knew that it had to be changed as it was “out with the old and in with the new” for this project and the old stuff just wouldn’t play nicely with the new bird.
The blacked-out counters in the B,A and R were something I felt really worked for the musical Black Curse branch but maybe the didn’t translate well to the design-side. They were the first thing to go and it instantly gave the word some room to breathe. I worked within the Chalet Comprime typeface from House Ind. to develop a unique look to the mark. I dropped the crossbars, raised and lowered parts of the C and S, added some cuts to certain letters (C, S, E), and to top it all off I added an angle to the crossbars in the B, A and R. It was a bunch of really simple tweaks that brought the word into a unique space that can hold it’s own with or without the vulture icon. The cuts and angles that were added to the letters helped bring the angular theme from the vulture over to the word and also paid homage to the original wordmark.
The icon and the wordmark combine to create a very engaging visual that will help propel Black Curse Creative into the next phases of our business.
But wait, there’s more! On top of creating this new, colorful version of the logo we also worked to create other graphics that can help to serve any need that may arise.
A black & white version of the vulture was created as well as a simpler, one-color version. In the past the simple version of the vulture has been used on all sorts of products and forms so I wanted to keep this as an option going forward. The black & white version of the geometric bird can be used on all sorts of graphics and the head can change to 85% black depending on the darkness of the background that it is placed on.
The wordmark also got some love in the “alternates” category.
The new wordmark is shown at the top in various shades of black. Also developed were two stacked options which are shown below the main wordmark. After making the two stacked options I still wasn’t satisfied and I wanted one more option, but it had to involve the vulture icon in some way.
Taking the first stacked option I then added the simplest vulture that was created to give maximum visibility to the name while still introducing and reinforcing the vulture icon as a memorable part of the identity.
This project was quite a big one and something I should have done about 6 months ago. We are both really happy with everything that has come out of it and I’m sure there will be some other goodies to see real soon from us.